Celebrate motherhood with the person you love the most – your daughter! In honor of Mother’s Day, Erika Katz, the author of the highly acclaimed book, Bonding Over Beauty, offers fun and easy activities, like headband making or an at-home spa day, to honor the relationship between mothers and daughters, and to get even more immersed in the joys of being a mom through enjoying precious moments with your beloved daughter. Katz notes that there is nothing better than putting the cell phone down and just doing a fun beauty day with products that she and her daughter make together in the kitchen.

A fun and inexpensive activity to do with your daughter is a Mother-Daughter Spa Day. It’s a great way to open up conversation with her and really share the day with her. First, wrap yourselves in some fluffy towels and let the fun begin…

Katz loves the smell of strawberries! Plus, they happen to be rich in salicylic acid, an ingredient found in many commercial acne creams. Strawberries help to tone the skin, lighten any pigmentation problems and keep the skin both smooth and supple.

First, make a gentle strawberry cleanser which can be used on the hands, face, and body.

Gentle Strawberry Cleanser

Ingredients

1 pureed strawberry

1 spoon of olive oil

1 spoon of vegetable oil

The inside of a vitamin E tablet

After the skin is cleansed, it is time for the fruity strawberry face mask. It could not be simpler!

Fruity Strawberry Face Mask

Ingredients

Mix 1/2-cup pureed fresh strawberries

1 tablespoon of organic sour cream

The strawberry juice helps firms the skin, and at the same time the cream adds precious emollient for dry winter skin. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes; then wash off with warm water. Pat dry face and moisturize to seal in the moisture.

About the Book

Bonding over Beauty, a Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust, teaches mothers how to use age old and new beauty regimens as a way to connect with their daughters, establishing trust between them while building and reinforcing the self-confidence every ‘tween girl needs—at a time when she may need it the most. www.bondingoverbeauty.com

There is nothing better than fresh asparagus to accompany just about any dish! CHOW.com offers this fail-proof recipe for roasting asparagus, which is simple and requires only 4 ingredients and 3 steps!

Basic Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the upper third.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 5 minutes, shake the pan, then roast until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes more.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*

5 Tips for Good Sleep Habits

By Megan Faure, founder of Baby Sense and author of The Babysense Secret

To set the stage for good sleep habits, you need to start early on with little habits and strategies that will improve your baby’s sleep from one week to the next.

  1. Don’t wake your baby for feeds – take his lead for waking at night. This allows your baby to establish natural sleep cycles. (Your pediatrician will tell you if you need to start waking your baby at night if he is not thriving) If your baby still needs night feeds (can be up to 6 months of age), feed in semi-darkness – use a dimmer or a passage light instead of the bright bedroom light.
  2. Keep night feeds strictly business affairs. Don’t smile or talk to your baby at night – keep these important happy interactions for daylight hours. Don’t change your baby’s diaper at night– buy the best diaper you can afford for nighttime and leave it on all night unless it is clearly dirty with poop or leaking. The new generation gel diapers are fine to leave on all night as they soak up all the urine and your baby’s bum remains dry.
  3. From about 3 months onwards, encourage your baby to self-sooth. Do not ‘pacify’ your baby with a pacifier in an attempt to decrease night feeds. Rather feed him when he wakes for feeds at night, if more than three hours have passed since the last feed.
  4. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine that incorporates soothing sensory strategies, such as a warm bath, a massage, lavender smells and gentle rocking.
  5. To establish good day sleep habits follow the awake times as set out in The Babysense Secret. This is the amount of time your baby can be happily awake before needing to be settled to sleep during the day. For instance a 6 week old can be awake for an hour before needing to be settled to sleep. By working with your baby’s natural alert periods, you will find a day sleep routine emerges naturally.

About the Author

Megan Faure, BSc, OT, OTR is the author of the new book from DK publishing, The BabySense Secret. She is an occupational therapist who has worked for more than a decade in the pediatrics field in several countries including the USA and South Africa. In addition to her best-selling parenting book Baby Sense, Faure has developed a collection of innovative Baby Sense products based on her Sensible Sensory Parenting principles outlined in her books.

