Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2019

non toxic lunch boxes and stainless steel water bottles

Just this week, a member of our Creative Green Living Community Group sent me a personal message asking about healthy lunchbox supplies that don't have sketchy chemicals like lead, phthalates, PVC, etc. 
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

best healthy natural sunscreen guide

You would probably have to be living under a rock to not know that sunscreen has come under fire recently. 

Sketchy ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate have been demonstrated to cause harms to coral reefs and in some areas like Hawaii and Turks and Caicos have banned sunscreens that use those ingredients.

A study published in early 2019 showed that common sunscreen chemicals are absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream in amounts many times higher than FDA standards (read Consumer Reports' write up about it here)
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Saturday, April 13, 2019

what you need to travel to beaches turks and caicos

Are you planning a trip to beautiful Turks and Caicos? Maybe your whole family is planning a trip to Beaches, the all-inclusive luxury resort for families. 

If you have, I have eight secret trip tips that you won't know until I tell you! 

Unless you have been to Turks and Caicos with your family before, you likely won't know these travel hacks but being in the know will help you save money and have a smoother, more comfortable trip!
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Friday, April 12, 2019

How to grow wheat berry grass to have living easter basket grass

We started a tradition of growing our own Easter basket grass from wheat berries about six years ago. I hate plastic Easter grass and needed an eco-friendly alternative. We had been using shredded green paper but this real Easter grass (AKA wheatgrass) is super easy to grow in about seven days. The best part? When you are done with Easter, the wheatgrass is edible! 

To eat the wheatgrass, blend it into smoothie, run it through your juicer or feed it to your pet rabbit or chickens! Growing wheatgrass is really easy and makes your Easter baskets look extra fancy. Plus there's no waste, so it's an eco-friendly win all around!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Goodbye, elf! How to get rid of your elf on the shelf and break free! Mom hacks for an elf free Christmas brought to you by Creative Green Living

Do you totally regret getting your kids an Elf on the Shelf

Are you trying to figure out how to stop doing Elf on the Shelf shennanigans and send your elf packing? 

Need to reclaim your time? 

This is the post for you!

If you've been asking yourself when will this elf on a shelf leave??? pretty much as soon as you've gotten him or her out for the year, you may be experiencing Elf Regret.

It's a real thing.

Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. You heard of elf on a shelf. Maybe the kids' friends have one. You think why not.

You adopt the elf. Take it home. Name it. 

Everything is fine and dandy until you realize that now your elf needs to do things.

Which of course means you need to figure out what to make the elf do.

The next thing you know, you find yourself constructing elaborate scenes for your elf.
(which of course, now you also have to clean up)

You're up late in bed Googling 101 elf on the shelf ideas.

You get tired of messy elf mischief and move on to trying to find easy and quick elf on the shelf ideas.

But then you hit the point where you are totally over it and just start wondering when is this elf-ing elf going to leave???

Don't worry. I've got your back.

Mamas have to stick together.
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

This post is brought to you by FreeYumm.
How to build a survival kit for all your kids summer activities - with FreeYumm

Whether you have been looking forward to it or dreading it: summer vacation is here! Between organized summer activities for kids and play dates at the park, things can get a little chaotic running from place to place. 
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Saturday, June 9, 2018

How to keep kids entertained during summer without resorting to using screen time.

School is out and you're not sure what to do with your kids. Or your kids are crying "I'm bored!" It's easy to get trapped in routines and when the same routine kids activities aren't interesting anymore, what can you do? My ultimate guide to screen free summer kids activities to the rescue!

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Friday, June 1, 2018

How to make a DIY doctor play set for kids

So your kid wants a doctor play set. Whether its for Christmas or their birthday, who wouldn't love their own kids doctor kit with real working tools? 

I made this toy doctor kit for my son for Christmas six years ago now and we somehow miraculously still have most of the pieces. That's one of the great things about making your own doctor play set -- real stuff is durable and will be able to last long enough to be handed down.
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Monday, March 5, 2018

How to make healthy easter snacks featuring annie's cheddar bunnies
If you are looking for healthy Easter basket ideas, you have come to the right place! 

When my oldest was just a toddler, we realized that finding healthy Easter treats was hard. There was so much candy and artificial food dye everywhere at Easter time! Luckily, making these healthy Easter treats is super easy and my kids love them! Even my second grade boy still loves eating these cheddar bunny crackers - so this healthy Easter basket idea is perfect for toddlers and big kids alike!
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Sunday, January 28, 2018

How to make a DIY Fidget Spinner with lego

In my opinion, the best way to make a DIY fidget spinner is with LEGOs. LEGOs are identical in size and shape, so a DIY fidget spinner made from LEGO will spin better and faster than one made from handcut cardboard for example. 

