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ID-100120230Top 5 Eco-Baby & Toddler Gifts for 2013

The holidays are here, and it is time for “Mom” to reveal her top eco-friendly gifts for babies and toddlers! The five items below will delight and surprise both parents and children this season!

KicKee Pants Blanket

KicKee Pants Ruffle Blanket
Wee ones will love to snuggle up with this super-soft Ruffle Blanket from KicKee Pants! Made from soft Viscose from Bamboo fabric, the blanket is the ideal combo of stretch and softness. Great for swaddling or for cuddling as your child grows – this will surely be a favorite for years to come! Available in a variety of solid colors and cozy prints. www.kickeepants.com

Dots on Tots

Dots on Tots Flap Hat
Celeb-loved line Dots on Tots has the perfect stocking stuffer for babies this season – the organic cotton Flap Hat! Made from 100% certified organic soft baby cotton, the Flap Hat is double layered for warmth, and seamless with a soft Velcro (hook and loop) closure on the flaps. The hat is a must-have for chilly weather! Made in the USA with low-impact dyes, the Flap Hat is available in white, blue or pink in either cotton or sherpa fabric. www.dotsontots.com

Baby Mantra

Baby Mantra Skincare Line
Safeguard your baby’s sacred bedtime bath with Baby Mantra, a new baby skincare line made of top quality, all-natural and organic ingredients. Lush formulations pamper mom and baby alike, without the harmful chemicals and carcinogens often found in mainstream products. For the perfect gift set for a newborn baby this season, Baby Mantra offers four toxin-free products to protect, pamper and soothe, including the Newborn Shampoo & Body Wash, 3-in-1 Baby Bubble Bath, Shampoo & Body Wash, Calming Massage Oil, and Calming Lotion. The line can be found at Walgreens, Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Diapers.com. www.babymantra.com

Lullabag

Cloud b Lullabag
Little ones will be snug as a bug all winter long in the Cloud b Lullabag! This gorgeous, extremely comfy sleep bag helps keep your baby’s body temperature just right throughout the night, making for better, longer sleep. Used in place of loose blankets and bedding, it is a safe alternative that helps to reduce the risk factors associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. The Lullabag is available in fleece, bamboo/cotton and pointelle in a variety of prints in sizes S-L. www.cloudb.com

Green Toys Rocket

Green Toys Rocket
Your future astronaut will love pretending to blast off into outer space while being socially responsible this holiday season with the new Green Toys Rocket, which is made from recycled materials and is free of toxins. The fully equipped, 2-in-1 set includes a detachable top capsule and two astronauts that sport molded spacesuits, helmets, and dual-tank backpacks. Powered by a main booster and three auxiliary fin boosters, the Rocket has a large door that flips down to double as a set of steps up into the main cavity, while the detachable nose cone capsule has its own door that opens to reveal buttons, dials, and more. $24.99. www.GreenToys.com

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece. Top image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Mom” is crushing on the luxe, eco-fabulous gift sets from Noodle & Boo! Just the name alone evokes a smile! If you haven’t heard of this line, you are in for an eco-treat! The gift sets offer a variety of perfect products to pamper little ones as well as the new or expectant mom.

From body lotions, cleansing cloths, newborn gift sets and maternity products, Noodle & Boo offers essentials to keep skin soft, moisturized and supple the entire year. Noodle & Boo is the premier leader in luxury maternity and baby skin care. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients that are safe and gentle enough to be used on newborns and during pregnancy, the collection is also dermatologist and pediatrician-tested.

Mom” tried the Noodle & Boo Newborn Favorites Gift Set, which retails for $60. It contains a bevy of all-natural products for newborns and babies, and comes beautifully packaged, making it an excellent addition to any baby shower gift! The line can be found at Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Von Maur, as well as online at NoodleandBoo.com.

