Oct 30, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday

Do you worry about the quality of the air in your home? I know I do. I live in a city that has a major issue with pollution, so I want to make sure that the air in my home is as healthy as possible.

We all know from of biology classes (I hope!) that plants and trees use carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of photosynthesis. What you may not have known is that they can also remove VOC’s (volatile organic compounds, released by man-made products like plastics and paint).

A former NASA scientist, B.C. Wolverton, has spent 30+ years (most of which was done with NASA) researching how plants can clean the air (and water) in indoor systems. If you would like to read some information on the research has done, click here. He wrote a book in the late 90’s, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office. This book describes how the plants clean the air and highlights house plants that he has found to do a good job at cleaning the air.

I haven’t read the book yet (I just found out about it while researching how to naturally clean your indoor air) but will be purchasing it the next time I pass my local book store. This seems like a perfect fit to my needs. I hate to buy a separate air purifier that would require more energy use. Anyway, who doesn’t love to have plants in all the rooms of their house?  Bring the garden inside and help create a healthy living environment!

Oct 29, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich


I love to roast vegetables! So simple, and a great way to concentrate the flavor. All you need to do is cut your veggies (I find thin slices work best, they cook faster!) place them on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss to get all veggies coated, then spread them out into a single layer. Bake in a 400 F oven until tender and starting to brown (about 40 min).

Earlier this week I made a yummy sandwich with a variation of the above recipe. My husband said that this sandwich tasted like it came from a fancy restaurant - and it's so easy!

The basics

First I thinly sliced a butternut squash, red onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper (you can use what ever fresh veggies you have on hand; eggplant and zucchini squash would be delicious) and followed the instructions above.

The veggies sliced and tossed with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
While the veggies were roasting I split a ciabatta loaf, brushed with olive oil and toasted it. Then I spread a thin layer of herbed goat cheese on both sides.

The little pieces to the side are Aidan's, he doesn't like a lot of cheese so I only put it on half.

When the veggies were almost done (about 35 min), I drizzled them with balsamic vinegar and returned them to the oven to finish. The vinegar will reduce to create a flavorful syrup that adds an extra level of flavor to the sandwich.

The roasted vegetables after the balsamic vinegar reduced

All that's left is to assemble the sandwich! Layer the veggies on the bread and top with some fresh baby spinach. Enjoy!


The end product (sorry the pic is blurry, I was too close for the camera focus)

Oct 28, 2009

Cloth Diaper Carnival: Part 4

This post is part of the Cloth Diapering Bloggers and Dirty Diaper Laundry hosted Cloth Diaper Carnival that is held every month. Many bloggers get together and write about the same topic. This month is “Where did you first hear about/see cloth diapers?”


My cloth diapering journey has not been very long, yet it has felt like second nature since the beginning.  I started cloth diapering shortly after starting this blog.  I decided earlier this year that it would be best for me and the family to stay at home.  With the recession, we needed to cut our costs to be able to afford my new life as a SAHM.  I started investigating ways to cut costs and happened to search for diapers on Babies-R-Us (trying to get the best price) and saw package of cute colorful diapers.  They turned out to be Bumkins cloth diapers and I was intrigued. 

I then did a web search for reviews on the Bumkins diapers, and quickly discovered that prefolds and covers (like Bumkins) were not the only cloth diapers out there!  I started researching to find out about all the different types and read reviews and recommendations from every corner of the web, from blogs (and the Dirty Diaper Laundry video reviews!) to sites like DiaperPin. You can see one of my early posts on researching cloth diapers here

In my researching I found that there was a shop carrying cloth diapers a few miles from my house, and I happened to pass it every time I brought my kids for daycare.  I stopped in one day on a whim and spoke with a woman who helped me with the types and let me look at and touch (I'm a very tactile person) a number of diapers. I then purchased my first few diapers and a wet bag.  I ended up going back several times to try different brands, and even purchased a few online.  

With a days worth of cloth diapers in hand, I embarked on this great journey and have been blogging about it ever since! If you select the "cloth diapers" label from my sidebar you will see all the posts I have done on the subject since I started in July.

