29
Apr

The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle

by Tiffany in Tidbits

homemaking bundle

There are TONS of these ebook bundles being sold all over the blogosphere. I have been pretty selective about which ones I promote here otherwise I would literally be promoting something every other day it seems. I guess this is a good thing though because it means ebooks are being widely supported and it is such a green and minimalist format. I know I am hooked! You can read them on your computer, on your smart phone, and on tablets anywhere, anytime. For book junkies like me it is just too good to be true. :)

Anyway… this week I wanted to highlight The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle. You get an incredible ebook library of homemaking books for a super low price. 97 books for just 29.97!! If you bought everything on it’s own then you would be paying over $600 so it is an amazing value. I also love the topics…mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, home décor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools. There are some topics that don’t appeal to me, like the spiritual/religious stuff but for that price you can afford to disregard the ones not applicable to you.

To sweeten the pot, the sellers have also teamed up with 10 companies to bring you over $140 in bonus offers, giving you an affordable opportunity to get products you’ll use and love for only the cost of shipping, or in some cases, entirely for free!

DEAL NOW CLOSED!

25
Apr

Healthy Home Makeover $500 Giveaway

by Tiffany in A Green Home

healthy home makeover
 

I always like to say that to go green or to make your house a healthier place to be you don’t need to break the bank. You do usually do need to spend a little though to makeover your home. Mainstream products are made as cheaply as possible and with little regard to the safety of the consumer. Products that are made to last and that are safer usually have a higher price tag attached. That quality costs a bit more unfortunately but it is well worth our time to consider. We can of course get by where we can using old tees for rags and dishcloths or using bar soap and baking soda to make homemade laundry detergent. That frees up some money to invest in some quality home products that are safe and green.

It is a constant, gradual process too. When I started searching for greener and safer alternatives I didn’t throw all my old stuff away and replace them with better alternatives. I started with one thing at a time and took it step by step. I got rid of all Teflon coated pans and bought up stainless steel and cast iron ones. Out went the dryer sheets and in came the wool dryer balls. I replaced my plastic food storage tubs with glass ones I picked piece by piece at yard sales. I still make changes here and there. I don’t have a perfectly safe and green home, I just do what I can and make changes where I can.

I was inspired by the Healthy Home Makeover Contest being offered by Mighty Nest to make a Healthy Home Makeover board on Pinterest and highlight some of the products I think are important to a home makeover. Some I would like to have myself and some I already have but all are good places to start when you want to make some changes.

If you want a chance to win a home makeover from Mighty Nest worth $500 enter below. Good luck!

MightyNest_Logo

Disclosure: I was compensated by Mighty Nest for participating in this blog campaign.

25
Apr

3 Steps for a Home Sweet-Smelling Home

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Looking for quick and easy ways to freshen up the home? Of course you are. There is nothing that helps lighten the mood more for me than smell. I love fresh clean flowery scents in spring, coconutty fruity smells in summer, the smell of spices and apples in Fall, and various scents in winter such as pine and sugar cookies. When the house smells good I am more than likely to want to tackle my to-do list and stay productive throughout the day. With that in mind I often try to consciously make sure my house smells good. Other times I am working in emergency mode because the garbage sat just a bit too long in the kitchen or the laundry basket in the bathroom is emitting a musty smell. Either way here are some ways to make your home sweet home just a bit sweeter…

Step 1: Get Rid of the Stinky Stuff

You have to remove the source of any unsavory smells before you can bring on the fresh. Don’t try to mask odors, get rid of them. This often means doing a bit of cleaning…

  • Use vinegar, Castile soap, baking soda, and citrus oils (lemon, sweet orange, lime) to thoroughly clean surfaces, sinks, tubs, garbage cans, and any other areas where smelly stuff lurks
  • Launder bedspreads and pillows
  • Clean your carpets, upholstery, rugs, and drapes – Try this Natural Carpet Cleaner Recipe
  • Pour boiling water down drains and crush up some lemon peels in the garbage disposal
  • Clean up any pet areas thoroughly
  • Clean underneath couches, recliners, and other big pieces of furniture

