A simple salad, this is ready in approximately 15 minutes! For those who would like to add a little more crunch to the salad, chopped and toasted pecans or finely chopped celery make wonderful additions, as well. Serve with warm, toasted pita slices topped with parmesan cheese for a light, refreshing meal!

Tiny Green Mom’s Couscous Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles & Dried Cranberries

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup couscous

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add couscous, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and place in a serving bowl.

Add goat cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine. Can be refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Were you aware that between 10% to 20% of children suffer from eczema in the United States alone? As children’s skin is extremely sensitive, eczema can be a common problem, especially in the first tender years of life. With such soft, delicate skin, only the gentlest of products will help to heal and soothe your child’s eczema or dermatitis rather than irritate the skin.

exederm® has created a full line of ultra sensitive formulations to ease the flare-ups caused by eczema and dermatitis. Given the National Eczema Association’s ‘Seal of Acceptance,’ all exederm® products contain absolutely no Parabens, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Lanolin, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, or Colors and Dyes. Only the mildest ingredients are used so as to avoid common chemical irritants found in many known brands.

To soothe, hydrate and protect delicate skin, exederm® has created a soothing baby oil, hydrating baby lotion, and intensive baby moisturizer. All of these products are rich, creamy, and glide on smoothly, a big plus for those little ones with already irritated skin! In addition, bath time is much less stressful with exederm®’s non-irritating baby shampoo and cleansing baby bath!

Mom” has been using the non-irritating baby shampoo on her little one with great success! This gentle, itch-free and tear-free shampoo has dramatically reduced the seborrheic dermatitis (commonly called “cradle cap”) on her child’s scalp after regular use.

To learn more about exederm®’s full line of skin care products for eczema and dermatitis, please visit www.exederm.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Simply delicious! This lovely dish by Anni Daulter from Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies & Toddlers will have everyone asking for more!

Fiona’s Butternut Squash with Orzo

by Anni Daulter

Ingredients

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup orzo

1 cup Pure Butternut Squash Puree

Preparation

Pour the broth into a medium saucepan and heat to a rolling boil. Add the orzo and reduce the heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.

Strain the orzo through a colander, but do not rinse it with water.

Fold 1/2 cup of the cooked orzo into the butternut squash puree. SErve warm. Save leftover orzo for a butter and Parmesan cheese pasta lunch the next day.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies & Toddlers.*

Each of us wishes to find better ways to be kinder to the environment for the balance of Mother Earth. Whether you are looking to purchase a vehicle that runs on alternate fuel or wanting to save resources by making your own clothes, you will find a multitude of suggestions on these blogs. Preserving the earth’s fragile resources is an intelligent way to be certain our children still have a place to call home. You’ll be given recommendations from crafting to planting a garden to finding more economical and responsible activities for your children on this vast array of blogs. Make good on your resolve to learn methods to make your life and diminish your impact on the earth.

20 Wonderful Places For Green DIY Projects And Upcycling Crafts

By Colleen O. Ridgely

Mother Nature Network – Do you have questions about going green? This useful site is almost guaranteed to have the answer. Find out about earth-friendly vehicles, many ways to green up your business place, and so much more.

Crafts at Kaboose – Realize just how many super simple crafting projects you and your family can do with items you have around the house on this enjoyable site.

Make and Takes – This site is filled with doable projects that you can save for your next rainy day activity.

Blog Craftzine – It won’t take you long to see that you’ll find nearly anything here. You just might not believe the variety here – from leather crafting to jewelry making to regional craft fairs. This spot will guarantee that you’re up to date with all that is going on in the crafting world.

Dollar Store Crafts – When money is tight, but you still need craft and gift ideas, turn to this site for creative notions.

Creative Jewish Mom – Journey along with Sara while she helps you to celebrate every day of living.

Fab Mums – This goldmine of a site offers a “Learn Through Play” section where you’ll find all kinds of methods to help your child with fun games that assist learning. You will also discover pointers to bargains on etsy sites and doable projects for you to make at home.

Hostess with the Mostess – will provide you with a made to order list of suggestions for your seasonal festivities and for hosting the perfect party. Glean ideas for your invitations, fun party favors and memorable centerpieces, theme and more. Learn how to be the hostess with the very best get-togethers anywhere.