Please make sure you check out some of the other fabulous blogs through the Carnival!

Wordless Wednesday




Oct 27, 2009

Green Cleaning - Basic H2

Chrissy over at Spectrum Wellness graciously sent me a sample of Shaklee's Basic H2 concentrate to try out.  This cleaner is super concentrated, my sample came in a vial that was about the size of a perfume tester yet made 32 oz. of cleaner!

My Sample


The amount of cleaner it made

I gave this product a good run for its money on two of the hardest to keep clean surfaces in my house: my kitchen table and my stovetop.  With two young children, my beautiful glass top table is almost impossible to keep clean.  I hate using the typical ammonia laden products to clean it as they give me a headache.  So here is my dirty table (notice the lovely streak of food my 3 year old smeared across it!):



Here is the table after the Shaklee Glass Cleaner:

Cleaning the table took the same amount of "elbow grease" as a traditional cleaner to get the table clean.  What I really loved was that it did it without any smell...none (and I even stuck my nose right up to the wet table!) I could be imagining things, but it did seem to leave fewer streaks as well (though I didn't do a side-by-side comparison.)

Next up was the All-Purpose Cleaner on a very dirty and greasy stovetop. Before Basic H2:

Yuck!

After Basic H2:

Ooooooooo...

Again, this wasn't a spray and wipe - it needed some elbow grease in the really gross areas.  There was one spot next to a burner that something turned into a gooey mess, the Basic H2 All Purpose struggled and I gave into one of my harsh chemicals to get it off (none of my normal cleaners could do it either - I tried). 

So how is this cleaner green? This is what the literature provided by Shaklee claims:
  • Nontoxic
  • Biodegradable surfactants
  • Sustainable ingredients from natural sources
  • No volatile organic cleaning compounds
  • No phosphates
  • Recyclable packaging
  • One 16 oz. bottle of Basic H2 concentrate makes 48 gallons of cleaner
  • Economical - less than 1 cent per 16 oz. bottle as a window cleaner, 3 cents per bottle as all purpose cleaner
Overall, I'm happy with this cleaner and would consider buying it. If you'd like to try it yourself, or check out the other products they offer, visit Chrissy at the Spectrum Wellness website.

Oct 26, 2009

I Need Your Opinion (and sneek peek at my produce bags!)

I'm in the process of sewing all my produce bags, and I have a dilemma.  I'm not sure how to finish the sides.  I like them both ways, so I'm putting it out to you!  So here they are:


Do you like the sides tucked in (more finished look) or left out (more color)?


Full size comparison (these are the small bags for garlic, shallots, ginger, jalapenos or other small fruits or veggies)


Edge In with a large head of garlic


Edge out with the same large head of garlic

Please let me know which you like best (or anything else you like/dislike about them) by leaving a comment!

Oct 23, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday

I’m so glad we have a President that is interested in creating a cleaner earth for the generations that will come after us.

President Obama spoke to at MIT today. The basis of his message was that we need to be innovative and work towards sustainable, clean energy sources. Sustainability, clean energy, and climate legislation are not only important to creating a clean earth, but also a healthy and thriving economy. The President stated that the country that wins the (peaceful) energy race will lead the global economy (of course he wants that to be us!) He went on to say that the Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill) included $80 billion dollars for creating electric car batteries, tax incentives for making homes more energy efficient, and sources of sustainable energy - to name a few of the “green” topics it supports.

He also cautioned us not to be apathetic about our role. We, as individuals, can do something to change the course of our planet. Here are some of my ideas for small ways to make a difference:
  • Reduce the amount of petroleum-based products we use (drive less, use less plastic, use cloth diapers, etc.)
  • Recycle or reuse everything you can
  • Pick up trash you see when your on a walk
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) instead of incandescent lights
  • Turn off and/or unplug appliances that are not in use
  • Replace faucet/shower heads with low-flow (WaterSense) heads
  • Add weather stripping to doors and windows
  • Make sure your attic has proper insulation levels
  • Buy Local
The list could go on forever! Every small change can make a difference. If you set out to make one small change a week, by the end of the year you will have made a huge difference to the planet (and probably to your wallet!) *Steps off Soapbox*

To hear President Obama’s speech yourself (approximately 13 minutes in length), please check MIT’s Public Webcast here.

