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Each year St. Patrick’s Day inspires people to celebrate Irish culture with a whole lot of green. This year, I encourage you to choose a new way to celebrate. By going environmentally green you can improve the quality of your life in so many ways. Below are just a few of my favorite ways to truly “green” your life.

Green Your Clothing

unnamedInstead of buying a colorful shirt, consider buying one made from materials grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides that degrade soil quality and leave other negative impacts on our planet. Additionally, look for apparel made by companies with a commitment to fair trade goods. Fair trade certified goods ensure that producers and laborers are paid just wages for their work and contributions. This is a change you can truly feel good about. One of my favorite brands is PACT apparel. Their Fair Trade Certified™ apparel line includes the brand’s famous underwear, as well as leggings, camisoles, t-shirts, and long johns. Their fabrics are deliciously soft, quality made, and their colors are rich and long-lasting. (You can save 20% with this link!)

Green Your Meals

Eating a healthy diet is important for you, your family (they love you!), and the planet. By choosing healthy foods you are letting companies know that you don’t want  junk and they are listening. 81% of American families are already choosing organic foods at least sometimes, according to an Organic Trade Association market analysis.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to consider trying a whole30. It’s a month long commitment to eating no processed foods, no sugar, no dairy, and a few others. While it does sound a bit extreme, I found that my experience with the whole30 gave me a renewed appreciation for the ritual of cooking (maybe not the dishes so much, but I’m thankful none the less) and also a deeper care about what I put into my body and how much “flex” I truly okay with. You can check out my Lazy whole30 Pinterest board for a bit of mealtime inspiration.

Green Your Meal Prep

planetbox lunchIn addition to cleaning up your diet, one of my absolute favorite ways to green mealtime is to use no plastic and no waste. While I do appreciate the appearance of being budget friendly, plastic cookware and storage can leech toxic chemicals food and it rarely stands the test of time. Lids warp, things melt, pit, discolor, etc. Glass and stainless storage and cookware cost a bit more on start-up but they are with you for the long haul, and there’s no reason you have to buy it all at once. Buy what you need to get started and build from there. These are a few of my favorite storage and preparation items:

  • Planetbox lunch boxes – These bento/lunch tray style lunch boxes are offered in sizes for the whole family. The divided trays make lunch packing a breeze (and sometimes a bit fun too). Planetbox lunch boxes are offered with a wide range of carrying case options and colors, accessories, and even meal ideas!
  • Wean Green glass storage – These are my absolute favorite glass storage containers. Wean Green cubes and bowls come in a huge assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. They are perfect for storing leftovers, holding sauces, homemade hand scrubs, and an endless list of other things. Though they are glass, don’t let glass’s fragile reputation fool you. Wean Green cubes are tough! I’ve seen them bounced off the concrete floor of a trade show and survive every time.

Green Your Body Products

CLEANLast, but not least, on my list is bath and body products. Your skin is your largest organ and highly absorptive, you want to be sure that you’re putting products on your skin that are nourishing — or at the very least, not harmful. Synthetic fragrances and compounds can irritate skin and even disrupt your hormones. Yikes! These are just a few of my favorite brands:

  • Grace Green Beauty – I’ve never been big on face washing in the traditional sense. Soaps and lotions tend to leave me dry, irritated, or even broken out… that is until I was introduced to GGB (which is another story altogether). I’m pretty sure that I would be entirely lost without their CLEAN oil cleanser and PEACEful Face facial moisturizer.
  • Taylor’s Pure & Natural – I completely adore this company – the people, the products. I am so in love with their amazing pump toothpaste and PITS! deodorant especially. Their toothpaste is just the right balance of work and yum, and their natural deodorant was the first non-commercial deodorant to ever truly work for me. I honestly can’t say enough good things.
  • Afterglow Cosmetics – I have been using afterglow for years and I love their line. I have found their products to be gentle on my skin, easy to use, and all around great coverage. I most love their silky soft, vegan kabuki brush, powder foundation, perfecting under-eye concealer, and eye liner.
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WinterCover2015The Winter issue of Green Child Magazine is beautiful and full of amazing content with a special focus on pregnancy… but don’t count it out if that’s not for you! This issue is full of great content for everyone, like how to make your own almond cream and ghee, healthy recipes, parenting articles, and even some eco-fashion ideas just for you.