Noodle & Boo Newborn Favorites Gift Set contains:

Ultimate Cleansing Cloths

◦Cloths consisting of gentle cleansers and nourishing moisturizers that soothe and hydrate sensitive skin
◦Petal soft cloths are soaked in an ultra mild, all natural, no rinse solution
◦Alcohol free formula soothes and hydrates the skin with Vitamin E, aloe and chamomile
◦Film package with reseabable closure is ideal for travel and home use



Ultimate Ointment

◦Developed for cradle cap, eczema, and diaper rash, as well as cracked, ultra dry, and chapped skin
◦Creates a moisture repellent barrier between the skin and sources of irritation, helping to enhance the natural healing process
◦Pro Vitamin B and Vitamin E help to hydrate skin, bisabolol and allantoin help reduce redness and inflammation while zinc oxide protects and enhances the natural healing process
◦Fragrance and preservative free

Soothing Body Wash

◦Soap free and tearless formula rebalances skin’s pH while Pro Vitamin B and Vitamin E condition and moisturize skin
◦Soothes tender skin with allantoin and nutrient rich milk protein
◦Cleanses without stripping natural moisture
◦Can be poured directly into bath water to be used for a moisturizing soak

Extra Gentle Shampoo

◦High moisture, low suds formula shampoo with extra gentle bubbling agents
◦Nutrient rich milk protein nourishes and conditions the hair
◦Pro Vitamin B and E keep hair healthy and shiny
◦Tearless formula gently cleans and hydrates
◦Gently cleans fine hair and hydrates the delicate skin on the scalp

Super Soft Lotion

◦Sweet almond oil and Vitamins E and C moisturize leaving the skin sweetly supple
◦Natural formula hydrates and protects delicate skin
◦Provides a protective layer of natural antioxidants to help shield skin from environmental elements

To learn more about Noodle and Boo, and their smattering of all-natural product offerings, visit NoodleandBoo.com.

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

Looking for a gift that will be appreciated by the mama-to-be? This affordable, luxe little gift set is the perfect addition to any gift to pamper the expectant mother. The Mom & Baby Gift Set Sampler by Dr. Hauschka offers a selection of nourishing trial size remedies for both moms and their newborns, and can be used on all skin types. “Mom” is loving the Rose Body Moisturizer – keeps your little one smooth as silk, and it makes her hands soft, too! An affordable $27.50, the set can be found online at Hazel Wood Children’s online store. We’re pretty sure your shopping won’t end there though with all of the lovely natural and organic choices for the whole family!

The Mom & Baby Gift Set Includes:

Rose Day Cream: has natural soothing properties, making it perfect for changing time, protecting baby’s skin from dryness often caused by diapering or harsh weather conditions, a moisturizing emulsion after bath time

Rose Body Moisturizer: Featuring precious rose ingredients to wrap baby’s skin in protective warmth. Sensitive skin is hydrated and kept as soft as a rose petal

Rose Body Oil: Damask rose extract and essential oil balance and harmonize, soothing and calming irritated skin while helping to soothe the senses

Lavender Bath: Perfect for Baby & Bath. Lavender essential oil imparts soothing warmth to the skin, relaxing the body, easing the mind, calming skin sensitivities and visibly reducing redness

Hand Cream: Softens, protects, renews. A daily moisturizer for dry, overworked hands. Protects hands from cold, harsh conditions

Blackthorn Body Oil: Care For Moms. Provides warmth and protection while supporting elasticity. Helps minimize the appearance of stretch marks due to weight loss or gain

Dr. Hauschka is a 45 year old German based, holistic skincare line that is made from 100% organic and biodynamic plant based ingredients offering products that can be used for moms, dads and babies alike. The line is truly a step above all others in terms of handcrafted quality and ingredients. They have been nurturing plant and mineral extracts since the 1930s. Their pharmaceutical expertise joins over forty years of pioneering work in holistic esthetics to create the purest, most effective natural skin care preparations available.

*Samples generously provided by Hazel Wood Children.*

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the brand new Tom’s of Maine Naturally Clean Toothbrush would soon be placed in there! Looking for healthier stocking stuffers this year? Alongside all those goodies and sweetss, consider adding Tom’s of Maine new Naturally Clean Toothbrush, a chemical-free option that’s good for your smile and for your world. “Mom” is a longtime fan of Tom’s of Maine products, and her young daughter only uses the Children’s Silly Strawberry to brush her teeth! The toothpaste is flouride-free, dye-free and all-natural, making it an excellent choice for little ones!