Oct 22, 2009

Getting Paid to be Earth Friendly

While getting caught up on my local and state news, I came across a great article I just had to share with you.  Did you know that starting in November, Target & CVS will be rolling out incentive programs for you to bring your own bag?  This is great news for your wallet and the earth! Check out the story over at USA Today. Now we can only hope that other businesses will jump on board.  I think it's a smart move for the stores; they'll save money by buying fewer bags and attract customers with the incentive.  I know I'd be more likely to shop at a store that gives me a discount for using my own bag (which I already use) than a competitor that doesn't.

Do you know a store that offers incentives for using your own bag?  If you do, post the store name in the comments so we all can save money while saving the earth!

Oct 20, 2009

Starting a Business

I'm jumping in with both feet, starting my own business - Simplistic Mom Designs! 

I have been doing the research, writing my business plan, finding sources for my supplies, and building my inventory.  This isn't going to be a brick & mortar store, though I hope some day that you'll find my products on store shelves.  I'm going to start small, gain experience, and hopefully be one of the small woman-owned business success stories. My business is based on "holes" in the green market and will feature hand-made reusable items.  I am still getting all my ducks in a row, and hope to open my online shop in early November. 

I thought I would share some great online business help for those of your thinking of venturing into entrepreneurship. The first I found through Good Morning America. Startup Nation has a website full of tips, advice, and free StartMe Up program.  I found their 10 Steps to Open for Business very helpful. It guides you through writing your business plan, finding funding, marketing, and more with great video segments.

The second resource is from a business school. The University of Houston Small Business Development Center offers tips, workshops (Houston area only), and consulting on how to start or expand your business. I think their Texas Roadmap to Starting a Business is a must read, and some of it would be applicable to areas outside of Texas (you'd want to check your local and state governments for your states labor laws, tax responsibilities, insurance requirements, required permits, etc.)

If you have any great site for starting a small business, please leave a comment with a link!

Oct 19, 2009

Great Recycling Ideas

Today I stumbled upon a great blog post on recycling that I think is worth sharing with you! Check out 10 Surprising Things You Can Recycle by Play Outdoors.

Nursing Cover

A Friend of mine had her baby shower over the weekend, so I decided to make her a nursing cover. When Logan was little, I used mine so much that he would get excited when he saw it! Now that he's older he doesn't go for being covered while eating, but that's OK. I'm pretty happy with how the cover turned out; I hope the Mommy is too. I saw the fabric and fell in love; it is the most gorgeous turquoise blue with a lovely flower print. I added some boning to the neckline so Mommy and Baby can see each other and an easily adjustable D-ring for the neck strap.

The cover doesn't look like much here, but I think it looks amazing in person.

My labels :)


Posted by Picasa

Oct 16, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday


One of my eco-conscious friends recently made me aware of a great eco-activism event. October 24, 2009 will be an International Day of Climate Action. The purpose of this day is to promote the number 350 (what scientists believe is the safe limit of atmospheric CO2, in parts per million). They are trying to get the media and world leaders to realize that there are lots of people interested in keeping our climate from going crazy. What the leaders of this movement want you to do is this: organize or participate in an event where the number 350 is prominently displayed in an iconic location in your community, take pictures and submit them to the website http://www.350.org/. The organizers will then take those images to the media and world leaders, asking them to create a climate change treaty that will meet the requirements to reach the magic number.

Here's why the group is doing this (according to there website):
To tackle climate change we need to move quickly, and we need to act in unison—and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. The problem is, the treaty currently on the table doesn't meet the severity of the climate crisis—it doesn't pass the 350 test.

In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we're harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action on October 24, 2009. We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world - from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community - and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.

