Have you ever wanted one thing – just one thing – more than anything else in the world? A toy? A new bike? A computer game? Did you imagine that this one possession would make you incredibly happy – forever? For Benji that one thing is an enormous orange kite. In BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis Publishing; August 2018), bestselling author Alan C. Fox tells the enchanting story of a young boy who learns that possessing something is not quite as meaningful as letting it go.

In His Illustrated Children’s Book, BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE, Bestselling Author Alan C. Fox Focuses On Perseverence, Dreams, and Letting Go

BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE, with illustrations by Eefje Jujil, is the second in Alan Fox’s series of picture books. The first, BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH, was named a notable children’s book of 2017 by Booklist magazine and has become a much-loved story for youngsters and parents alike.

Alan Fox explains that like all of his books, “BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE is based on a real-life incident. This one happened when I was a child. I decided to tell the story, because I wanted to share the sense of achievement I felt by working hard to obtain something I really loved. But once I saw the kite flying at the beach, I wanted to let it go. My dream had been accomplished. It was time move on to another, new experience. You must always keep going to fulfill your dreams and aspirations.”

Would you like to win a copy of BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE for your family? From August 1st – August 5th, 2018 you can enter to win daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know why you would love to win the BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE Giveaway!

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The BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE Giveaway ends on August 5th, 2018 and is open to the US only. Please make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! We can’t wait to announce the winner of this giveaway!

Updating your baby’s nursery to a more timeless, neutral space for your little one, or looking for more classic pieces that could work for more than one child? We have compiled some tips on creating an eco-friendly, modern space that will grow with your child that won’t break the bank!

Choose materials carefully. For the walls, opt for a child safe, enviromentally-safe, no or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, such as Real Milk Paint. Paint is one of the top indoor air pollutants, and VOC’s are the toxins that off-gas into the air upon application. Most major paint manufacturers now make a no or low-VOC line of paint with a wide choice of colors, so when picking out paint, read labels carefully or ask a store associate for assistance.

We all know that the color in a space can greatly affect our mood… and our children’s mood! For young children, opt for a color scheme that promotes a healthy night’s sleep & a calm, nurturing atmosphere for play. A neutral color can help to stabilize and ground, while green is an ideal color for any space. Green is neither hot nor cool & symbolizes growth & new beginnings. Use yellow sparingly, or not at all, as yellow is the hardest color for your eye to break down.

In addition to paint, carpet is another major indoor air pollutant, so instead look for hardwood, bamboo, cork, rubber or tile options for bedroom flooring. Adding an area rug made from natural fibers adds the needed warmth you want in a bedroom, plus offers a sound deadening quality to help sound from bouncing off the floor & walls. Wool is strongly suggested as it is a self-extinguishing fiber, an added bonus. We love this ABC Classic Rug from Peurobaby, as it is ethically made from 100% raw materials and non-toxic dyes. It is also washable, which comes in handy with little ones! It is extremely lightweight and easy to pick up and move, with anti-slip underlay to ensure safety.

When adding furniture pieces to your child’s room, such as dressers or chairs, look for unfinished wood furniture, and then stain/paint with a NO VOC stain or paint. This will limit any off-gassing of toxins that a finished piece of new furniture would emit into the space. Another eco-friendly choice is to choose a recycled or upcycled item from a family member or friend. For a fun, timeless piece that blends in seamlessly with any space, the Wooden Toddler Slide from Peurobaby is perfect for indoor use, and encourages exercise, motor skills and independence! Available in a wide variety of colors, the slide is made from molded wood and finished with water-dilutable finish, free of methylpyrrolidone and free of phthalate plasticizers.

For additional play items that grow with your child, choose items that delight their imagination and encourage independent play, from a wooden kitchen to an adorable Chalkboard Ride-On Wagon! This little wagon is a favorite with my children… my now 6 year old likes to decorate it with her artwork, and my little guy likes to pull his wooden cars around in it! It wipes clean easily, too!

When choosing new linens and bedding for a neutral space, think cool colors such as blues, greens, and lavender to calm and soothe, rather than jarring, bright colors! Organic cotton blankets, sheets and pillows give your child a soft, safe place to snuggle into at night, and if possible, opt for Naturepedic, a company that makes GOTS certified organic cotton sheets, pillows, and more… all allergen-friendly, as well! We also adore Aden + Anais, who make the softest, breathable, 100% cotton muslin blankets, changing pad covers, and sleep sacks.

