Monday, December 31, 2012

A new tradition

I took last week off and it was lovely. Today, on this last day of 2012, I want to thank you for being part of this community. I treasure you more than you know.

Of course, with the end of the year, there comes a bit of reflecting. Where have I been and where am I going? This has been a year of enormous growth for the blog and I hope to see that growth continue into 2013 and beyond. Thanks to your comments here and on Facebook, I feel as if I've gotten to know some of you and that has blessed me immensely. I now have 'friends' in the UK and in Canada and across the US who I never would have 'met' without the blog. For me, that's the best part of being Green Grandma. So thank you, to all of you who have let me see a glimpse of who you are as I share so much of who I am with you.

While the following is in no way my idea, as it's something I found circulating on Facebook, I still wanted to share it with you. It is a way of celebrating each year on New Year's Eve by reviewing the good things that happened from January through December. You see, we tend to recall bad things sometimes quicker than good things. To counter than natural tendency, I want to challenge you to do what my husband and I are planning to do. 

Throughout the year, starting tomorrow, we will be writing down each good thing as it occurs and putting the slips of paper into a jar... a gratitude jar. On December 31, 2013, we will open the jar and spill out its contents. Piece by piece, we'll read each note aloud. Despite our circumstances at that time, I am confident we will be filled with gratitude as we look back on the many blessings of the year. 

Like I said, this was not my idea, but I embrace it as one that will change us... for the better.

Already, I know what's going in the jar tomorrow... a reminder of how blessed I am to have all of you in my life.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get Fit New Year's Resolution Giveaway Event!

get fit news years 2013

Sponsored by: Nutrisystem | Eat Smart | ProForm | BeachBody Co Hosted by: Mom Blog Society | Jackie's Reviews | Geeky Gamer Mom | She Informed | Country Stew | Confessions of a Messy Mama | Zoe's Printable Coupons | Fishful Thinking | The Deal Fanatic | Route 249 | SOS Mom | Swank Savings

So... did you eat too much over the holidays? Most of us did. That's why I'm excited to offer you the chance to win this amazing prize package which will whip you into shape in no time! Check out these prizes:
Ab Glider
6 Month Nutrisystem
EatSmart Scale
Insanity Workout Package
The event dates: 12/27 12am EST- 1/6 11:59pm EST 
Open to World Wide


At Nutrisystem, we believe that your health and happiness matters most. That's why for more than 40 years, we've been helping millions of people make themselves a priority, and discover that they, too, can change their lives for the better. By providing real food you know and love, guidelines you can live and learn by, and balanced nutrition your body needs, we've created a program that makes losing weight work for you.   

  • Measuring Functions: % Body Fat, % Total Body Water, % Muscle Mass and Bone Mass
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This might just be the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD. Your personal trainer Shaun T will push you past your limits with 10 INSANITY workout discs packed with plyometric drills on top of nonstop intervals of strength, power, resistance, and ab and core training moves. No equipment or weights needed. Just the will to get the hardest body you’ve ever had.         

For your chance to win the Get Fit New Year's Resolution Giveaway Simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Car Seats and Winter Coats: How to Keep the Little Ones Warm (and SAFE)

This is the second in a series on car seat safety, written by Megan Arce, CPST (Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician) and mother to 2 little princesses. My daughter, Bethany, introduced us and I was thrilled when she agreed to write this series for me. So, for the next few weeks, make sure you check back in on Thursdays for more important information all parents, and grandparents and other caregivers, need to know to keep our precious little ones safe! *Note: GG is taking a break next week, so the third entry in this series will not be posted until January 3, 2013.

Several videos about the dangers of children wearing puffy coats in car seats have been making their way through the social media, and for this I am thrilled -- word is getting out about this danger! I am not seeing a lot of realistic alternatives for parents who live in a very cold climate, however. Taking a child’s coat off before buckling her into a car seat may actually sound like torture mid-winter! There are several ways to keep your child comfortable AND safe in the car though, I promise.

First, why are thick, puffy, bulky winter coats not advised for use in a car seat? Basically, too much puff in a coat means too much excess air in between the child and the harness. This air will compress in a collision, and the child will likely suffer from internal injuries resulting from slamming into the loose harness. A puffy coat can create an ill-fitting harness, and can also mask a bad harness fit (i.e. shoulder straps may not even be on the shoulders), and a child could be completely ejected from the seat. Children can overheat quite quickly as well, especially in the car.

I conducted the following test on my daughter as a visual reference of puffy coat danger:

1) Dressed in winter attire, M was buckled in a car seat
and I snugly adjusted the harness (no excess material to 
pinch). Even to my trained eye, she looks perfect:

2) Leaving the harness tight (unloosened/unchanged), I unbuckled her, removed the puffy coat and returned her to the seat in only a single layer shirt:


3) Here is how much slack was in the harness:


I repeated this test in a thin fleece jacket and the results speak for themselves -- MUCH safer:


Another cold weather no-no is a bundle sack -- a fleece lined pouch fits over the infant seat and almost completely cocoons baby inside. These seem like a good, warm idea but these products: A) are not crash tested by either the car seat manufacturer or the sack’s manufacturer, B) do not contain flame-resistant material that a car seats does, and C) interfere with the harness when attaching around and through it with Velcro, which could cause the harness to fail. Most car seat manuals specify that the use of ANY after market products is not approved by the car seat manufacturer with the car seat, and therefore would void the owner’s warranty. These items are wonderful for use in strollers, but not car seats!