Step 2: Improve Air Circulation & Ventilation

  • Open doors and windows whenever you can, even if it is for 5-10 minute increments
  • Change your furnace/AC filter
  • Bring live plants indoors
  • Run an air purifier

Step 3: Bring on The Sweet Smells

  • Bake/Cook – Put some beef stew on the crockpot or bake some Banana Zucchini Bread
  • Put cut flowers and herbs in vases
  • Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to two cups of baking soda, sprinkle on the floor, leave for 5- 10 minutes and vacuum up
  • Burn a beeswax or soy candle with a natural cotton wick – I am loving Caldrea candles at the moment
  • Wash laundry and sheets with essential oils (tea tree, peppermint) and then hang outside to dry
  • Simmer sweet stuff in a pot… try things like cloves, cinnamon, apple peels, orange rinds, dried lavender, bay leaves, etc.

Lastly take a deep breath and enjoy…

23
Apr

10 Tips For a Safe and Minimalist Nursery

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

10 Tips For a Safe and Minimalist Nursery

If you have a baby on the way or your little bundle is already here then no doubt you want to ensure you have a green friendly and non-toxic nursery—read on! In these days of eco consciousness, for us to keep our children’s world as safe as we can, we need to start in our home and what better place than your baby’s first environment (after the womb of course)? Perhaps you don’t have a separate nursery because you co-sleep. That great! We just need to make sure all of baby’s hangouts are safe as possible. Experts abound to tell you all about making sure you have outlet covers and no stuffed animals in the crib. Few tell you about the potential toxins that could be lurking in the paint you used on the walls or the new mattress you bought for their crib or bassinet. Even fewer will tell you that you don’t need a fraction of the baby stuff being marketed to new moms.

This is serious business but it is actually getting very easy to outfit a nursery or sleep/play space with safe and green materials. When you also acknowledge that babies actually NEED very little by way of stuff then your job is even easier. You don’t have to go broke buying all the stuff in a baby catalog. Be honest…that stuff is more for you than for baby. They don’t care if their nursery is the perfect color combination of celery and aquamarine. All they care about is the touch, smell, and sound of their mom and dad. They are probably never going to care about how cute you decorated that nursery so your energy AND money is better spent elsewhere. Here are…

10 Tips For a Safe and Minimalist Nursery

1. If you are painting for baby use zero VOC paints or natural paints such as milk paints. Your color options may be slightly reduced but wall color is not as important as the potential for you and your baby to be breathing in noxious chemicals.

2. Avoid new carpeting. Carpet harbors all sorts of nasties like, mold, mildew, dust, dirt, and allergens. If at all possible go with hard wood flooring and wool rugs.

3. Use natural baby care products and avoid the conventional top sellers. You actually don’t need all the baby powder, baby oil, and lotion that the magazines and TV ads tell you that you do. If you must purchase some of these items stick with natural brands such as Earth Mama Angel Baby but in all honesty you can usually eschew most of these products.

4. Choose to use cloth diapers. They really aren’t that much more work (just a few loads of laundry) and they are way cuter than throwaway diapers. They are better for your baby’s skin/health and they are the planet friendly option as well.

Cloth diapers

5. Select an organic and/or natural mattress wherever your baby will be sleeping. Conventional mattresses are doused with nasty chemicals and flame retardants. Baby mattresses are often covered in plastic which tends to off-gas for a long time. Organic cotton or wool mattresses for cribs and bassinets are available.

6. Spring for organic sheets too. Your little one will be in close contact with all the chemical nasties in conventional options, as will you, for many hours each night. In the beginning they also spend a great deal of time napping. Their sleep environment should be as safe as possible.

