Let me start off by saying that I am not 100% organic or green. I am not the Mom carrying substitute snacks or meals at parties because I only want my kids to eat organic. No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I am the Mom that has no problem treating my kids to a Happy Meal!

I do, however think there are certain things I can do/buy to limit some of the exposure to the harmful ingredients my little ones take in. For example, I tend to buy organic milk, vegetables and fruit since these are the foods they eat/drink in large quantities everyday. I try to buy more organic snacks for the baby, but I’ve lost the preschooler to a world of Keebler, gummies and other brand name junk food…and that is fine. Another thing I’ve become more aware of is the meat and seafood that I buy. Ever hear of GMO’s? If not, that’s probably because our fine government has not made it mandatory that producers of meat and seafood label whether or not they’ve used genetically modified organisms in delivering that meat to your table. I am not a scientist. I don’t think enough research has been done to determine whether or not this is harmful to me and my offspring. The research that has been done is not looking promising though. So I make it a point to only buy meats that are grain fed and are labeled or known for NOT using GMO’s. Seriously, genetically altered animals…gross! For more information on GMO’s and the movement to get GMO’s labeled go here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/

UPDATED

Please read this regarding GM Corn !

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In addition to try and make more aware decisions in the grocery store, I’ve also changed up the types of products we use around the house. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need a little Lysol to kill those nasty germs…but for everyday I’ve turned to Mrs. Meyers or The Honest Company. So far I’ve tried the diapers, wipes, everyday cleaner, laundry detergent and body wash/shampoo and I LOVE it all! The company was started by Jessica Alba…no harsh chemicals are used in any of their products. You can purchase products individually or sign up for a monthly subscription. Check it out! (I’m not going to go into an indepth review as there are plenty of websites out there that do that and it’s not what my blog is about. But feel free to message me if you want more info.) Use this link to sign up and receive a free trial package http://honest.com/accept_invitation/269413 !

Which brings me to my next website recommendation. I recently went on a search for sunscreen and bug repellent for the family. A friend referred me to SafeMama . This is a FANTASTIC site! She also has a FaceBook page. There are cheat sheets for different types of products such as sunscreens, bug repellents, etc. She has done all of the research for you on the safest products out there! Bookmark this page and like her FaceBook page! She is also very responsive to messages on FaceBook! I recommend this page to every Mom I know!

Lastly, a fun new website I came across is Citrus Lane . You sign up for a monthly subscription to receive a box of goodies! Who doesn’t love a box full of suprises every month! The boxes are tailored to your childs age (0-5 years) and contain the latest green toys, gadgets and snacks! To sign up and get $10 off of your first box, click here

I hope you find this informative and helpful in searching for the safest products for your family!

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So there’s alot going on in the world when it comes to bugs and science type stuff. I don’t understand all of it so I looked for the sites that break this stuff down for the non-science type people, such as myself.

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Let’s start with the 2013 Cicada Swarmageddon ( I love this name by the way!). I vaguely remember these suckers when they last invaded us 17 years ago. I remember you couldn’t walk down the sidewalk without crunching on their shells. I personally am looking forward to it! Sounds crazy since I cringe and yell for my husband at the sight of a spider! I just love the drama surrounding it, the fact that it’s a science lesson I’ll get to share with my five year old and the fact that it’s something everyone will be talking about that doesn’t involve terrorists, bombs, kidnapping, shootings, you get the idea…soon, not only will our trees, decks and driveways be covered with these noisy, mate-seeking Magicicada (that’s right, there’s different types of Cicadas!), but so will social media. Your Facebook newsfeeds will be filled with pictures, there will be Tweets galore! You need to be ready too! So here are my two favorite 2013 Cicada websites: How to Emotionally Survive the 2013 Cicada Swarmageddon and Cicada Mania: 17 Interesting Facts about the 17 year Cicada.

Next up Solar Flares! I had everyone running to the windows in my office this past week to view the ring around the sun. But what is a Solar Flare? It’s a burst of energy released from the sun and this week so far the sun has released four of these bursts, which is apparently rare. For more on solar flares in plain English go here: What are solar flares?

