Earn FREE HAIR COUTURE by hosting a home OR virtual Adam's Blankie party! Email adamsblankie@gmail.com for details!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Healthy & Natural Food Choices for you Kids

From an article out of Redbook, I came across some information on making sure your kids are getting nutrition that is not only enjoyable to them but also safe. Research shows the US is adding GMOs (genetically modified organism) to its food supply, and parents are beginning to wonder if these are to blame for the rise in food allergies among their children. Cows are being injected with hormones to produce more milk, and insecticides are being used abundantly on crops to reduce the loss of them pests. But is the risk involved in taking such actions worth the health of our country, and specifically, our kids? That's still up for debate, of course, as is the mere question over whether or not these chemicals are, in fact, causing food allergies and hyperactivity in our youth. I say, better safe than sorry, though....

So how can we make sure we don't have to worry about every bite our kids take, and how can we do so on a budget with minimal time on our hands? I think it starts with getting back to some basics and watching out for a few ingredients. Here is a place to start:

*don't buy foods with artificial coloring, if you can help it. As the lady from the magazine said, she started with buying only the gold-colored goldfish crackers instead of the multi-colored. Then she would switch to the plain ones, and eventually pretzels instead of any goldfish crackers.
*buy products that are rBGH-FREE. You can purchase milk at WalMart, Safeway & Kroger, for example, that is rBGH (an artificial hormone)-free.

5 quick and healthy lunches both you AND your kids will love (courtesy of Redbook):
*bread with tomato sauce for dipping, an rBGH-free cheese stick or string cheese, & applesauce
*fresh bread, salami, carrots and left0ver dinner noodles with olive oil and/or grated cheese
*peanut butter & jelly on bread, color-free potato chips & a smoothie
*an English muffin with tomato sauce, rBGH-free cheese, deli meat, veggies or whatever they'll go for (i.e., whatever you can get away with!). finish the top off with the other half of the English muffin, and add a side of fruit.
*rice & beans with salsa or guacamole mixed in, alongside some fruit

And here are some quick, healthy snacks I've found we both love, as well:
*celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins on top (also called "ants on a log"), and kids love to make this snack, as well!
*frozen bananas or grapes (if you have some grapes about to spoil, freeze them - they're wonderful little refreshing pops of sunshine in your mouth - great for adults, too!)
*apples wedges with peanut or almond butter
*apple sauce (unsweetened) with granola & cinnamon sprinkled on top
*smoothies...what kid doesn't love these? take this opportunity to sneak in some items they usually fuss over (celery, carrots, nuts (almonds, walnuts), or even spinach, for example! as long as you mix it with enough sweet fruits, they won't realize what they're eating!)

The bottom line
Remember, whatever comes up out of the ground or off a tree is always a better choice than what's been processed. Mother Nature knows best, afterall. If you have the time, discover what grows in your region, and consider growing your own garden. You'll enjoy the experience and know what you're getting is one-hundred percent fresh without any chemicals! Kids love gardens, too, so it'd be a great learning lesson and bonding time for you. Talk to the gardener at your local nursery if you don't know what fruits, veggies & herbs you can grow around your parts. But if you dont' have time on your side, consider going organic if the budget allows. You don't have to do everything organic, but some items matter more than others. Another option to consider is joing a fruit or vegetable co-op group, where people pool resources to buy bulk produce to split up among themselves at a reduced cost. Bountiful Baskets is an option in Arizona; to check for organizations around you, search the web for "fruit and vegetable co-op" followed by your state and/or city.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Natural Cleaners Part III: Cooking Oils

We're continuing to bring to you natural cleaners for your house - a good way to not only save some money, but also to provide a safer environment in which your children can play!