7. Everyone’s clothing should be washed in safe, natural detergents but especially that of babies. Soap nuts are a good option…they are fruit with natural soap in them and they can be used repeatedly in the wash to clean clothing naturally.

8. Buy essentials ONLY. Wear your baby and you don’t need a pack-n-play. Change your baby on the bed and you don’t need a changing table. Grab a reusable tote when you leave the house (the kind you use for groceries) and you don’t need a diaper bag. Ask yourself how much you REALLY need for your new baby. The answer is…not much.

9. Use an air purifier in the baby’s room to clean the indoor air and remove allergens and other air born contaminants that are lurking there. Living plants are another great choice.

10. Buy a baby sling or wrap. Bouncy seats, baby walkers, strollers…you don’t really need them. Just get a nice quality, organic baby wrap and you and your partner can wear your baby. Both of you will relish the close contact.

When tackling the nursery and getting ready for your new baby just remember that the more “stuff” you buy or bring into the house the more you have to worry about potentially as far as chemical nasties and pollutants are concerned. It is best to go minimal and be on the safe side and to be more conscious about the few things that you do buy. The best part is that you can afford to be choosier because you aren’t throwing money after useless stuff that baby doesn’t need. Everyone wins.

What conventional and popular baby items have YOU found to be a waste of time and money?

10 Tips For a Safe and Minimalist Nursery

19
Apr

Fairy Garden Tutorial with The Magic Onions

by Guest in Gardening

Fairy Garden TutorialHi, I’m Donni from The Magic Onions blog and I’m delighted to be sharing our Fairy Gardens with you. I have two children, Teddy who is 6 and Kitty who is 9. Both are avid Fairy Gardeners and it has become our family tradition to plant a Fairy Garden each Spring.

Our Fairy Gardens have been wonderful for my children in so many ways. They delight in the creativity and imagination that goes into planting their fairy gardens. They spend hours playing in them through the Spring and Summer months and into the Autumn too. They are out in the warm sun and breathing in the fresh air. They are working with soil and moss and stones. They are learning about gardening and noticing how the plants in their gardens change over time. They are taking on responsibility as they water and weed their magical spaces. They are learning so much, though if you asked them, they would say they were only ‘playing’.

This year, Teddy wanted to make his own ‘little’ Fairy Garden. We set off to The Goodwill in search of the perfect container. He soon spotted a little basket and we bought it for 99c.

 

This is how Teddy made his Fairy Garden:

Step 1 : Preparing the Container

Just about any container will do for your Fairy Garden. As moss loves to be watered often, it’s important that the container has holes in the bottom so that it will drain well. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, you can make them by using a battery drill or a hammer and a nail. Teddy had fun using my drill to make holes in the bottom of his basket.

 

Step 2 : Soil

He filled his container with good potting soil, leaving the soil an inch or two from the top of the basket.

 

Step 2 : Plants

Many garden shops sell moss in large 1 foot flats. Teddy chose a sweet mini pansy to add to his garden too. We measured the diameter of the basket and used a sharp knife to cut just the right amount of moss to insert into the container. We cut a small hole in the moss for the pansy and planted it too.

 

Step 3 : Accessories

There are many online Fairy Garden Shops that sell the cutest Fairy Garden furniture. Teddy has a tiny metal chair and he added a sweet cocktail umbrella to give his fairies some shade.

 

Voila… you have the cutest little garden that is sure to attract the fairies in your neighborhood.

I hope Teddy and I have inspired you to make your own Fairy Garden. If we have, I hope you join us on my blog, The Magic Onions to add your sweet creation into our annual Fairy Garden Contest.

Here are some of the Fairy Gardens we have made over the years…

Blessings and magic,

Donni

I am mom of two sunbursts of joy, wife, crafter, knitter, gardener, photographer and traveler. Come and join us on our Waldorf inspired blog, The Magic Onions, where the wonder of childhood and the magic of nature collide to make each moment a precious gift.