As I write this blog post, there are more actions being formed. At the moment there are 3257 actions being planned over 159 countries, and there are 6 days left! If you want to find the action closest to you, create your own, or find out more about the movement – please visit http://www.350.org/.

Oct 15, 2009

Cloth Diaper Review: Thoughts After 4 Months

It's hard to believe it has only been 4 months since I started cloth diapering.  I feel like it is second nature now.  I thought it might be helpful to update some of my earlier reviews now that I have LOTS of experience with each diaper in my stash.

In case you missed my previous reviews, here are the links (newest to oldest):
http://simplisticmom.blogspot.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-buzz.html
http://simplisticmom.blogspot.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-review-continues.html
http://simplisticmom.blogspot.com/2009/07/first-days-of-cloth-diapering.html

FuzziBunz (Perfect Size and One Size) - Good diaper overall.  Easy to stuff with the wide back opening, though the insert does bunch between the legs occasionally.  This is one of the "fluffier" models in my stash, making it difficult to fit under baby jeans.  I have had stink issues with the microfiber, I just make sure to run a prewash with 1-2 Tbsp baking soda and an extra rinse - also make sure they are completely dry before you assemble the diapers!

GroBaby - This diaper is middle of the road for me.  I like the trim fit but the micro touch tape does not hold up very well.  They hook never stays attached to the laundry tabs anymore and I found my son with one side detached after a nap (and I don't think he pulled it) last week. I worry about ripping the mesh while removing the liner; they should have used some stabilizer behind the snaps.  The soaker does absorb a good amount and I have rarely had a leak.  The soaker did get stained after the first or second poop, and the poops normally get on the inside of the shell. As I have said before, the soaker does take a long time to dry. Thankfully, I haven't had any elastic issues with the replacement shell.

Bummis Super Brite Cover - Again, middle of the road.  I often have leaks with this cover, but it is fine for around the house.  I like how you can wipe out the inside, though I have never actually done that.  It is easy to "pre-assemble" the prefold in this cover as the back and sides don't bunch up. The binding on the edges tends to get wet, so if you plan or reusing the cover before a wash you would need to let it dry first.

WonderWrap - Amazing one size diaper cover.  I have never had a leak with this cover!  I love the wide elastic in the back, though the leg elastic tends to leave marks on my chunky thigh boy.   The back elastic does contract a lot, so it is not easy to set the prefold in for a quick change.

Blueberry One Size - Good Diaper, very similar to the FuzziBunz.  Easy to stuff, the combo liner is trim yet absorbent.  I have had some smell issues (stink) from the fleece liner on the diaper.  I wash it the same as the FuzziBunz and that seems to remove most of the smell. I like to double stuff this diaper for night time use.

KnickerNappies One Size - Thumbs down.  I don't think I have ever had this diaper on and not had a leak.  I only use this diaper at home.  It can be hard to stuff as the back opening to the pocket is narrow.  I do use the small LoopyDo liner as a booster in other diapers for night time.

BumGenius Organic 3.0 - Very trim diaper with a low rise.  This AIO takes a long time to dry were the soaker layers are attached.  The soaker did get stained on the first poop, and they can bunch a bit.  The multiple layers of cloth can make cleaning poop out of it a challenge.  In the past week, it has started to leak on me - so my son is either wetting too much for this diaper to handle or I need to strip it.

Kissaluvs Hemp Fitted - Absorbent diaper, but needs to be changed frequently as the moisture is held against the skin.  Logan tends to get a red bottom after wearing this diaper, not sure if it's the fiber or the moisture doing it to him.

gDiaper - I really don't use this diaper much.  My low-flow toilets have trouble flushing the liners and it always leaks when I stuff it with a prefold.  I haven't bothered buying the gCloth as I'm not trilled with the overall fit.  The waterproof liner, and the snaps that hold it in place, always leave a mark on Logan's bottom.  Is a nice concept, but not for me.

I think that covers it!  I hope you find my reviews helpful.  Feel free to leave a comment with your own feelings on these diapers.

Oct 13, 2009

Making Baby Food

I thought I would show you how to make some basic baby food purees.  Today I we'll be making chicken with grapes and sweet potatoes.