All households out there have cooking oils around, I'm sure of it, and now here's a great way to put them to use - especially if they've gone rancid and are no longer flavorful to cook with - what a great alternative to use them up instead of throwing them out!

suggested cleaning uses for cooking oils (courtesy of Real Simple):
*cast-iron pans - make a scrubbing paste with vegetable oil and a teaspoon of coarse salt to fight cooked-on foods; then rinse in hot water
*hands - after a hard day's work of painting, rub your hands with vegetable oil, then wash with soap
*leather shoes - first wipe away dirt from shoes with a damp sponge, and then apply a drop of vegetable oil to a soft cloth and rub the shoe's surface to remove scuff marks. Buff with chamois.
*wicker and rattan furniture - to prevent these from drying or cracking, lightly brush them with vegetable or sunflower oil and rub in with a cloth. warm the oil on the stove prior so that it is a thin enough solution and easier to apply
- for some shine, pour olive oil onto a cloth and buff
*wood furniture - make your own polish by mixing 2 cups olive or vegetable oil with the juice of 1 lemon. work it into the furniture with a soft cloth. To smooth out scratches in light-colored wood, rub with a solution of equal parts olive or vegetable oil and lemon juice.

Stay tuned for next Thursday as our Natural Cleaners series continues with Borax.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Haute Tot Couture premieres Children's Couture Clothing Line on Monday, June 1st!!

Be the first to check it out! Haute Tot Couture launches its World Premiere line of children's couture clothing on Monday, June 1, 2009!

From Lounge Pants & Bermuda Shorts to summery Halters & Tu-tus, this is the place to shop for one-of-a-kind, boutique quality fashions in all the trendiest styles and natural fabrics around!

All items are hand-crafted by the mother-daughter duo who hail from Arizona, and they use designer cotton fabrics from labels like Michael Miller and Amy Butler - you know you can't go wrong with them!

As a celebration of its launch, they are offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100, and for orders over $200, they are throwing in an ADDITIONAL coupon for 20% off any one regular-priced item from their shop to be used in July, 2009! (Free shipping & coupon offers are valid for purchases made between June 1st - June 15th, 2009).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Purchases that Make a Difference

Here are some fantastic finds for the summer ~ they not only bring you joy and pleasure, but also give back to the community ~ what better way to enjoy the summer days??

Need to get out of the heat and find some good entertainment for the kids this summer? Visit your local AMC theater, which will be showing some favorite G- and PG-rated movies for parents to come watch with their kiddos. The movies will aire Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., from June 17th - August 5th. The great news? Tickets cost just $1. The even better news? All proceeds go to the Children's Charity and the Will Rogers Institute.

Got a baby shower coming up and need a modern, fun, & sophisticated gift unlike every other ordinary one? Then you need to check out Adam's Blankie. With every purchase, you can feel good about 5% of proceeds going to www.preventdrowning.org.

Tired of your same-old, same-old and need a new perfume to freshen up a bit? ForeverLily is a new fragrance inspired by the "ForeverLily" book by Beth Nonte Russell about a trip to China and an adoption there. Proceeds from the oriental fragrance help support Golden Phoenix foundation, which helps end child abandonment. Check foreverlily.com for details.

If you're looking for a birthday gift or new toy to keep your little one occupied, consider purchasing Little M.D., the doctor toy kit from Parents. You can buy them from Target for $20, and Parents will take a portion of your purchase and donate it to CARE, an organization that serves the poorest communities of the world by helping with a variety of needs like setting up rural clinics, helping improve schools, & fighting for cleaner water and sanitation.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Best Baby Shower Ideas for 2009

Baby showers are meant to shower the mom-to-be with the best of products around that she'll need to take care of baby when he or she comes along, of course. But along with that, they should be pretty, fun, inspirational and practical. Here are some great ideas to do just that while at the same time setting your shower apart from the rest!

Choosing Your Theme
I love the idea of using a theme for a shower, but picking one should be done wisely. I think it would be fantasticly clever to duplicate the theme of baby's nursery, so that it is not only a true welcoming of baby into his or her own world, but Mom can also take home meaningful & beautiful decorations from the shower to use in baby's nursery, saving her time & money all the wihle! I love this mobile that could hang above the cake table at the party and later be used in baby's room as a mobile over the crib.

Sending Invitations
A baby shower is an important enough event that the invitations should be done via snail mail versus an Evite or email, for example. Make them so beautiful that they are not only placed in baby's memory book but also in his or her room as framed decor. Check out Etsy, where all things are handmade, for some awesome possibilities and custom options like this giraffe invitation!

