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Eco-Friday: Get Curated Eco-Friendly Pregnancy, Baby & Mom Products Delivered Monthly

gift box

And in our latest installment of “Eco-Friday“…..

The curated box market is booming.

Included  in this range of monthly or quarterly subscription boxes are services that target expectant mothers, babies and moms, generally.

The boxes are used as a way of educating new mothers on wholesome, earth-friendly and organic products that are safe to use during pregnancy and on their babies and themselves. Every month, subscribers receive a curated box of eco-friendly, conscious, products presented in chic, eco-friendly packaging.

A 3-month subscription cost $70.50 or $23.50 a month; a 6-month subscription is  $138 or $23 a month; and a  12-month subscription is $264 or $22 a month. Each includes 5-9 sample and full size products.

baby bump box


The mom-to-be box for example usually has a beauty item, bath & body product, a snack, a pregnancy care item and a baby prep selection.

Membership, which is limited to US and Canada residents, also involves exclusive product discounts and “members only” giveaways.

Great stuff!  Learn more about Ecocentric mom HERE!

Eco-Friday: 10 Must-Reads for Having a Vegan-Pregnancy like these Celeb moms

vegan pregnancy
A few year ago, actress Emily Deschanel got some heat by continuing with her vegan diet while pregnant last year.  However, despite concerns, remaining vegan while pregnant can be done safely with the consultation of a doctor and nutritionist and maybe also by reading up on some recommended books on having a well-rounded vegan diet.
 She is not the only celebrity to stick with her vegan diet even while pregnant. Alicia Silverstone even wrote about her vegan pregnancy diet. Carrie Underwood, Natalie Portman and Allyson Hannigan  are vegans who softened up and switched to vegetarianism during pregancy.
The Happy Herbivore put together a post that includes a list of recommended books for having a safe vegan diet and pregnancy. Check them out:

Eco-Friday: 5 Herbs to Get you Through Cold and Flu Season

Bellyitch Rewind

We are well into cold and flu season. Before reaching for over-the-counter medication to cure a cold, flu or cough, consider giving a try one of these 5 must-have herbs to beat winter illnesses, as suggested by Dr. Christopher Hobbs, director of Herbal Science at Rainbow Light:

1. Chamomile – Traditionally revered for easing digestive woes, this herb also soothes muscle cramps, headaches, body aches, and pains associated with the flu. The key to success is to use the freshest herb possible, whether fresh or in dried form.

2. Echinacea – This powerful herb triggers  your immune response and helps reduce the severity and duration of unpleasant cold and flu symptoms.

3. Elder – Historically known for prevention and treatment of the cold and flu, this herb also has potent anti-viral properties which make it effective in easing and reducing duration of fevers.

4. Fennel– This herb is used worldwide to help ease the symptoms of bronchitis, coughs and muscular pains.

5. Honeysuckle – An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for relief of upper respiratory tract infections, fevers, bronchitis and sore throat.

Of course, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will want to conduct your doctor before taking any herbs. Good luck and stay healthy, if you can!

Eco-Friday: 4 Things you Can ReUse While Pregnant

 Reusing items is one way to “go green,” since doing so produces less waste and ultimately means less resources are used to manufacture new items. Here are a few items you can reuse during pregnancy to reduce your – and your baby’s! – carbon footprint.
1. Reusable water bottle – It’s vitally important to stay hydrated during pregnancy! Instead of buying bottled water, invest in a high quality and eco-friendly reusable water bottle so you can fill up at home and keep water with you while you’re on the go.
2. Food storage containers – During pregnancy, it’s important to keep a light snack with you while you’re out and about in case hunger strikes. Be sure to keep your snacks in reusable food containers rather than disposable plastic bags.
3. Maternity clothes – If you don’t already have maternity clothes from a past pregnancy to reuse, consider finding what you need at a thrift store, garage sale or consignment store. You might even have a no-longer-pregnant friend with some maternity clothing to get rid of.
4. Items for baby – Since you’ll be doing plenty of shopping for baby now, during your pregnancy, start thinking about how you get your baby off to a eco-friendly start in life. Cloth diapers are reusable – you can even use them for more than one child! Some cloth diapering moms also use reusable cloth wipes for clean up at changing time. You can also reuse toys, clothes and larger items like cribs and play yards. You might have these items still on and from when older children were little, but even if this is your first baby or if you got rid of those items before, you can still reuse by shopping at thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales and looking out for general freebies. Family members and friends might also have items they’d like to unload.