It can be fairly simple to makeover your child’s space to create a delightful, neutral space in which to sleep and play! When in doubt, opt for eco-friendly, natural, and classics that grow with your child.

*Peurobaby provided a sample & images for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Fun and festive, these delicious 4th of July red, white and blue berry cake parfaits will be the stars of the dessert table! With berries in season right now, this is a winning combination!

This recipe uses Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Cake Mix and Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, plus lots of fresh berries, which makes for easy baking, assembling and cleaning.

We love that all of Miss Jones’ mixes and frostings are vegan-friendly, so everyone can enjoy this festive, patriotic dessert! Plus, they are perfectly portioned and ready to serve!

For this recipe, Miss Jones’ used parfait glasses & drinking glasses, using the rim of the glass to cut out circles from a sheet cake, but you can also use crumbled cake to fill mason jars for a dessert on-the-go if you are spending the day at a picnic or someone else’s home.

Red, White and Blue Berries and Cream Cake Parfaits

Ingredients

1 box Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Cake Mix
1 jars Miss Jones Organic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free eggs)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted (“Mom” prefers organic)
6 oz raspberries
6 oz blueberries
6 oz blackberries

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 in pan with parchment paper and spray with oil.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, butter and milk together until combined.

Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Cool completely.

Use the rim of the glass to cut circles out of the sheet cake. Push the cake circle to the bottom of the glass. If it’s too tight, use a knife to trim a little around the edges.

Fill piping bag with frosting. Pipe some frosting over the cake layer and add some berries. Place another cake circle on top and layer with frosting and berries. Keep layering until you reach the top of the glass.

Serve and enjoy!

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Total Time: 50-65 minutes

*Recipe and image courtesy of Miss Jones Baking Co.*

This holiday season, and beyond, you can inspire others to ‘give a chip!’ Deep River Snacks’ offers a wonderful and simple way to give to others while at the same time giving back to what matters most to the recipient with their Chips & Charity gift basket for the holiday season! As charitable giving is a growing trend, this is a perfect gift for anyone from your loved ones to co-workers! Essentially who loves to give back, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Deep River Snacks 2

Chips & Charity is a delicious assortment of kettle chips + a $10 charity gift card that the recipient can use to make a donation to the non-profit of their choice via justgive.org.

These aren’t just any chips – Deep River Snacks’ are proudly made in the USA without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and they are Non-GMO, Certified Gluten-Free, and Nut-Free, too! In addition, each bag features a great charity partner with a back story that means something important to a Deep River Snacks’ founder or employee.

The $10 gift certificate is redeemable on justgive.org and allows the recipient to choose from over 2 million charities! What non-profit did “Mom” choose? Lucy’s Love Bus! This incredible organization allowed “Mom’s” daughter to receive Traditional Chinese Medicine while battling neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, for close to three years. Unfortunately, “Mom’s” oldest daughter passed away at the tender age of 5 this year, and this will be her first Christmas without her sweet daughter. Giving back to Lucy’s Love Bus was truly such a wonderful way to honor her little girl and bring hope to other families going through similar situations this holiday season!

Available for purchase on Amazon.com for $24.99, which included 12-2oz bags + $10 charity gift card.

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

Kiss My Face Kids Defense Lotion

Get prepared for an eco-friendly summer with these new finds! From play dates and picnics to long days at the park, “Mom” has compiled her top picks for the months ahead!

Kiss My Face Kids Defense Spray

Kiss My Face Kids Sun Care Collection

With the new Kiss My Face Kids Sun Care Collection, kids can protect their skin all summer long with formulas that effectively block harmful UV rays with the use of Antioxidant Defenders™ that are free of parabens, oxybenzone and artificial fragrances. Whether mastering the biggest cannonball or setting up shops for the best lemonade stand, summer’s possibilities are endless thanks to Kiss My Face. “Mom” is loving the Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ with Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50 – this provides a fast, easy applicaton for not only hard to reach places, but little ones on the move! Two more products round out the collection, which includes the Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ Mineral SPF 30 and the Cool Sport™ with Any Angle Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50. All products are biodegradeable, too! www.kissmyface.com