Selecting a Centerpiece
Going along with my theory of beautiful and fun yet practical, I love the idea of having a diaper cake as the centerpiece for the table. It sets the tone in a gorgeous manner, yet leaves no one wondering why they're at this gathering and what's in store for mama-t0-be, while supplying her with the mother-of-all-essentials: diapers! Just buy a pack of diapers, begin rolling them up, making the bottom layer biggest (most diapers) and the top layer the smallest (fewest diapers). When you've gotten the right size of each "cake layer," just tie together with some beautiful ribbons and set atop one another. You can either tie the ribbons in a bow, or fasten together with diaper pins...of course. :) Top with some fresh flowers for extra beauty and soft aroma.

Playing Games
I love the idea of having a game to break the ice at a shower, but make sure not to bombard your guests with too many of these. "Baby Shower Bingo" is a great one to keep the guests entertained while Mom opens the mounds of gifts at her feet, but including a game that is fun & memorable for Mom is a must in my humble opinion. I am particularly fond of the "Baby Statistics" game. Guests play by simply guessing what the statistics of the baby will be (for example, length, weight, eye color, date of birth, time of birth, etcetera). The winner will be determined after baby is born, of course, at which time the hostess can present him or her with a gift. If you just can't handle not having lots of games to play, visit this site for more game ideas!

Baking Cakes & Cookies
What baby shower is successful without a cake? Well, while I would not consider one necessarily unsuccessful without one, I certainly think it makes the shower that much sweeter! Martha Stewart shares this recipe for some delicious cookies for the next baby shower you throw. Hers are shaped for an alphabet-themed party, but of course, you can use this same recipe to make whatever shape of cookie you'll need for your specific theme. If you dare make the cake yourself, she also has a fantastic idea for making alphabet cake blocks. (My mom actually made me some very similar ones for my first birthday, which I then tried to duplicate with my son's first birthday. Let's just say I wasn't nearly as successful as my Mom! But it's the thought that counts, right?)

Showering the Mama-to-Be
Don't forget to pamper Mama at the shower by providing a gift not just for baby but for her, as well. Adam's Blankie carries dried french lavender sachets and eye pillows that can be custom-made in any of their designer cotton fabrics. I also found some fabulous sterling silver necklaces from SilverMePendants that can be customized and hand-stamped with baby's name and birthstone swarovski crystal. Present these along with some other essentials for the hospital delivery (e.g., candles, music mix CD, her favorite book, cozy socks, massage oil, gum, hard candy, etcetera) to Mama in an undeniably adorable Moses basket, and she'll love you forever!

Making Memories
Purchase a photo album for the Mom-to-be and recover the exterior in a fabric that fits the party's theme/baby's nursery (the 2 should align, as expressed earlier!). Start pre-filling it with photos of your friend while pregnant, shopping for the baby, or doing whatever it is she's been doing to get ready for baby. Add some journaling notes for her, and some space for shower guests to fill in with tips and advice for Mom & Dad. Mom can later add photos and her own notes in the rest of the pages once baby arrives.Here are some pictures of baby showers that have some of these elements put together, to give you some inspiration!

Hope you enjoy and put into place some of these ideas! If you do happen to make some of these happen, I'd love hearing about it and seeing your pictures! Email me at adamsblankie@gmail.com. Also, if you missed last week's "Best of Baby Shower Gifts for 2009," be sure to check out Friday's post!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Best Baby Shower Gifts for 2009

When it comes to purchasing a gift for a baby shower, we all want our gifts to be special, unique and undeniably adorable, eliciting the best round of "oooh's" and "aaahh's" from the crowd. But how does one go about digging through the gobs and gobs of choices out there with minimal time on all our hands? Well, I've saved you all the legwork, and have compiled what I consider to be the best baby shower gift ideas for 2009, and they fit any budget, ranging from just $5.50 to $150.00 Here they are, in random order:

Personalized Alphabet Book
Every baby needs a new book, and better than just any old book out there, why not give him or her one that will not only begin to teach the basics and be beautiful to look at, but also personalized with his or her name on the cover. What a true treasure to hold on to forever! The recipient can also choose the exterior color of the book (green, blue or pink), choose the option to add spanish, french or italian to make the book bilingual, AND choose hard or soft cover. You can order the book from www.sweetartsdesign.com.