As you can see, there are many ways to make use of reusable items during your pregnancy. Many cities even have entire consignment shops dedicated to items and clothes for pregnant moms and babies, so you can be green even without having to search and search through thrift store racks and garage store piles to find what you need – unless that’s something you enjoy, of course!

Eco-Friday: Why You Need to Reduce the Rinse When Dishwashing

dishwashing reduce

It’s been a while since we brought you an Eco-Friday post with tips on how to lean a greener life. Here are some tips about conserving water while dishwashing.

Consumers often think that investing in new home appliances is one way to save energy, water and money. Newer appliances will run more efficiently simply by being new. Appliances in your hope can help you save the earth, and money on the water bill.

Reducing the rinse is one way to do so. People tend to think that hand-washing and pre-washing are ways to go when it comes to water conservation, but that is quite the opposite. Hand washing alone uses 84% more water than running a load in the dishwasher.

Samsung brings you this infographic on the importance of not washing dishes by hand, pre-rinsing or soaking and other water wasting steps families take that are not eco-friendly.


Eco-Friday REVIEW: Aetrex sandals offer style and comfort for moms-to-be



It’s been awhile since we’ve had an Eco-Friday post sharing our latest finds, news and information about living an eco-friendly, holistic and natural lifestyle.

Today, I would like to share my experience testing out one of Aetrex‘s family of comfy, orthopedic friendly yet stylish athletic shoes,  sandals, thongs, slippers and other feet support products for men, women, children and families.

Moms-to-be get swollen feet,  and often times, they go up a shoe size. Another side-effect of pregnancy for many women is achy joints and muscles having to balance their new re-distribution of weight so they are grounded and balanced.

Having comfortable shoes are a MUST! This brand’s shoes indeed could help out in that department.

The pair I checked out, The Emily Rose Flip Flop (complimentary) retails for $99.95 and felt like butter on my feet.

I got them in the mail after a couple of marathon days at the gym, running on the treadmill. My heels needed a break! So these puppies were perfect. They are light and offer plenty of give. I literally felt like I was walking on air wearing them.

Since 1946, the company has specialized in comfort and wellness footwear. The makers seemingly have perfected the art and skill of manufacturing a quality comfort shoe.

The Emily thong sandal is a classic warm weather shoe and it is fully adjustable for the ultimate fit.

Highly recommend and the brand sells a variety of styles as well for different tastes and style palates. Check them out and find a store near you that sells them HERE!

Eco-Friday: Father’s Day grilling guide for vegetarians!

Father son and grandson at the grill
Most people are looking forward to grilling for the 4th of July holidays, but how about starting a bit early and turning the tables on the grill master and grilling for dad on Father’s Day?To be greener, ditch the wood and go for propane or natural gas for the grill which are more cleaner and efficient. Pick up some hot dogs and burgers and consider organic and grass-fed beef, which is not only better for the planet, but more nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat

Grab some multi-grain buns which are healthier and better for you and dad.

Pick up some ketchup, chips, veggies and head outdoors.

Since meat production is tough on the environment, going meatless reduces your carbon footprint and is a more healthier option.

For dads and relatives that are vegans and vegetarians, our friends at Veggie Patch want you to pick up some of these goodies:

Good Grillin’ – Veggie Patch’s Ultimate Meatless Burger is the better-for-you burger that contains 2/3 less fat than ground beef burgers.  Toss on the grill, top with Tribe’s Classic Hummus and serve on a whole wheat bun.

The Perfect Platter – Serve something simple such as fresh veggies and Tribe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. This easy-to-prepare platter will have your guests asking for more.