Using LEGOs to make fidget spinners is perfect if your kids are already LEGO fiends and have a good size stash of different sized bricks. Learning how to make a fidget spinner is a fun way to spend an afternoon because once you learn how to make a LEGO fidget spinner from me, you and your kids will want to experiment with all kinds of other ways to make DIY fidget spinners from LEGOs or other things you find around the house.

If you have been wanting to get away from lead in fidget spinners by learning how to make a fidget spinner yourself, you are in the right place! With so much concern about lead in fidget spinners, I love being able to make LEGO fidget spinners because new LEGOs consistently test lead free. As long as your kids are old enough not to swallow them, they are an AWESOME way to make your own DIY fidget spinner from safe materials. And if you get tired of your LEGO fidget spinner, you can just make a new one! Or take it apart and use the LEGOs for a new project. 

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Today I am thrilled to declare victory on behalf of parents everywhere who want to trust that when they go to Target to buy toys for their kids that they will be getting SAFE and LEAD FREE products!

Tamara Rubin of Lead Safe Mama and I have been covering the safety of lead in fidget spinners for five months now. Wednesday morning we were thrilled that CBS This Morning ran a report about the recent study conducted by the US Public Interest Research Group that was triggered by our research. Based on our previous study of more than 80 fidget spinners, it was no surprise that they found high levels of lead in two different fidget spinners sold at Target.

USPIRG sent a letter to Target with the results of their tests and Target responded that they would not pull the fidget spinners containing high levels of lead off their shelves. They said that since the spinners in question were labeled for use by children 14 and over that they did not meet the legal definition of "toy" and were therefore NOT subject to Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations requiring toys contain less than 90 PPM lead.

After CBS and local Fox News stations ran the story nationwide, Target relented and removed the highly leaded spinners from their website and said they would remove them from store shelves. VICTORY!

What did we learn?

In the two press interviews I gave this week as well as the Facebook Live video we made after our interview with Fox News, I said that the thing that has affected change the fastest regarding toxins in consumer goods over the last decade is angry moms. When moms get educated about toxins in consumer goods, educate their friends about toxins in consumer goods and then reach out to companies and demand safer products, change happens.

This is exactly what happened with Target this week. Target wasn't going to change anything because 
legally they didn't have to. Cue the moms:





After two full days of pressure, Target finally decided to do the right thing and pull the fidget spinners off the website and off store shelves.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

girl leaf photo
Fall is exploding with color and is just waiting for you to get outside to enjoy it. The kids may be back to school but that doesn’t mean your outdoor fun has to stop. Create a fall bucket list with all the places and activities you’d like to see or do this season. Making a list will help you make time to see all that fall has to offer; the food, fall color, and family fun. To help you get started, I’ve assembled a list of 10 outdoor activities that are absolute "must-do's" with your kids. These are the outdoor activities are fall traditions in our house that we look forward to every year. Take a look and you’ll see just how fun getting outdoors this fall will be.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Have you seen the headlines floating around that there is lead in fidget spinners and that they could kill your child and that you should throw them away now!!!! (so much drama!) If you are wondering if that's true, you have come to the right place! As of this date, the Lead Safe Mama, Tamara Rubin and I have done the most comprehensive testing of fidget spinners that we are aware of and have an updated set of data to share!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cloth diapering may have fallen out of style for awhile, but it's the historical norm and it's back with a vengeance! For good reason, too: cloth diapers are economical, eco-friendly, and just plain cute. There are so many crazy terms and techniques involved with cloth diapering, however, so if you're just getting started - here's what you need to know.
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Does it seem like every child (and half of the adults) in America has a fidget spinner? Fidgets are a tool used by educators to help kids who need to wiggle or move in order to keep their body moving so their brains can be open to learning. Now that nearly everyone has one or more of these spinning toys, some schools are starting to ban them as they become a distraction.

But what about safety? Two weeks ago I read a harrowing story on facebook about a kid who got part of the bearing from his fidget spinner stuck on his finger and after hours and hours at the hospital, he had to be put completely under to get it removed (finally!).

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The kids are home for the summer and there is a whole world of possibilities to explore. If you aren’t quite sure what to do with the kids over the next few months, we have a few ideas that will help. I have put together a list of fun things to do outside with your kids this summer. 

Our family loves to get outside as much as we can for some much needed vitamin N(ature). From playing in the backyard to a classic road trip, we are always looking for new ways to explore together and create memories that “things” just can’t provide. 