Owie-All-Gone Bags
I love this idea for taking care of baby's bumps & bruises they undoubtedly will collect when learning to walk and bumping into everything in sight! You can toss the small ones in the freezer and pull them out at the drop of a hat to use to soothe baby's owies, and all without the sting of ice and in sleek, sophisticated fabrics! Check Adam's Blankie to purchase.

Baby Silk Delicate Skin Comfort
This liquid powder goes on like a lotion and then transforms into a silky powder that is designed to keep baby's crevices cool and dry. The powder contains marine silk, vitamins E and B5, aloe, shea butter, corn starch and licorice extract to refresh the delicate skin of baby. It is hypoallergenic, contains no mineral oils, has not been tested on animals, and is made in the USA. Find the powder at www.mdmoms.com.

Monkey Organic Hooded Towel
This hooded towel comes from 3 Sprouts, is organic, and comes in your choice of gray or yellow. Measuring 29"x29" and running you $37.00, the towel is absolutely adorable!

Lovie (Security) Blankies
These are fantastic gifts for baby, as they are constructed with ribbon loops to help keep baby stimulated and soothed at the same time. Babies loves to feel & rub the ribbons between their fingers, not to mention they find the both the sight of the ribbons and the sound of them rubbing together fascinating! They are handcrafted with designer cotton fabric on top and plush minky for cuddling on the back. These are truly a multi-functional blanket that every baby should have, and at 12"x12" square, they're the perfect size for small hands. They come from Adam's Blankie in all styles and colors, and if you don't see what you're looking for on the site, they also welcome custom orders!

Going Green with Baby
Get this book from Amazon for only about $17.00. It's a great guide for all baby products & finds out there. As one Mom puts it, "This book is a great resource! It covers everything an environmentally responsible mom needs to know when making green choices- from how to be green on a budget, to why certain products/ingredients are better than others, to where to find the products you want."

BabySitter Notes
I use something very similar to these babysitter notes all the time whenever we get a babysitter for our son. The topics listed ensure you won't forget anything the babysitter needs to know, including your phone number/s, what's for dinner, what time bedtime is, and what is and is not okay. Sure, we could all print something similar off our computer at home, but these are conveniently made in a notepad style and ready to use at any time, not to mention they look cute. The notepad includes 50 sheets and is only $8.

Rockstar Bib & Burp Set
Among the many chic and modern baby choices for bibbie and burpie sets ($22.50) from Adam's Blankie, this set is a favorite for boys in particular. It is handcrafted, made of 100% designer cotton fabric on top and a plush chenille on the back for extra absorbancy. They also close with a strong pearl snap for both a designer look and longevity of use (they don't use velcro, because velcro wears down over time, not to mention baby can pull a velcro bib off!). So forget the plasticky types that are uncomfortable and totally unnatural, and go for something ultra mod, sophisticated, natural & plush with this choice! Check their website for more options for girls, boys and for those friends not finding out the gender, as well!

Glass Baby Bottle & Siliskin Protectors
With all the concern over unnatural chemicals (BPA) leaking out of plastic bottles and getting into baby's system, I highly advocate considering glass bottles as an alternative. You may be asking yourself, "Yes, that sounds wonderful, but what about them breaking - aren't they impractical??" Well, that's a fantastic question & concern, and my answer to that would be the bottle protectors from Siliskin. While they won't absolutely prevent the bottles from breaking, that is the idea behind them, and if they do happen to break, the protectors will likely contain any glass shards within the "wrapper." They are also dishwasher safe and come in a palette of soothing colors. You can click here for more reviews, or check out Amazon to purchase.
Adiri Natural Nurser Bottle
When we had our son, I never knew these existed (or maybe they did, but I didn't know it!). At any rate, I LOVE the idea of them, as they seem like they would make the transition from nursing to bottle-feeding so much easier. You can find them for about $12.99 from Babies R Us.

Plush Teething Giraffe Rattle
Here is not only an adorable stuffed animal baby can touch & tote around by him or herself, but it is also a natural teether AND rattle ($12.00)! Adam's Blankie carries a variety in many designer fabrics, but this one in particular is special with its black, red and white colors, in that they are the first colors baby's eyes can recognize! Use the rattle as a gift-topper for a package for the baby shower, and later as a decoration in the nursery in addition to its purpose as a rattle & teether!