In addition to the Baby Sense book series, Faure has authored several magazine articles in the field of child psychology, parenting and child development. She is also the founder and chairperson of the Infant Sensory Integration Training group which provides courses for therapists to equip them to treat, assess, and understand infant behavior. Faure regularly lectures to both professionals and parents on various baby and childcare issues. For more information on Baby Sense visit www.babysense.com. To purchase Baby Sense products in the U.S. visit www.kastelinternational.com.

Give peas a chance in this lively, colorful salad that will get the kids in the kitchen with you to assemble!

Snap Pea, Corn & Pepper Salad

Ingredients

For the Dressing:

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

For the Salad:

3/4 lb snap peas, snip the ends and wash

1 cup cut corn kernels

1 red pepper, diced into small pieces

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients and toss with the dressing.

Yield: 5 servings

*Recipe courtesy of Veggiecation.*

Zoocchini has done it again! This children’s lifestyle company just knows how to create items that kids will ADORE, and make bathtime, mealtime, and playtime just a whole lot more fun in the process! Their hooded towels are made from 100% super-soft cotton, and are extremely oversized, so the towels are perfect for wrapping up your little one after a bath, a day at the pool, or playing at the beach.

Zoocchini’s hooded towels are available in 9 brightly-colored characters, such as Ziggy the Zebra, Lars the Lion or Casey the Cow. The towels are simply too, too cute, and make a fabulous baby shower gift or birthday present that both mom and kids will love!

For more information on Zoocchini and their children’s lifestyle products, please visit www.zoocchini.com.

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

April is Earth Month, and it is time to bring our attention to the small changes we can make as we go about our daily activities, such as grocery shopping. The Bulk is Green Council offers these timely tips on going green at the grocery store, and how to get the entire family involved!

Go Green at the Grocery Store!

  1. Reduce waste! Buy just the amount you need – Whether it’s a pound or a pinch, put a stomp on food waste by buying just the amount you’ll use. Pay attention to the amount you select (or scoop, in the bulk foods section) when experimenting with a new spice in your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe or stocking up on trail mix for the kid’s lunches. Overdoing it only means you’ll pay, literally, the next time you clear your cupboard of outdated food.
  2. Reuse it and get rewarded! Bring your own bags and containers – Whole Foods and top supermarket chains praise (and sometimes pay) shoppers who use their own bags. Invest in glass Tupperware or give that empty cottage cheese container a second use by filling it with brown rice from the bulk foods section or a quinoa salad from the deli counter. Just ask the cashier to weigh your container ahead of time. While you’re at it, BYOB (bring your own bag). If you must go with single-use, opt for paper!
  3. Buy natural and organic, whenever possible – Not only are the pesticides and synthetic chemicals used in non-natural and non-organic foods often toxic to our health – they’ve been linked to cancer and other diseases – they’re bad for the environment. Tainted runoff from conventional farms washes into rivers and lakes, which contaminates waterways and threatens wildlife. Plus, the added benefits of buying natural and organic don’t have to mean added costs. By buying natural and organic in the bulk foods section of the grocery store, shoppers can pay 30 to 96 percent less on their grocery bill.
  4. Make it a one shop stop – Save gas, time and the environment by picking up all your groceries in one efficient trip. Visit your local co-op or all-in-one supermarket, or consider cooking recipes made almost entirely with ingredients from one section of the grocery store, such as the bulk foods aisle to save time.
  5. Turn the shopping over to the kids – Get your little ones excited about being green by allowing them to select natural, organic or Fair Trade treats and snacks themselves. Be it in the natural foods section or the bulk foods aisle, they’ll enjoy the freedom and you’ll enjoy getting healthy and eco-friendly food into the grocery cart without a fight.

For more information on the Bulk is Green Council, visit www.bulkisgreen.org.

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is pleased to announce that the Winner of Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food “Just for Kids” Giveaway is Deborah Wallin! We hope that you and your little ones enjoy these healthy, wholesome treats! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

*Image provided by Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food.*

Veggies and cheese – you can never go wrong! This simple and delicious recipe courtesy of Veggiecation will help everyone eat their servings of vegetables with ease!

Zucchini, Tomato & Parmesan Bake

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

2 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, toss the zucchini and tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • In an oiled baking dish, arrange the zucchini in overlapping rows. Then arrange the tomatoes on top of the zucchini.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the tomatoes.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool.

Yield: 5 servings

*Recipe courtesy of Veggiecation.*