The best part about this list is that most of them are free or nearly free. So that means you can have fun outdoors more often. Take a look and start planning for more outdoor fun this summer. 
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Friday, December 16, 2016


One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to make ornaments with our kids throughout the month of December. I love having new ornaments made by little hands every year.

Kid-made ornaments are like mini time capsules that bring you back to a snapshot in time. I never understood why my mom kept using the "ugly", ratty ornaments we made as small children even into my teens - until I became a mom. I love those little sloppily painted, crooked, wonky ornaments so so so much. This year, we did personalized wood ornaments with the kids. These are easy enough that any baby big enough to scribble with crayons can make them but big kids will still have fun, too.

Make a few for your tree but don't forget the grandparents - they will love these sweet little scribbly ornaments, as well!
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Monday, November 14, 2016


I made this sign for a friend's daughter after she saw and loved the "Be Creative" sign I made for my office last year. The quote from Cinderella's mom and the words on this sign: Be Kind were what started echoing through my mind following the chaos that came with the results of the 2016 presidential election. These are good words to remember for everyone all year but they seem extra appropriate now.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Do you ever feel like your kids could use more outdoor time? It's easy to get stuck in a routine where indoor play becomes your norm. I had already been thinking I wanted to arrange a playground playdate with some of our friends and their kids to help get everyone outdoors when CLIF Kid emailed me. They want to encourage boys and girls to get more outside time. I love their products and I love this message so of course I said I would partner with them to bring you this post!


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Saturday, August 6, 2016



Do  your kids love Dragonvale? 

One of my son's favorite games of all time to play on the iPad is Dragonvale. Dragonvale is a kid-friendly game (that adults love, too!) where you get an island full of dragons and you send different dragon combinations to a breeding cave to make new types of dragons. Then you feed and take care of your dragons to help them grow. Your dragons also compete in races, quests and other fun games. Overall it's a blast and I might even love playing it as much as he does.
(want to play? Download Dragonvale for Android here or iPhone here)

All that to say: When it was time to pick a theme for his sixth birthday party, K wanted a Dragonvale themed party (check out our previous party themes here). As much as I love meticulously crafted, "Pinterest perfect" parties I must be getting old because I just don't have the time and patience to spend 40 hours making crafts for parties any more. 

Luckily I found some dragon party supplies at Party City that were perfect and together with some other simple supplies put together this super fun party. In fact, I think it was my least time intensive but ALSO most fun party to date! #winning

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

This post may contain affiliate links.

I know I'm not the only parent (or aunt!) out there who wants to do more than give a thing to their kids. I'm a firm believer than the best gifts either teach you something or encourage you to use your imagination. Here are 10 awesome gift ideas that will encourage imaginative play in boys and girls alike!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015



Traveling on an airplane with babies or small kids can be an adventure for sure. I grew up as a frequent child traveler. As a mom, I have traveled on an airplane several times with my own kids. Here are my top tips for keeping your trip low stress and helping you, your kids and your luggage arrive with all of your hair in tact.

10 Best Tips for Traveling with Kids
(from a mom whose been there!)



Use your stroller


Even if your kid normally walks everywhere. Even if you are a babywearing ninja. If they fit in your stroller, bring it.

In addition to containing your child (and saving your back), your stroller can be a convenient place to keep all of your things all together. Keep your diaper bag, kiddo, coats and any other carry ons conveniently sequestered on their own little portable island. We personally have a Bumbleride Indie 4 - and it's perfect for both every day use and traveling. (you can read my full Indie 4 review here)

Have a connecting flight? Your stroller is invaluable for toting everything quickly from point A to point B. You'll be able to load up your kids and your things and book it to your next flight faster than little legs would be able to travel on their own.


Protect your investment: Get a stroller bag


Now that your trusty stroller has gotten you to your gate, you'll need to fold it up to get it on the plane. Nothing will put visible wear on your stroller like baggage handlers. 

Buy a bag to protect your investment -especially if you have a nice stroller.

A huge duffel bag or plain stroller bag is better than nothing but even better is a padded stroller bag. We have the Bumbleride Travel Bag and I LOVE it. It protects my stroller really nicely and rolls up to easily carry through the airport as well. I love that it gets my stroller from point A to point B in great condition. Check out my video above for a demo of the travel bag we have.


Use a stroller compatible diaper bag


When we fly, we carry on one bag just for the baby, one bag for our older child (a backpack that he wears) and one bag that my husband and I share. To help make transporting the baby bag easier, we got a Skip Hop Dash Messenger Diaper Bag. It has special clips that attach it to your stroller - and then it unclips easily if I want to carry it like a messenger bag. This particular bag has a lot of big pockets both inside and outside - perfect for holding cell phones, water bottles, baby food and more.