So what you CAN do to keep a child warm in the car?  A thin, single layer of fleece (as shown above) is the best option, either hooded or add a hat. Thin fleece does not compress, and gives a child a good warmth foundation.  Blankets can be added ON TOP of the harness as needed, and they can easily be removed if the child becomes overheated. Using the child’s puffy coat backwards, on top of the harness, is a safe option, as are Snuggie blankets and ponchos (with the back lying up against car seat back, over child’s head, not behind). These are all safe, realistic options. The overall goal is to keep as little excess space between the child and the harness as possible

With Christmas right around the corner, I felt it was a good time to conduct a “puffy dress” test as well. Here is my oldest darling, donning a puffy dress, harnessed snugly in a car seat:

And here is how much slack was actually in her harness after removing the dress, but leaving the harness unaltered:


Please use caution with clothing and car seats- it is a far more relevant danger than it seems!   

“When you know better, you do better!”

Click here to read the first in the series -- Car seats and air travel

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Review and Giveaway -- part 2

How would you like to start off the new year by winning a $50 gift certificate to Ava Anderson Non-Toxic? Wouldn't that be awesome?

Well, here's your chance to try. But first, kindly read my review and then enter in the Rafflecopter below.

As I stated in my previous review of Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products (mascara, liquid hand soap and eye cream), I was sent a wonderful lot of products to try. While I already told you how much I loved the mascara, there is another product I love even more -- the dishwasher pods. This is seriously the best dishwasher detergent I have ever tried! My glasses and dishes look brand new!

However, that wasn't my first reaction to using it. I even sent Nancy Brown, the gracious consultant who sent me the products, and told her I didn't like the dishwasher detergent at all. I didn't know what to do because she'd been so kind to send me all these products and I hated writing a negative review. But my reviews are my honest opinions of products, so I certainly couldn't lie. Nancy was surprised by my reaction, as everyone else seemed to be raving about the detergent. She even contacted the home office and they said they hadn't had a single complaint. "Give it a couple more tries," she advised. And so I did. By the 3rd load, I was in love. I guarantee that you will be, too, if you give the pods a try. I use one pod per load with vinegar in the rinse dispenser. My glasses are shiny!!

I also have been using the laundry pods, which I like as well. I find them comparable to the other natural laundry products I've been using for the last couple of years. The clothing has a delightfully fresh scent coming out of the washer and that's a perk, as the other products I use do not have any kind of scent.

In addition to the pods for laundry and dishes, Nancy also sent me the dishwashing liquid. As with most natural dishwashing liquids, it does not produce many suds, but it works well to clean my Green Pans, which I don't put in the dishwasher. It does seem to 'glop' out in larger amounts than needed, since you really only need a small amount to get the job done. It is a thick liquid with a pleasant scent.

From my experience with the products I tried, I am convinced that Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is a company I proudly stand behind. They know what they're doing when they put out a product. If I could choose only 2 items, there is no question it would be the dishwasher pods and the mascara. Both products rate higher than a 10 on my own personal 1 - 10 scale.

So check out the website and see the products for yourself. Even if you win the $50 gift certificate, you can still order some products ahead of time because you'll find lots more to buy once you win!

Feel free to email Nancy if you have any questions.

The giveaway runs from today through Dec. 31st. Winner will be announced on New Year's Day!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A natural and organic products one-stop shop

While searching online for eco-friendly and people-friendly products, I discovered Enviro Products World, a one-stop shop for your green-minded friends and family. Of course, it's a bit late to start shopping online for Christmas presents (is Christmas really one week away?!), but if you're willing to pay for expedited shipping, Enviro Products World can still take care of your last minute shopping needs. From toys to health to hair care to organic skin care, this is a site that seems to have it all. Seriously.

Here are just some of the brands they carry:
  • John Masters Organics
  • Kiss My Face
  • Alba
  • Organic Essence 
  • Giovanni
  • Jason
  • St. Francis Organics
  • Yarok
  • Bayberry Naturals
  • Vermont Organics
  • Full Circle
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Aloha Bay
  • Nutraceutical
  • Acure Organics
  • Intelligent Nutrients
  • Yummy Earth
  • Green Eats
  • Green Toys
  • Little Sapling Toys
  • Holgate Toys
  • Nature's Baby Organics
  • Little Twig
  • Nature's Paradise
  • Rainbow Light
  • and many more!
How crazy is that? You can literally do all of your shopping on this one site! I recommend bookmarking it so you can revisit the site after the holidays. Who knows, maybe Santa will stick some nice green cash in your stocking and you can spend it wisely on products that are kind to you and the earth!

Why does buying organic and earth-friendly products matter? For a myriad of reasons! First of all, for the health and safety of your family, you should try to buy organic products whenever possible. All the pesticides and other toxins in conventional food and products is wreaking havoc with our systems. Our skin was not created to absorb chemicals and our systems were not designed to ingest toxins. That's just the way it is. And that is especially true when it comes to your baby. Slathering toxic creams, oils and ointments on your little one's delicate skin is simply setting him/her up for a lifetime of potential diseases and disorders, including cancer. Honor your child's present and future health by choosing the right products for him/her. Organic products. Safe products. 

That's what you'll find on the Enviro Products World website. Products you will feel confident using. I just wish I'd found the website earlier in the month as I'm still not done shopping, but am not up to paying high shipping fees. What about you? Are you done with your shopping yet? Perhaps I better get back to it. One week away! Seriously??

Working hard to get it done,


While I stand behind everything I write, in accordance to the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR Part 255, 
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,
it is my responsibility to let you know that the above is a sponsored post.

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