For the chicken & grapes:
Place a chicken breast, trimmed of excess fat, into a pan of water.  Add 1-2 tsp of a dried herb blend (or you could boil it with carrot, celery and onion and make a chicken stock while you're at it). Bring to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the water, let cool slightly then cut into cubes. Wash about 2 handfuls of grapes (peel the skin if desired) and place in a food processor or blender (blender will provide a smoother puree) add the chicken and about 1/2 cup cooking water. Puree until you reach the desired consistency, add water if needed to thin the mix. 




For the potatoes:
Wash and peel two medium sweet potatoes. Cut into 1" cubes and place in a pan of water. Boil until soft and tender. Move into a food processor or blender, and add cooking water to a height of about 1-2" from the top of the potatoes and process until it's at the desired consistency, adding water to thin as needed.


After the purees have been made, I freeze them in a standard ice cube tray.  The cubes are about 1.5-2 Tbsp worth.  After the food is frozen, I move them to labeled storage bags.  Easy way to make sure I have food the little one can eat minutes away!

Most foods can be prepared using this method; some fruits don't even need to be boiled first if they are ripe enough.  The sky is the limit, so experiment with tastes and textures for your baby - just make sure it's appropriate for your babies chewing ability!

Oct 9, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday

As I think I've mentioned before, it is not easy for my family to recycle.  Despite living on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area, we are without curbside recycling pick-up.  We save up our recyclables: #1 & 2 plastic, cans, glass, paper, and cardboard.  Then, we take a monthly trip to the recycling center.  So here is our set-up (about ready to make our trip, so excuse the mess):

This is our tower of recycling - large bins for our plastic, glass, paper, and cans. We simply move the bins into the car, dump, and return them to their corner in the garage.


These are bags of crushed soda cans that we (my husband mostly) have collected.  We drink very little soda, so most of these cans have been picked up from the side of the road on a walk, or from my husbands work.

From all our recycling efforts, I have noticed that most of the plastic we use is actually #5.  I see this plastic in our containers for yogurt, margarine, cream cheese, even some deli meats.  If you hate dumping this plastic into landfills, I have news for you. Whole Foods has joined with Preserve to accept #5 plastic recycling in some areas.  This program started a while ago but I just found out about it, so forgive me if this is old news for you.  If you are interested in finding out which stores accept the plastic check out this site, the Gimme 5 program will also let you mail your #5 plastics (sorry they don't pay for shipping, the address is on the previous link). To learn more about Preserve and their recycled products check here.

No Whole Foods near you? Don't want to pay to mail your plastic?  Make sure you check on Earth911 for a recycling center near you.  And if worst comes to worst, try offering them on Freecycle.  You never know what someone might want or need!

Oct 8, 2009

How To Get a Healthy Dinner on the Table in a Flash

I don't know about you, but right around 5 o'clock the kids fall to pieces.  They could have been angels all day long then *WHAM* grumpy kids that fight scream and do all manner of things to keep you from getting dinner ready on time.  It happens so frequently at my house that we have deemed the experience the "Five o'clock Fussies." Well, this mom has a few tricks up her sleeves!

I usually plan a dinner menu for the week based on what is in season and what's on sale.  I also make sure a have the ingredients for a couple of my favorite no-fuss 30 min meals.  We try to eat fresh whole foods (shop the perimeter of the grocery store) so we uses lots of veggies.  One trick to help make dinner a breeze is to prepare the veggies before hand.  You can chop a couple of recipes worth on the weekend when you have a second pair of hands around, or I'll sometimes do my prep while the kids are down for their afternoon nap.  Once you have all the chopping done, stick it in a covered bowl in the fridge until you need them (keep potatoes in a water bath, but only do this when you'll use them the same day)! I often do this with salad, washing and tearing it to size and spinning it in the salad spinner.  I take the basket out, dry the inside of the bowl and dump the salad mix in and cover it.  It keeps for close to a week for me!