Lullaby Exercises DVD/CD
Here's a fabulous gift from Chicks-n-Chickens for every Mom who swears they'll be getting into those "pre-baby jeans" in no time! The set includes a 35-minute DVD with high-energy music and a "sleep" mode CD to cool things down and send baby into naptime.

French Dried Lavender Sachets (3)
Lavender is known for soothing people in general, and this does include babies, of course! What a great idea to give to Mom for use in baby's diaper drawer, clothing drawers, closet, diaper bag, wet bag, or laundry! What I especially love (besides the $5.50 price for a set of 3) is that they are one hundred percent natural (versus some room sprays out there laden with chemicals), contain no fillers, and you can choose the fabric in which they are handcrafted! Check Adam's Blankie for choices & purchasing - custom orders are welcome from any of their fabrics on hand! (P.S. I'd also advise getting a set just for Mom to have for herself during those rough first couple months!)

Kiddopotamus Tiny Diner Portable Placemat
We got this for our son, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times we got asked where we got this thing! It's an absolute must for outings with your little one, and makes clean-up a snap, not to mention you don't have to worry about baby getting into all the germs on the table!

Beaba Babycook
I wrote about the Babycook ($150.00) last week, but couldn't resist bringing it back to our "best of" list for shower gifts for 2009 because I think it is such a gem! It saves Mom time, takes the place of a few kitchen gadgets she'd otherwise need to do what it does, and makes healthy food for her baby right in her own kitchen!

Sterling Silver Hand-Stamped Necklace
I purchased one of these from SilverMePendants and absolutely love it! I realize this is, of course, not a gift for baby, but I'm a huge advocate of gifting something just for the Mom-to-be at a shower...any one out there who has given birth knows she absolutely deserves it, after all! Get it custom made with the baby-to-be's name hand-stamped on the pendant, and embellished with a (birthstone) swarovski crystal or sterling silver heart. Mom can enjoy the necklace both before and after baby arrives, keeping her baby close to her heart!

Any of the aforementioned gifts would make fantastic gifts, I'm certain! You can feel confident you've purchased something both exquisite, practical or beautiful with any of these selections.

Stay tuned for how to host the best baby shower ~ tips & how-to's coming this Monday, May 25th!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Natural Cleaners Part II: Vinegar

Last week I started a mini-series on our blog about natural cleaners for your house, which is such a fabulous way to cut costs and keep things natural and healthy for your kids! I wrote about the power of lemons as a cleaning tool last Thursday, and today I want to discuss options for cleaning with vinegar.

Vinegar helps inhibit the growth of nasty things like mold, mildew and bacteria, and costs only about $2 for a quart. As long as you can handle the smell, there's absolutely no excuse to not utilize this stuff for cleaning!

cleaning suggestions for vinegar (courtesy of Real Simple):
*coffeemaker - pour equal parts of vinegar and water into the water chamber of the coffeemaker, and turn on the brewing cycle. Halfway through, turn it off and let sit about an hour. Turn it on again to complete the brewing cycle; then run several times with water alone.
*dishwasher - use vinegar to disinfect the interior; pour 1/2 C vinegar into the reservoir and run an empty cycle.
*drains - pour vinegar down them, and wait 30 minutes before flushing with cold water
*floors - add 1/4 C vinegar into a bucket of warm water and start cleaning. (do NOT use on marble or wood, though)
*glassware - add 1 C to the rinse cycle
*showerheads - pour vinegar into a plastic bag and knot the handles over the showerhead's neck, securing with rubber bands. Let it soak overnight, and rinse in the morning with water.
*steam iron - rid the iron of mineral deposits by filling the iron with equal parts vinegar and water; press the steam button, turn off, let cool, empty and rinse.
*windows - mix 1/4 C vinegar, 2 parts water, and a squirt of liquid Castile soap in a spray bottle. Spritz the windows with the mixture and wipe down with newspaper sheets.