Veggie Patch Veggie Dogs are a good source of protein and contain zero grams of trans fat. Serve them spicy with honey mustard, ketchup and a bit of heat from chopped jalapenos.

Kids’ Table Classics – Veggie Patch Broccoli Bites with Cheese are made with real vegetables, perfect for the little ones!

Celebrate Dad this Sunday, Have Fun and Enjoy!

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Eco-Friday REVIEW: BlueAir ‘Sense’ air purifier for baby’s nursery


I am a big believer in minimalist home design and having as little furniture in the house as possible, partially because it limits the amount of surfaces that can accumulate in-home allergens.  Also, I live in a designated “Tree City” which means my town is full of very old historic trees that are great to look and live around but make for a horrible Fall and Spring allergy season when tree pollen becomes a problem.
I have used in-home air purifiers to also limit the irritants that trigger allergies.  Everyone in my home suffers from  allergies, unfortunately.
Given my family’s history with allergies, I was elated to be sent a unit and get an opportunity to test out BlueAir‘s innovative and award-winning air purifier “Sense.”  (retail: $450). Sense filters the air and has an ion particle-charging process that is said to remove 99.97% of harmful airborne pollutants from the room faster.  I tested it out in different sized rooms in my home.
I could control the level of filtration with a wave of my hand over the black motion-sensor control top. That was neat! With other systems, you may forget when it is time to change the filter, but this unit has a red alert that you can’t miss when passing by. To change, I will need to flip it on its side and remove the filter and change it every 6 months.


It’s also eco-friendly and is built with 100% recyclable materials and the makers say it uses less energy than a light bulb to run. With a family of five, our energy bill can get up there so knowing this unit won’t add too much to that cost was great!
It comes in an assortment of soft colors (white, brown, pink, blue, gray) to match any room or baby’s nursery design.  The feet is soft so it won’t damage the hardwood floors in my home. I also loved the fact that the system looked attractive and would not stand out in the room but was attractive and blended in perfectly. I’ve read on the manufacturer’s website that the wraparound grill design also helps create 90% open area to maximize airflow. Aaaah! Perfect.
Maneuverability of the Unit
 It was easy to carry from room to room because of the handles on the side. It wasn’t too heavy to lift either. My 10 and 12 year old could lift it and help me move it from room to room.
Does it work?
To me, each room the unit was in felt cleaner and even smelled cleaner. The kids noticed it too. You could breathe easier in the room and it was less stuffy. You could definitely tell the difference and that’s why after testing it out in different rooms in the house, we decided to leave it permanently in the children’s room.
I know it is hard to tell if a baby is suffering from a little cold or allergies, but one thing parents can do to limit allergens is to use little linen and reduce the amount of stuffed animals just sitting around. If you must use them, regularly clean them and put the stuffed animals in the freezer to kill bacteria and dust mites. The other thing they can do is have an air purifier unit like BlueAir‘s The Sense in their baby’s nursery.
The Price
The unit costs $450 which is lower than this brand’s older and previolusly models but is in the middle range of other units of this quality  that also claim to purify, clean and circulate air in a 150 sq ft room 5 times per hour. The replacement filters run about $100 and I wish that price would come down a bit because that can be a bit hefty twice a year cost. It’s a good investment if you have allergy sufferers in your home. You cannot put a price on their comfort.
You can also check out a product video here:

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Eco-Friday: How to have a Baby Clothes Swap Party

Personally, I have attended a couple of clothing/closet swap parties for adults where girlfriends get together, take turns and shop each others’ clothes that we won’t wear any longer. It is a trendy and economical way to get “new” clothes without breaking the bank and swapping out your wardrobe.
In these tough economic times, purchasing new clothes for an impending arrival, especially for families on a budget and with more than one child, is not always an option. Organizing a baby swap is a very wonderful way for everyone to save a buck and get some new stuff. Here are some tips I gleaned from online research:

Step 1 – Select a date. 

  •  Based on your schedule and your family’s schedule, select a date that best works for you.  
  •  From there, decide if your swap will host both kids and adults – this will also help in determining the time of your swap (daytime vs. nighttime), the food, the activities, etc.  