My second trick is to make extra.  I will cook a Sunday dinner such as roasted chicken, but I'll roast two birds instead of one.  I'll serve the breast meat from one of the birds and carve the remaining meat for two other meals.  The second day I'll make a salad and top it with some chicken breast.  The third day, I'll use the carcasses to make chicken stock, and then make a chicken soup with the dark meat that is left. If leftovers aren't your thing, you could always assemble a casserole ahead of time, just stick it in the freezer or fridge depending on when you'll use it (ziti bakes are great for freezing!)

When all else fails, I go to my quick and easy stock meals.  We have several go-to recipes: Fiesta Chicken from The American Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Bird on a Biscuit from A Man, A Can, A Plan by David Joachim; or I'll whip together a quick pizza with refrigerated pizza dough.  These meals are quick (30 minutes or less) and require very little prep or active cooking, get for the days when nothing seems to go right!

I'm so glad I finally posted about this, I had wanted to for a while.  I finally got around to it because of a great contest going on for a Samsung Refrigerator (great seeing how mine is dying!).  To check out the contest go here.  Wish me luck!

Oct 7, 2009

TwitterMoms

Well, I finally joined twitter. I know I'm behind the times, but atleast I finally caught the bus! So, if you'd like to follow me I'm http://twitter.com/simplisticmom.

I also found a neat resource for you mom's on twitter. TwitterMoms is a site you can browse to meet other mom's who share similar interests. They also have a section for bloggers (my initial draw). I haven't had time to figure out everything with the site, but I think it will end up being a valuable resource for me! Here's a sampling of what people are talking about:


Twitter Moms: The Influential Moms Network

Wordless Wednesday


Oct 6, 2009

How Much Does It Cost to Cloth Diaper?

When I have encountered cloth diaper skeptics, the big argument seems to come with the washing routine.  They often feel that the water and energy used to clean the diapers negates the benefits.  For those critics, I have found a wonderful calculator.  While shopping for diaper making supplies on Wazoodle's website, I came across their Cloth Diapering Cost calculator.  All you need to do is find your most recent water and electric bill and enter the information and it will calculate how much it will cost you to cloth diaper from birth through potty training (and anywhere in between!)  I entered my info from my last bill (largest energy bill of the year at the peak of summer in TX) and average cost of my diaper stash per diaper.  This is what it told me:

Over the life of cloth diapering, using the one-size diapers, it will cost me approximately $1080 according to this calculator. If you used prefolds and covers, that cost would drop significantly.  If I had more diapers I could stretch my wash routine to every three days, which would help with the energy and water consumption.  I do use an EnergyStar Front Loading washer and dryer and have not seen my water or electric bills go up significantly since starting to cloth diaper.  Considering the energy and water used to make and then dispose of disposable diapers I think cloth diapering still comes out on top environmentally.  Cost wise if you estimate 8 changes a day for 2 years = 5840 disposable diapers needed. If we say that the disposables cost $0.25 per diaper that comes out to $1460 spent on disposable diapers.  It's not an earth shattering cost difference, but you will produce less waste cloth diapering (so if you pay per bag you'll save even more!).  Anyway, keeping $400 in your pocket in today's economy isn't too shabby!

Oct 5, 2009

My New Toy

Last week I managed to convince my loving husband to buy me a serger. I had been looking and researching them for a couple weeks and finally decided on the machine I wanted. With all the sewing I plan on doing for my soon-to-open online shop (reusable products such as produce bags, tote bags, gift wrap, and hopefully diapers) I felt I really needed a serger to keep me sane! Admittedly, it was expensive - even on clearance! I chose the Baby Lock Imagine Wave as my dream machine. It is super easy to thread thanks to Baby Locks patented Jet Air threading! I watched the sales lady thread it twice then I sat down and was able to thread it unassisted and it was ready to sew in minutes! I am currently learning how to do all the stitches and will take a class (came with the purchase of the machine) in the next few weeks. I can't wait to get started on my numerous projects with this machine!

Baby Lock Imagine Wave


No crazy loopers to thread, does it automatically with a puff of air!

My sewing set up. Maybe someday I'll set up a sewing table in the office so I don't have to clear everything off the dining room table when we want to use it!