Part III of our natural cleaning series will return next Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

iPlay Jumbo-Netics Magnetic Building Toy

In our playgroup the other day, we talked about our kids' favorite toys, and this is the one toy that was brought to the playdate and played with by all the 2-year olds: iPlay's Jumbo-Netic Building Toy.

It encourages creativity while developing fine motor skills, and is specifically designed for children ages 18 months and up. The magnets are easy to put together and perfect for smaller hands.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Waldorf-Inspired Toys for Kids: Construction or Tot Town Play Mats

Gourmet Play offers two different play mats for your children: one that resembles more of a construction site and one that resembles a town within the pattern of the fabric, with parks, playgrounds, roads and more!

The construction site playmat is a great option for boys, of course, and is a more "natural" playmat with hand-crafted roads, bushes and water made out of a variety of different fabrics and textures (the main road is made out of herringbone fabric with some shimmer, er "shiny rocks" within it!). It measures a whopping 31"x38" and fits nicely on most train tables (a great alternative for the table when not being used by the trains!). It is constructed in felt and backed with a khaki-colored cotton fabric. The mat also includes a set of straps sewn into the side to easily roll up and stow away in a closet or under a bed when not in use.

The tot town playmat is a smaller mat (18"x20") and is perfect for on-the-go outings - use it on restaurant tabletops, waiting at the airport or in doctor's offices. It too can be rolled up for easy storage in your diaper bag or (large) purse. Ribbons are sewn into its seams for a more "fancy" closure. The mat is backed with hearty denim for maximum life and a "stiffness" for the roads.

Either play mat would make a fantastic birthday gift, and you can feel good about supporting a small business that hand-crafts all their items right here in the USA. Visit Gourmet Play for more birthday party favor & gift options, along with other natura, waldorf-inspired toys!

Monday, May 18, 2009

NakedPaint Belly Butter

So if you're an expectant Mama, heading to a baby shower, or trying to conceive, here is a great product to get your hands (and belly!) on: NakedPaint's Belly Butter. It was made for pregnant bellies to hydrate and improve elasticity while minimizing stretch marks, and has a light scent of jasmine and heather oils. The Hollywood stars themselves have been seen using this stuff, and reviewers out there are acclaiming its non-greasy feel. But you'll have to pay for the "butter" that celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Mira Sorvino are using, of course - it comes at $29.00 for just 8 ounces, but a little does go a long way.

Friday, May 15, 2009

National Fudge Week

So I just found out it's National Fudge Week - just in the nick of time! (Why didn't anyone tell me this sooner? And why haven't I received fliers and coupons from fudge shops like See's Candies??).

Being as I am an even BIGGER lover of peanut butter, I thought it'd be all to appropriate to share this bee-oo-tiful Peanut Butter Fudge recipe with all you mamas out there! Enjoy (and let me know how the fudge turns out!)

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 1/3 cups peanut butter
Boil milk and sugar in a medium saucepan for three minutes over medium-high heat. Immediately stir in the marshmallow crème and peanut butter. Pour and spread into a 9×9 inch glass baking dish. Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

...make lemonade, right? Or how about, just get to cleaning that house! And do so in a way that is SAFE for your children!!

We have a lemon tree in our backyard, so I'm always looking for ways to use them up before they drop and shrivel up on the ground. Of course, even if you don't have a lemon tree, they cost only about 50 cents each, and ultimately offer themselves as better alternatives to the chemical-ridden cleaners you can buy at the store. They provide a cost-effective, all-natural, and wonderfully-smelling, might I add, way to sanitize and make that house shine!

Here are some ways you can clean with lemons (courtesy of Real Simple):

*countertops: cut a lemon in half, and dip the cut side in baking soda; wipe witha wet sponge & dry (do NOT use on marble, stone, or stainless steel, as it may discolor, though).
*dishes: add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwashing soap for some extra kick
*faucets: use to fight the lime scale by rubbing the juice onto the faucet tap and letting it soak overnight. wipe off in morning with a damp cloth.
*garbage disposal: cut a lemon in half (or I like quarters) and run through the disposal
*grout: add lemon juice to 1-2 teaspoons cream of tartar to make a paste; apply with a toothbrush, then rinse.
*hands: after touching raw fish, rub your hands with lemon juice to neutralize the odor
*laundry: to brighten white, add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle
*plastic food-storage containers: use lemon juice to bleach stains from these; rub on the spots, let dry in a sunny spot, and wash.