Green Child Magazine is a beautiful, free resource for families – made possible by the support of amazing advertisers who care about you, children, community, health, and the environment. Each issue is filled with expert content from advocates in the realms of parenting, babywearing, attachment parenting, nutrition, behavior, green living, cloth diapering, and so many more. Green Child also features carefully curated product guides to help you discover safe products for the whole family.

You can view the beautiful Winter issue by clicking here, or by clicking the cover photo above. If you’d like to check out some of the amazing past issues (we have many, all available for free!) you can do that by clicking here.

Last but not least, you can also receive a FREE Subscription to this great magazine!

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GDGH JamsI never paint my fingernails (though I do paint my toes) and I’m not a big fan of MLMs (mostly in how some reps handle marketing), so when I learned about Jamberry, I must admit that I had zero interest. In spite of my disinterest (due to not being a fashionable person – at all) I have learned that people LOVE them and that they are a well made product. Several of my friends love them, and they are “5 free” and more non-toxic alternative to traditional nail polishes (this does not include more natural water-based polishes, but they are better than the “big 3 free” brands).

I love to play with designs, so when I heard that Jamberry had a nail design studio to create custom wraps I just couldn’t resist the chance to design for a cause… Giving Diapers Giving Hope.

If you are unfamiliar with Giving Diapers Giving Hope, it is a wonderful 501c3 non-profit organization that lends cloth diapers to families who are struggling to afford clean diapers for their little ones. I love the organizers, the work they do, and I love cloth. Win, win, win x infinity.

I am not a Jamberry consultant, so I teamed up with the awesome Katie Pickles (of AppleCheeks fame) to make this fundraiser happen! Because she’s awesome and because she too loves GDGH, she is helping us out by donating all of her commission to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope! You heard that right! You can buy festive cloth diaper advocacy jams and your purchase will support an amazing charity that helped 500 families cloth diaper their babies for the cost of shipping in 2014!

To get your Jams you can order through this form  but hurry, orders close January 31!  Please read all of the instructions carefully.  Select the design(s) you want and the quantity.  Each sheet will do 2-3 manicures + several accent nails! 

Click here to get a better look at these advocacy nail wraps and order yours today!


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Chocolate Caramel Pretzel BitesI just love the holidays. Spending time with family, good fun, good food — there is always a variety of new things to discover. I tend to stick to my favorites when it comes to bringing a dish to holiday gatherings, like my Hot German Potato Salad (yum!), but if your family is like mine, they seem to put a lot of effort into bringing something new (and yummy)!

This treat made by my sister-in-law was fun, adorable, and just the right size. These little pretzel bites are crunchy, a little bit salty, and sweet. What I really love is that they are just enough to give you something sweet after dinner without being overwhelming.

This recipe uses candy coated pieces (like M&Ms), Rolos, and pretzels. To make it a healthier choice you could opt for more natural candy pieces, like SunSpire Sun Drops, or replace them with dried fruit or a nut (so long as allergies aren’t a concern). To swap out the Rolos you could use a Lake Champlain Salted Caramel Bar (using the squares), or if you’re more adventurous you could even make your own! Traditional, round, and waffle pretzels are all a good choice.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites
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Chocolate Covered Caramels (like Rolos or Lake Champlain Salted Caramel Bar Squares)
Candy Coated Chocolate Pieces (like M&Ms or SunSpire Sun Drops)
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place as many pretzels as you desire on the baking sheet.
Place a chocolate covered caramel on each pretzel.
Bake for 4 to 5 minutes. You want the caramel to soften, but not melt down.
Remove the pan from the oven and gently place a candy coated chocolate (nut or dried fruit) in the center of the caramel. Push lightly.
Cool and enjoy!
Traditional, round, and waffle pretzels are all a good choice for this recipe (Newman's Own is an easy to find organic option).
The Eco-Friendly Family
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