Oct 2, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday

In case your not busy tomorrow, I have a nationwide event you might want to check into. On Saturday, October 3rd (in most areas) the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is hosting the National Solar Tour. According to their website:

The ASES National Solar Tour is the world's largest grassroots solar event. This event offers you the opportunity to tour innovative green homes and buildings to see how you can use solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies to reduce monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change. More than 150,000 participants will visit some 5,000 buildings in 3,000 communities across the U.S.

I would love to have solar panels on my house and I am green with envy for those who do. There is some amazing technology out there that lasts longer and is cheaper than years past. I live in a perfect area for solar panels, unfortunately my pocketbook won't go for it. This tour is also highlighting energy saving tips (some of which I have mentioned before).

If you would like to drool over some green energy click here to find the tour near you.

Oct 1, 2009

Cloth Diaper Carnival III: Traveling with Cloth Diapers

This is my first entry in the Cloth Diaper Carnival (I didn't know about the first and I was too busy to post for the second). Seeing how I have only been cloth diapering for a few months, I haven't had a chance to travel with them yet. I am planning a big trip soon and cloth diapers have been on my mind since we decided to go.

The trip will be about 2 weeks long and we'll be staying in 2-3 locations. Of those locations only one will have laundry facilities on site. I really want to bring my diapers so I can show them off (not to mention avoid the use of disposables) but I'm really not sure how to do it. I know we'll have limited room in our suitcases, and the diapers and diapering accessories would take up a lot of room. I've looked into hiring a part-time diaper service for the trip and unfortunately only one of the areas we are going has a diaper service.

I've considered the g-Diapers but with one stop on a septic system and another with 100+ year old plumbing I don't think flushables would work. I guess I could either trash the soakers from the g-Diaper or use bio-soakers from GroBaby - but cost almost twice as much as a disposable.

At this point I am not sure how I can make the cloth diapers work on this trip and feel I'm going to have to go with disposables.

Do you have any ideas of how I can make it work? Also, make sure you check out the other posts from the Carnival by clicking on the Carnival image above or by clicking here.

Thank You, Danke, Merci, Gracias

Mesina over at And then there was me.... graciously has given me my very first blog award! Please make sure you check her out, she is a fabulous writer. She speaks from the heart about her struggles and family life. I'd be willing to bet you will identify with something she has to say!

So here it is:For receiving this award I must pass it on to 15 (my goodness!) other bloggers that I have recently discovered. I honestly haven't been blog hopping much lately (I'm working on starting my own business, more to come on that later) so I am a little short of the 15.

And the Blog Award goes to....
  1. Canadian Natural Mama Product Reviews - She reviews products for Mom & Baby (and does giveaways too!
  2. Dirty Diaper Laundry - This is a woman who knows a thing or two about cloth diapers. She also posts great video reviews of cloth diapers, and started the Cloth Diapering Bloggers community I joined.
  3. The Eco Chic - Loves the earth and shares the ways she keeps it green (also hosts giveaways!)
  4. Green Babies Blog - I love this blog, and it seems we do very similar things. She recently started making her own wool soakers and fitted diapers. I bet if I met her in person we would get along fabulously.
  5. Happily Domestic - This woman seems to do it all. She's a mom of 3 with another on the way, home schools, and saves her family money!
  6. Mommy Nani Booboo - Her blog is new but cute. She even recently was the BlogHer of the week!
  7. Mud Pies for Mommy - This is a fellow Texan and Mom of boys. She shares some of the wonderful experiences that come along with being the boy to boys. Check out her Things Kids Say Thursdays.
  8. Quirky Momma - She has fabulous ideas for teaching kids and projects with art and nature.
  9. Take Your Own Pulse - Sometimes funny, sometimes serious blog about the medical community written by a resident.
  10. The House and I - Funny blog about life in a falling down house.
  11. The Inquisitive Mom - SAHM who started her blog to be a part of the wonderful cloth diapering community that I have also become a part of.

Enjoy reading these great blogs!