Keep important items on you


Between checking in with your airline, getting through security and getting on the plane, you'll keep needing your driver's license (or other government issued ID) and your boarding passes. You'll also want easy access to money or credit cards. Digging in your bag for your wallet is a pain and fanny packs are so 1989. Be sure to keep these items stashed in your pockets or in a FlipBelt for easy access. Using the FlipBelt also gives me more wardrobe versatility because I won't have to wear pants with pockets in order to keep important items close at hand. On our recent trip, I had my phone, my ID, credit card, cash and my son's medicine in my FlipBelt to pull out as needed.



Stay hydrated


Between lots of walking and the dry air circulating on the aircraft, it's easy to get dehydrated. Bring your own stainless steel water bottle and keep it filled to encourage drinking. Because of the liquid prohibitions, you'll need to bring it through the TSA check point empty but you can fill it up once you get to the other side. My favorite water bottle for grown ups is the Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated Water Bottle and for kids we love the Crocodile Creek stainless steel water bottles.


Snacks, snacks, snacks

Nothing is worse than a cranky kid on a plane. Being hungry (along with the other stresses of traveling) brings out the worst in everyone - especially kids. Pack a personalized lunch box (We love LunchBots) for each member of your party with an assortment of healthy snacks. Some of our travel favorites are apples, plantain chips, string cheese, sandwiches, bananas, trail mix and dried fruit.

If you are traveling with a baby, you are also allowed to bring pumped breastmilk, formula or baby food in excess of the normal amount of liquid permitted. Just be sure to pack all your baby liquid/gel/soft food needs in one bag and declare them at the TSA checkpoint. For my baby, I'm a fan of Happy Family Squeeze Pouches for his snacks.



Have a plan to pop ears


While most adults can pop their ears on command, kids usually need a bit of help. If you're still nursing, nursing for take off and landing will help your baby pop their ears. I like to wear my NuRoo Nursing Scarf when I fly as it makes an easy modesty shield for me without creating a huge tent over the baby (check out the helpful video above if you're unsure how to use it without flashing!).

For older kids or babies who are no longer nursing, a sippy cup with a straw (The Safe Sippy is my favorite) is a good option. Big kids can also suck on hard candy to help their ears pop.


Plan activities

Figure out ahead of time how you and your kids will pass the time on your flight. We usually bring a mix of digital and analog activities: games and movies downloaded onto our tablet, coloring books, crayons, blank paper and some small (quiet) age appropriate toys. Airplanes can be rather loud, so be sure to bring a set of headphones for watching movies or hearing any of the sounds coming out of your your device.


Pack extras -of everything


The only way to outsmart Murphy is to plan for his arrival. Bring extra diapers, clothes, a shirt for mom, cash, etc. If an accident happens or you get delayed, you'll be glad you did.

(want cute disposable diapers like I have? I get them from Honest Company - these are my favorite disposable dipes. Not only are they planet and baby friendlier than traditional disposables, but they are darn cute! You can even try them for free!)


Avoid getting sick by keeping clean


I am not a germaphobe. I do, however, want to do everything possible to avoid having my kids be sick while we are on vacation. While washing your hands with soap and water is always preferable to using sanitizer, we also make liberal use of sanitizing spray to clean both our hands as well as the trays and handles of the seats in our areas. When choosing a sanitizer, look for one that does not use the toxic ingredient, Triclosan. My favorite hand sanitizer spray is Everyone Coconut and Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray - not only does it use safe ingredients but it smells like lemon meringue pie!


I hope these tips help keep you safe and sane as you are traveling with your little ones! Have another great tip for traveling with kiddos? Leave it in the comments!


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

This post is brought to you by Hyland's 4 Kids.
Tracking Pixel

Being a kid is hard. Kids play hard and sometimes that means a lot of bumps and bruises. From my youngest learning how to walk (and falling down - a lot) and my five year old trying to be a superhero / ninja / knight, we deal with a lot of bumped, bruised and bonked heads, knees and elbows in Casa Green Living.


Bumps 'n Bruises

Hylands (a company whose products I already love!) asked me to check out their new Bumps 'n Bruises with Arnica Ointment stick. And since we do a lot of bumping and bruising (per above) I said "sure!"

I was sent a box with all three tube designs. The tubes are made of post-consumer recycled cardboard - which I love. Plus they are super cute and kid friendly! 

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Carissa's Creativity Space (creativecarissa.com) became Creative Green Living in February 2013. As such the watermarks on older posts may reflect the previous site name.

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