Posh Play Mat

This is a busy mom’s dream come true! This planet-friendly, PVC-free faux leather mat looks classy while providing little ones a sanitary place to play in an instant – both inside and out! With a large celeb following, the Posh Play Mat wipes clean in seconds and can be rolled up to tote anywhere, from the park to playdate to airport! www.poshplaymat.com

Desert Essence Baby

Desert Essence Baby

Afer a long day of playing in the summer sun, get your kiddos squeaky clean with this new favorite line of “Mom’s” by Desert Essence! Their new NSF-Organic & USDA Certified-Organic Babycare & Nursery Care products are simply awesome. The Oh So Clean 2 In 1 Gentle Foaming Hair & Body Cleanser smells delightful and is made from 100% Olive Castile soap blended with vitamin-rich Organic Sunflower Oil. The My Sweetie Pie Baby Lotion is also quite a hit! www.desertessence.com

Bitsy's Carrot Raisin Crunch

Bitsy’s Brainfood Cereals

Move over Raisin Bran! There’s an exciting new cereal called Carrot Raisin Crunch from Bitsy’s Brainfood that will have everyone clamoring to the table this summer! The popular Bitsy’s Brainfood has created a smarter cereal alternative made from organic ingredients and real fruits and veggies!. Bitsy’s cereal is available in three tasty flavor combinations: Fruit & Veggie 1,2,3, Carrot Raisin Crunch, and Banana Squash Squares. Kids can have a nutritious breakfast that will fuel them for the day of summer activities or the cereals make an excellent snack for on-the-go, too! Just place in a reusable container for something fun to nibble on! www.bitsysbrainfood.com

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

 

Not to be mistaken for the yellow mustard frequently squirted on hot dogs or hamburgers, Colman’s Mustard is a powerful, versatile ingredient that at-home cooks, as well as restaurant chefs, use to add an extra dimension of irresistible flavor to their meals. Place a dollop on your turkey, add a teaspoon to your favorite salad vinaigrette, or try an exciting twist on classic Thanksgiving mashed potatoes with the following recipe!

Colman’s Sweet Potato & Mustard Mash

Ingredients

4 large sweet potatoes
8 fl oz half and half or full cream (“Mom” prefers organic)
6 level teaspoons of Colman’s Prepared Mustard
Juice of 2 Lemons

Preparation

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large cubes.
Boil them for 15 minutes in salted water until they are just tender but not soft.
Drain, and transfer to a blender and add the cream. Blend for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth mixture.
Return the potatoes to the pan and stir in the Colman’s Mustard, warm through and add the lemon juice.

Serves 8.

(Source: Paul Hartley’s ‘The Colman’s Mustard Cookbook’)

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Keep little ghosts and ghouls hydrated while trick-or-treating this Halloween with SIGG’s new Fall collection, showcasing a favorite iconic character, Hello Kitty, dressed up for the occasion, too! On each reusable water bottle, Hello Kitty wears a different animal costume, including Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and Monkey.

Heralding the Halloween spirit, SIGG makes it fun for little ones to keep thirst at bay while running up and down the neighborhood! These cute character bottles are up to the mighty task on Hallow’s Eve. You can find them online at MYSIGG.com.

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

Fall a great time of year for so many reasons; sweaters, changing leaves, and above all, pumpkin is back in season! Sadly, many pumpkin favorites are packed with calories and unwanted fats. Recipe Rehab has a solution once again! Chef Tana’s Pumpkin Bar Recipe is a delicious and healthier pumpkin dessert; an instant favorite for anyone who can’t go without their daily dose of pumpkin, but wants to stay healthy.

Chef Tana’s Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients

2 cup(s) pumpkin puree
4 large egg(s), free-range
1/2 cup(s) raw honey
2 tablespoon sugar substitute, such as xylitol or stevia in the raw
1/2 cup(s) grapeseed oil
1/4 cup(s) light coconut milk
3/4 cup(s) rice flour
3/4 cup(s) all-purpose, gluten-free flour
1/2 cup(s) almond meal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 cooking spray
8 ounce(s) cheese, neufchâtel, or vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup(s) honey, raw

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.