Finally, a few posts in my news feed on FaceBook were telling me to Save the Bees! It was enough to peak my interest and what I found was very interesting. (Speaking of bees, I forgot to mention that my husband read that the Cicadas bring on wasps, so be aware!) Bee populatinos are disappearing around the world in what’s known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Like me, many of you may be thinking to yourselves “who cares, one less pesky bug flying around my picnic!” BUT, bees are incredibly producitve members society and they must be saved! They are being killed off by pesticides and chemicals being used by big companies. (Side note: I am preparing a blog post about chemical free cleaners, baby products, organic stuff and more!) If you have some time, this is a detailed synopsis into Colony Collapse Disorder or you can check this shorter version out which include a petition you can sign to help: http://www.change.org/petitions/epa-save-our-bees-and-the-food-we-eat-ban-bayer-s-chemicals-now

Also check out this PDF on Bees: Bees

Today we’re heading out to the in-laws to celebrate Mother’s Day. I have been given the task of bringing appy’s. Whenever I offer, or am asked to bring appetizers, there is always that part of me that just wants to pick up a veggie platter or go with the standard taco dip (you know, the one on the back of the Hormel chili can or inside the Philadelipha Cream Cheese box). Then there is the other side of me, that nagging little voice that says “be different!” “try something new!” So I take to my Pinterest board in search of that next crowd pleaser.

While searching through my “Party Hosting Ideas (Food)” board, I noticed a trend. Alot of the stuff I have pinned is from a blogger named The Girl Who Ate Everything. I love everything on this site! It’s not exactly for health nuts, but alot of it is SOOOO good!

For today’s visit I decided on Bloomin’ Pizza Bread and Taco Cupcakes . Maybe I should’ve waited to post this until after we tried them, but I’m taking a chance here because nothing I’ve made from this blogger has been bad! But I will update will my own photos and personal review!

If you’re still searching for some Mother’s Day munchies, or need to hand over an easy-to-do recipe for Dad and the kids to make for you, head on over to The Girl Who Ate Everything. You won’t be disappointed!

UPDATE: The reviews are in! “YUM!” Says my 18 month old niece on the Bloomin’ Pizza Bread. It came out perfect!

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And the Taco Cupcakes…well let’s just say some people filled up on these and then weren’t hungry for dinner (which brings me to a valuable lesson learned today: don’t ask the guests who live furthest away to bring appy’s because if they’re late, for any number of reasons, it can throw off the whole feeding frenzy schedule!) These came out awesome!

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I highly recommend trying these two recipes out! Very easy and huge hits! I prepared both of these receipes the night before. For the bread, I stuffed it and wrapped it in foil and kept it in the fridge. Right before baking I removed the foil and brushed on the butter, garlic and seasonings. The tacos I did everything up to putting them in the oven. I couldn’t get two layers on the tacos as the recipe called for. So my second layer consisted only of taco meat and cheese. I used my cupcake carrier to transport the tacos too…very convenient!

I hear all the time from family and friends how creative I am and how organized I am. How much effort I put into things like parties for my kids or organizing events, schedules, etc. While I love to hear the singing praises of others, I have to admit that I feel like if they knew where all my inspiration came from, that they’d feel a tad bit of disappointment. None-the-less, I have to come clean! While some of my creativity is orginial, a lot, OK most of it, comes from the web. A few clicks of a button can get a party theme complete with decorations, menus, favors, etc. It can get you a holiday table setting, a daily morning routine for your children, a creative gift from your kids, a lunchbox meal that looks like it came out of a PotteryBarn Kids catalog. With each and every party I plan and each and every dish I bring to someones house, I get more and more “where do you come up with this stuff?” Well I am going to tell you…blog style!

 

This is my sharing space now…so I no longer want to hear “why don’t you tell me about these things”, “you should start a blog” (well you can’t say that one anymore, because look, I did it!) or any of the other insinuations that I’ve been keeping my creativity a secret…it’s all out there people! You just need to know where to click…