Yarn Storm – Find loads of crochet guidelines on this blog by Jane. You may also enjoy being introduced to her world, learning more about stitching, brushing up on your quilting, and trying new recipes as well.

Do It Yourself Mama – Accompany this caring SAHM on her voyage to become as self sufficient, healthy, frugal and natural as possible, but continue to live her life with gusto.

Gingerbread and Snowflakes – is a darling crafter’s blog where you will learn all kinds of new approaches. Allow Pam to instruct you about her yummy food and how weave on your own loom, give your garden more pizzazz and celebrate little known holidays. Your happiness factor will increase when you stop by this engaging space.

Crafty Stylish – Is for your inner seamstress. Learn to sew almost any article of clothing with the tips and tricks on this beautiful blog.

Desire to Inspire – Find interior design tips and samples on this site. It is sure to make you say wow – I wish my home looked like that…

Cuteable – You will be directed to fun and helpful sites on the web to purchase items or inspiration to dream up your own perfect craft.

One Pretty Thing – Presents you with a pleasing array of craft ideas. You’ll find more kid’s crafts, sewing projects, crafts for you, decorating ideas and party helps than you would likely use up in a single lifetime. You’ll have so much fun!

Purl Bee – Catering to the knitters, if you are able to imagine it, you’ll likely find the pattern, instructions or pictures for it here. You’ll be overjoyed with the amount of first rate projects pictured for you.

Sarah London – Crochet ideas abound through this bright blog. Get ideas for pillow covers, sweaters, blankets, gifts and so much more here. Simply grab your hook and get started!

Not Martha – In the event you have not unearthed this website in your surfing, you’re definitely bound to fall in love at your first sight of this blog. Despite its humorous and catchy name, it is absolutely crafty, with a bit of foodie talent also. For all of us who do not feel like up and coming Betty Crockers or Martha Stewarts, find manageable craft and recipe inspiration on this memorable site.

Paper N Stitch – Looking for paper crafts to make or buy? You’ll realize you’ve run into on the mother lode when you go to this site.

Elsita – will widen your eyes to the wonders of making dolls. Revel in her winning creations – you might just even purchase a doll when she has finished it!

Craft Fail – Now for a tremendously entertaining bonus site. Here you can revel in the knowledge that it isn’t only you who makes crafting mistakes once in a while as you finish a DIY project

Fail Cycle – And just one more freebie for you as a reward for making it through this whole list! Note: this is particularly for anyone who participates in the Free Cycle program. This humorous look at some Free Cycle requests that were not exactly up to speed will have you laughing out loud.

Now that brings your list of recommended blogs to bookmark up to 22 more and counting! Get a kick out of going green with the hints given here, and laugh along with the 2 bonus finds.

About the Author

Colleen O. Ridgely writes and writes and writes. Her zest for life finds its greatest outlet in writing. She is interested in classes online and any other way to learn she can discover the world over.

Boogey monsters? Creepy crawlies? In There’s Something Under the Bed!, author Ursula Bielski explores the relationship children have with the paranormal, stemming from her own experiences as a young child. There’s Something Under the Bed! highlights many topics, including ghosts, fairies, imaginary friends, past lives, and even occult games. Bielski helps to paint a clear picture of the sometimes startling realities behind what many parents believe is their child’s overactive imagination. As parents, it can be easy to brush off a child’s insistence that someone else is in the room by dismissing fears, or making light of the situation. Rather than engage in fear-based confirmations, parents can help to encourage children to understand what they see and hear in the world around them, even if they themselves do not see and hear them. Extremely well-written, this informative book helps to bridge the gap between parents and children, seen and unseen.

There’s Something Under the Bed! by Ursula Bielski (EAN 978-1-60163-134-3, pages: 224, price: $14.99) can be found at Barnes & Noble, Borders, and online at Amazon.com.

About the Author:
Ursula Bielski is the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. An historian, author, and parapsychology enthusiast, she has been writing and lecturing about Chicago’s supernatural folklore and the paranormal for nearly 20 years, and is recognized as a leading authority on the Chicago region’s ghostlore and cemetery history. She is the author of six popular and critically acclaimed books on the same subjects, which have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. Ursula has been featured in numerous television documentaries, including productions by the A&E Network, History Channel, Learning Channel, Travel Channel, and PBS.