2. To make the batter: Using a handheld electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, honey, Xylitol, oil, and coconut milk until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Slowly add flour mixture to liquid mixture and mix with electric mixer at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

3. Spray a jellyroll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting and cutting into bars.

4. To make the frosting: Using a handheld electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and honey. Mix until smooth and creamy.

*Recipe and image courtesy of EverydayHealth.com/RecipeRehab.*

This Fall, choose to use cleaning products around the home that are environmentally-friendly and less toxic! We have chosen our top three picks for keeping everything squeaky clean as you prepare your home for the approaching holiday season!

What’s New in Eco-Cleaning?

CleanWell Botanical Wipes

CleanWell Botanical Surface Disinfectant Wipes

Both antibacterial and antiviral, these new wipes are formulated with a patented formulation of thyme oil that kills over 99.9% of germs botanically on hard, non-porous surfaces. To wipe up a quick spill or to disinfect your child’s toy after it has been dropped on the floor, CleanWell Botanical Wipes are a busy parent’s new favorite cleaning product!

The CleanWell Botanical Surface Disinfecting Wipes come in fresh lemon and citrus scents, and are suitable to use around the whole family, including pets. The wipes do not contain synthetic fragrances, dyes, ammonia, alcohol or chlorine.

BabyGanics Cleaner

BabyGanics Grime Fighter All Purpose Cleaner

Mom” likes to use non-toxic yet effective spray cleaners around her home, and the newest gem to add to your cleaning arsenal is the Grime Fighter All Purpose Cleaner from BabyGanics! This is a multi-surface cleaner that gets the job done just as well as the ones that typically use harsh bleaches and chemicals. “Mom” is pleased to report that your family won’t be exposed to harmful ingredients, thanks to The Grime Fighter’s specially formulated, plant-based cleaning agents. Plus, it contains no parabens, sulfates, phthalates or toxins. You can learn more about BabyGanics, which is fast becoming one of “Mom’s” go to all-natural product lines, at BabyGanics.com.

Method Power Foam 1

Method Power Foam Dish Soap

Keeping things clean and sudsy in the kitchen sink is the new Power Foam Dish Soap from Method! Method’s new Power Foam Dish Soap is designed with an easy-to-use trigger spray bottle, which was designed to reach and clean even the toughest of spaces. As an added bonus, we all know that fun foaming soap is an ideal solution for getting kids involved in the dishwashing routine. (or any routine that involves cleaning!) The new Power Foam Dish Soap is available in French Lavender, Pink Grapefruit, and Lemon Mint and retails for $3. Visit MethodHome.com.

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough who have just released their 21st cook book, Grain Mains: 101 Suprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, have created a delicious KAMUT® Salad with Cauliflower, Olives and Raisins recipe. The dish is easy to make, extremely nutritious and most importantly, it tastes great!

KAMUT Salad wIth Cauliflower, Olives and Raisins

Ingredients

1 cup Kamut
1⁄4 cup almond oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups small cauliflower florets
4 ounces pitted green olives, sliced (about 1 cup)
3⁄4 cup golden raisins
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup dry white wine (“Mom” prefers organic, sulfite-free wine) or dry vermouth

Preparation

1. Soak the Kamut in a big bowl of cool water for at least 8 and up to 16 hours. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve or a small-holed colander set in the sink. Pour the grains into a large saucepan, cover with water by several inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain again in that sieve or colander, then run under cool water until the grains are at room temperature. Drain thoroughly.
2. Heat a large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil, then the shallot, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring almost con- stantly, until the shallot softens, about 1 minute.
3. Dump in the cauliflower florets. Continue cooking, stirring fre- quently, until they begin to soften and even lightly brown at the edges, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the olives, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir over the heat until very fragrant, a minute or so. Then pour in the wine or vermouth and bring to a full simmer. Bubble for 2 minutes to steam the vegetables a bit and to reduce the wine or vermouth until it’s the consistency of a dressing. Scrape the entire contents of the pot into a large bowl. Stir in the cooked Kamut.

For more heart-healthy recipes, go to www.kamut.com.

About KAMUT® Brand Khorasan Wheat

The mission of Kamut International is to promote organic agriculture and support organic farmers, to increase diversity of crops and diets, and to protect the heritage of a high quality, delicious ancient grain for the benefit of this and future generations. KAMUT® is a trademark of Kamut International and it stands for guaranteed standards that are verified by tests from every field.