Each week for the next month or so, I'll be highlighting some different natural cleaning agents and what you can do with them! Enjoy!!


Thank you to all who participated in our "Om Shanti Handcrafts" giveaway for the Mother's Choice of 3 of their natural, vegetarian soaps and/or bath oils! The lucky winner is Jamie! Stay tuned for NEW GIVE-AWAYS coming soon! (Winner is to email adamsblankie@gmail.com with mailing address for the giveaway soaps/bath oils).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Your Children & Water Safety

Water Safety is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, as a year ago today, our son nearly lost his life in a drowning (If you would like to read about our story, click here). It is something that can happen in an instant, and of course, like most tragedies, no one thinks it will happen to them.

I urge you all to of course watch your children closely around the water, and not for ONE SECOND, take your eyes off them! If you have a pool, please consider putting a gate around it or installing a safety net. But do not think that the gate (or net) will alone protect them! Parents must STILL watch them CONSTANTLY! I have heard stories about gates being left open, or children figuring out how to move a chair over to the gate to open it, and then...tragedy hits.

One option to bring some peace to your soul over this issue is to consider infant survival training. It is a swim course your children as young as 6 months can take, and it helps teach them to roll onto their backs and breathe air for a limited period of time, until an adult gets to them. One place to check out is www.infantswim.com (ISR). Here is a video link that captures an ISR final session lesson. It's pretty amazing (although a bit difficult to watch, especially for me, with my past experience)!

Parents should also learn CPR in case of emergencies. You can check www.cprsearch.com for local CPR trainers.

Please also remember that children can drown in bathtubs, fountains, or even small buckets of water, so BE SURE to ALWAYS have your eye on them, and get rid of such hazards around the house/yard. One last reminder, if you're outside near a pool, or your child is in the bathtub, don't take even a moment to go answer the phone or door if they should ring while you're with your kids. Take the kids with you, or let the phone or door go for now.

Adam's Blankie, which handcrafts blankets, bibs, pacifier clips and more for babies & toddlers, is donating 10% off all sale proceeds for items purchased 5/13-5/15 to www.preventdrownings.org.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Adam's Blankie Rockstar Crib Bedding: Featured as Part of Etsy Baby Gift Guide!

Thank you to all who voted for our Custom Crib Bedding, which was nominated as part of the Best of Baby items on Etsy last week. We made it to the Baby Gift Guide! Just click this link to see our "Rockstar" crib bedding, as featured!!

Cooking for Baby

For any Moms-to-be or Moms with little ones just starting to get into eating solids, I just wanted to take some time to discuss how EASY, ECONOMICAL & HEALTHY it is to puree your baby's food yourself! In a couple hours' time, you can prepare a healthy variety of food for baby for the course of 2-4 weeks! Everything from cauliflower, beans, pears and kiwi ~ and I'm telling you again - IT'S EASY (not to mention you'll feel SO good about saving the money, and preparing the healthiest food for your baby!)!

All you need is a stove, pot, mini food processor, some ice cube trays, a freezer, and voila! ~ instant baby food! I highly recommend the "Super Baby Food" cook book for a whole plethora of wonderful recipes for those starting out. And if you have a bit more time, or want to later work in some herbs and a more varietal palette for your baby, I also recommend the "Cooking for Baby" book from Williams-Sonoma/Pottery Barn Kids. They come chock-full of recipes and how-to's, according to what a child can eat at a certain age, how to prepare, how to watch for allergies, etcetera. They're fantastic! I would highly advise reading the books for exactly how to prepare, but trust me when I say, "If I can do it, you can do it!" It really is just some steaming, pureeing, freezing & thawing. That's it.

For those of you with some spare cash on hand, or who simply don't want to take the time to cook the food yourself, you can always purchase the "Babycook Babyfood Maker" from Beaba. It does everything from defrosting, reheating, cooking, & pureeing the food, not to mention it is BPA-free and preserves the vitamins & flavors! I think if and when we try for another child, I might save up for this one (it will run you about $150.00)!