*Company generously provided a copy of the book and cover image for this review.*

Prancing Leopard Organics is offering a Back to Yoga sale, now through September 6th. You can receive 20% off most of the items in their exclusive organic clothing line. This is a great time to stock up on their comfortable, organic basics! This deal does not include their new items or their sale items. For more information, click here.

*Image provided by Prancing Leopard Organics. This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Forget dinner! Let’s skip right to dessert with this lovely, creamy dessert from Linda Eckhardt of the Silver Cloud Diet! Berries are in season right now – this is the time to enjoy them, too!

Coeur à la Crème with Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (“Mom” prefers organic)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Chambord
1 packet Stevia

For Raspberry Sauce:
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Garnishes:
Fresh raspberries
Mint leaves

Preparation

Cut a piece of cheesecloth into four 6-inch squares. Dampen and wring out lightly. Press one square into each of four perforated heart-shaped ceramic molds and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup of the cream, the vanilla, the 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the Chambord until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate.

In a small bowl, whip the remaining 1 cup cream and sweetener until the cream forms stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chilled cheese mixture in three batches. Spoon the finished mixture into the prepared molds and fold the edges of the cheesecloth over the tops. Lightly tap at the bottoms of the molds on the counter to remove and air spaces between the mixture and the molds. Refrigerate on a tray or baking sheet a minimum of 2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make raspberry sauce:

In a blender or food processor, purée the raspberries, 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Taste the sauce for sweetness and add sweetener only if necessary. Refrigerate.
To serve, turn hearts out onto dessert plates and carefully lift off cheese cloth. Drizzle with raspberry sauce and serve to great accolades.

*Recipe courtesy of Linda Eckhardt of the Silver Cloud Diet. Please visit The Silver Cloud Diet for more delightfully simple and healthy recipes!*

The cool temperatures, particularly the milder late fall, winter and early spring temperatures in the American south, pave the way to perfect conditions for active composting systems. Calcium deposits from Red wiggler worms contribute to the rich soil produced through vermicomposting and are deposited at optimum pace during the cooler months. The cooler temperatures result in increased rates of reproduction; therefore, food is broken down more quickly and efficiently with additional worms who are responsible for eating the microorganisms that break down the food. Food waste is a major component in landfills and releases detrimental methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The EPA reports that Americans throw away 98 billion pounds of food waste each year which equals more than 25% of the food we prepare! For example, a family of four generates on average one pound of kitchen scraps each day.

An excellent example of a fertile, organic garden is found on Little St. Simons Island’s, a 10,000-acre barrier island on Georgia’s southeastern Atlantic coast. Amy Shuster, Little St. Simons Island’s gardener, and the island’s team of naturalists share their expertise on how easy it truly is to incorporate composting into the everyday home.

These simple steps to create an at-home vermicomposting system will turn kitchen scraps into rich “black gold,” not only giving the disposal a break, but also reducing greenhouse gases all while creating fertile soil, the foundation for a successful garden!

Vermicomposting 1-2-3

1. Select a worm bin. A popular plastic vermicomposting unit is Can O’Worms which can be found at several online retailers. Benefits of this system include the enclosed tiered system (which greatly helps to reduce odors) and a tray at the bottom of the unit designed to trap the highly sought after “vermicompost tea.” This unit features three trays in which the worms work through the trays processing waste and depositing their castings on the lower level. If you’d like to make a system at home with materials in hand, a ventilated plastic bin (such as a recycling bin) works well. Guard ventilation holes with netting to prevent worms from escaping.

2. Purchase red wigglers or red worms which are packed in peat and can be ordered from various online sites.

3. Gather your bedding materials. Cardboard, torn into small pieces, and shredded newspaper are ideal materials. Avoid glossy paper from newspaper inserts, magazines, coated cardboard and shredded office paper as these may contain toxins harmful to the worms.

4. Moisten bedding materials with dechlorinated water (to dechlorinate: allow jugs of water from the faucet to sit out in the open for 1-2 days). Slowly add water to bedding materials until materials become damp, simulating the feel of a wrung-out sponge. If possible, add garden soil to your bedding materials at this stage. The worms will benefit from the gritty texture and the microorganisms introduced by the soil will expedite the breaking down of scraps.