Step 2 – Declutter. 

  • Get the word out about your Clothing Swap house party sooner rather than later. This gives everyone ample time to clean out their closets and find items to swap.  
  •  Make sure to invite your  guests three-to-four weeks in advance. With your invites, give your guests the following instructions:

What to bring:
Kids clothes and accessories in all sizes that are wearable and freshly laundered.
Most swap-worthy items fall into 3 categories

  • NEW Clothes (with tags)
  • NEARLY NEW Clothes (worn only once or twice)
  • GENTLY USED Clothes (worn, but still in very good condition)

What NOT to bring:
Out of respect for fellow swappers and your community, please do not bring ripped, dirty, stained items, those with broken zippers, or otherwise unwearable.              
Note that all unclaimed items can be donated to a host selected non-profit or cause.
Step 3 – Prepare for your party. 
You can create a successful swap by designating different areas of your home for different articles of clothing or different children’s clothes sizes. For example, your living room might be the location for all clothes for newborns, while the bedroom might have clothes for toddlers. 
Set up different tables clearly labeled with sizes or type of clothing to help your guests “organize” when they arrive. 
Mirrors, racks and hangers are helpful but not required

Hope this is helpful. 
And sidebar: it was refreshing to see Tia Mowry Hardrict  and Tamera Mowry-Housley balk at a pricey bottle of olive oil in that episode earlier and second guess a decision to pay $80 for some flimsy resort wear an episode before when they went to the Bahamas. So many times on reality TV shows, we have women, who may not necessarily be independently wealthy, make so many outlandish shopping purchases flagrantly and without any regard to the final price. You’ll see the camera zoom in to a total that is 500th times what an average family would pay or even earn in a month. Many times, they can’t really even afford the crap but do it for the cameras and show. It’s so great that Tia and Tamera don’t buy into that and reveal that even though they may earn more as actresses, they watch their pennies and wallets and refuse to succumb to extravagant spending. It’s a great lesson and good to see. The truly wealthy people on this earth do not spend extraneously as “new money” people do and that is the reason they remain wealthy. Okay. Off my soap box now! 🙂

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Eco-Friday: 5 must have herbs for cold and flu season

We are well into cold and flu season. Before reaching for over-the-counter medication to cure a cold, flu or cough, consider giving a try one of these 5 must-have herbs to beat winter illnesses, as suggested by Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Director of Herbal Science at Rainbow Light:

1.       Chamomile – Traditionally revered for easing digestive woes, this herb also soothes muscle cramps, headaches, body aches, and pains associated with the flu. The key to success is to use the freshest herb possible, whether fresh or in dried form.

o    Suggestion: Make 1 quart of the infusion at a time by adding freshly boiled water to 2 to 4 ounces of the dried flowering tops. Drink 1 cup at a time, three to five times daily.

2.       Echinacea – This powerful herb triggers your immune response and helps reduce the severity and duration of unpleasant cold and flu symptoms

o    Suggestion: Make a team from the fresh, or recently dried, chopped root, flowers and/or leaves and drink 1 cup two to five times daily.

3.       Elder – Historically known for prevention and treatment of the cold and flu, this herb also has potent antiviral properties which make it effective in easing and reducing duration of fevers

o    Suggestion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tbsp. of fresh or dried elder blossoms, infuse for 10 minutes, and strain. Take 1 to 2 cups of the infusion two or three times daily, or as needed, to induce sweating, promote cleansing, and reduce heat.

4.       Fennel – This herb is used worldwide to help ease the symptoms of bronchitis, coughs, and muscular pains

o    Suggestion: Make the tea by simmering 1 tsp. of the seeds for each cup of water for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for another 20 minutes before straining the seeds. Drink 1 cup before meals as needed.

5.       Honeysuckle – An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for relief of upper respiratory tract infections, fevers, bronchitis, and sore throat

o    Suggestion: Make a strong infusion by steeping the flowers for up to 30 minutes, and drink ½ to 1 cup twice daily, or as often as desired.

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