5. Place bedding in bin and add worms. Allow bin to be exposed to light during the first hour to encourage worms to burrow into soil as they escape the light. Cover bin and set aside for 2-3 days before adding scraps, allowing the worms to nestle into their new home. When kept happy, worms can turn kitchen waste to rich compost in 1-2 months.

6. Store bin in a cool and convenient location, ideally between 55-80 degrees F.

7. Spread scraps around bottom tray, cover with bedding materials and allow the worms to work! Ideal scraps include raw vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit, and cereal.

About Little St. Simons Island

Virtually untouched for centuries, Little St. Simons Island is a barrier island off Georgia’s coast that features seven miles of pristine beaches, cottages for just 32 overnight guests, ancient maritime forests, tidal creeks and shimmering marshes. The island offers a rare combination of complete privacy in an unspoiled wilderness with the genuine Southern hospitality of the island’s attentive and knowledgeable staff. Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island retains that charm and unhurried pace of coastal living where time is measured only by the rise and fall of the tides.

*Article and tips provided by The Butin Group, on behalf on Little St. Simons Island.*

Earth Friendly Products, (www.ecos.com) makers of all-natural, green cleaning products for more than 40 years wants to give several lucky parents the chance to makeover their children’s classrooms or dorm rooms with all-natural cleaning products, as part of the company’s continued Safeguard Your Home! campaign.

To enter, simply visit Earth Friendly Products’ Facebook page, “Like” the page and leave a wall post explaining why the child’s classroom or dorm room can use a free supply of eco-friendly cleaning products from EFP, including: ECOS Laundry Detergent, Dishmate Hand Dishwashing Soap, Wave Autodishwasher Detergent, Eco Breeze™ Fabric Refresher, Window Cleaner, and Parsley Plus All-Purpose Cleaner.

Mom” is a huge fan of this line of all-natural cleaning supplies, and uses many of Earth Friendly Products daily in the home. Her favorite? The Eco Breeze™ Fabric Refresher because it leaves a crisp clean scent in the room after being sprayed and does not bother her husband’s allergies!

To enter to win, visit Earth Friendly Products’ Facebook page. Good luck!

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Linda Eckhardt of the Silver Cloud Diet has put together a delightful classic caesar salad recipe that tastes great all on its’ own, or paired with an entree’. Enjoy!

Classic Caesar Salad Recipe from the Silver Cloud Diet

Ingredients

1 head romaine lettuce, washed and dried in paper towels, then cut into four parts, lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 raw or coddled* egg yolks
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more to sprinkle on top

Preparation

Keep lettuce chilled until time to serve. The most dramatic way to present this salad is the way Caesar Cardini did. Get a big wooden salad bowl. Come to the side of the dining table where your eager guests await and make the dressing before their very eyes. Use a fork to whisk oil, garlic, salt and pepper together. Drizzle in vinegar and lemon juice + Worcestershire. Whisk again. Add egg yolks and whisk thoroughly to make an emulsion. Add parmesan cheese. Its’ best to let the dressing stand a few minutes to let the flavors meld. Add lettuce and turn until all sides are coated (You may want to do this one at a time), then transfer each quarter to a dinner plate. If you wanted to get fancy you could top the salad with grilled chicken, or Italian tuna straight out of the can, or poached salmon. Now that’s lunch!

*Although the risk of salmonella is slight because the dressing is so acidic, some who feel they have compromised immune systems, nursing mothers, and little children and old people might feel more comfortable coddling the eggs. Nothing could be simpler.

Heat water in a small sauce pan. Add a teaspoon of vinegar. Crack the egg and slide it into the simmering water. Don’t let the water boil hard. Cook just until the yolk has a film over it. Lift it from the water with a slotted spoon. You can use the whole egg or just the yolk, which should break nicely into a golden yellow yum. Hold the egg in a small oiled bowl or ramekin until you are ready to compose the salad.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Linda Eckhardt of the Silver Cloud Diet. Please visit The Silver Cloud Diet for more delightfully simple and healthy recipes!*