Why choose Tom’s of Maine new Naturally Clean Toothbrush?

•Natural benefits include a BPA-free and dye-free plant-based handle made from renewable castor oil plants and colored with mineral-based pigments.

•The toothbrush also performs with multi-height bristles to clean between teeth and along the gum line and an angled neck for accessing hard-to-reach areas.

•Consumers can recycle the toothbrush through the Natural Care Brigade created by Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle, which recycles packaging that may otherwise end up in a landfill into useful products like picnic tables and park benches.

This season, give the gift of good dental hygiene – a welcome present for any age!

The Tom’s of Maine Naturally Clean Toothbrush can be found at TomsofMainestore.com and will be available at health and specialty retailers nationwide in January.

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

Give the gift of cookies that they can enjoy whenever the mood strikes them. An easy gingerbread cookie mix in a jar makes a great teacher gift this Christmas and holiday season.

Gingerbread Cookie Mix

Ingredients

1 quart-sized glass jar with a lid
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup packed muscovado or dark brown sugar

Additions

Small containers of sprinkles
Cookie cutter

Directions For Assembling Jar

1.In a small bowl, mix together 1 ¾ cups flour and the ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and nutmeg. Add in an even layer to the jar.

2.Layer the brown sugar, followed by the remaining 1 ¾ cup flour. Top the jar with the lid and decorate.

To Make Gingerbread Cookies:

½ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses

Preparation

Mix together butter, eggs, and molasses. Stir in the contents of the jar until incorporated. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out gingerbread dough and cut into shapes and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges just start to brown. Allow to cool completely. Decorate with icing and sprinkles.

Makes 1 gingerbread cookie mix

Recipe and image courtesy of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine by Shaina Olmanson

May 2012, Harvard Common Press

Cookbook, 152 pages, hardcover

978-1-55832-798-6 $16.95 US, $17.95 CAN

7 x 8, 4-color photographs

About the Author

Minnesota native Shaina Olmanson is a home cook, photographer, and mother of four young children. More than 50,000 readers flock to her blog Food for My Family (one of PBS’ top “Food Blogs We Loved in 2011”) every month for menu planning tips and family-friendly recipes that reflect her commitment to healthful, local, and seasonal cooking. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer, or behind the camera. More often than not, these three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously.

Great Gift Ideas for Eco-Friendly Couples

There’s no denying that it can be difficult to find gifts for the couple that insists on using only products that are kind to the environment. You can only give them so many sets of bamboo cutlery, recycled-plastic lawn chairs, and refurbished garage-sale photo frames before you start to run out of ideas. So here are a few that will have them jumping for joy and flipping their eco-lids.

1. Plants. You may want to skip the cut flowers and opt for a potted plant, but rather than go with the standard fern or fichus, choose something like a Jade plant, which is not only good luck, but also drought-resistant. Of course, you could also give your green friends an organic vegetable or herb plant (who can’t use a few more organic tomatoes or some fresh basil right off the vine? – you could give them everything they need for a great, organic pasta sauce!).

2. Matching bicycles. This is a great green gift that will get your friends from here to there with nary a carbon emission. But you can do even more for the environment by opting for recycled bikes, which is to say those that have been rescued from the trash heap, saved from a fate in the landfill, and refurbished to enjoy a second life. If you’re really lucky, you might even find a sweet seat with a bicycle built for two.

3. Personalized travel coffee mugs. If your friends can’t live without their half-caff organic blend from the local coffee house each morning, give them an eco-friendly way to cart it to work. Skip the plastics and metals and opt instead for patterned porcelain in a pretty print. You may even be able to get them customized with your friends’ married names for a one-of-a-kind green gift (check the selection on Etsy to support independent artists).

4. Renewable energy credits. Your friends may be prone to bemoaning their inability to afford solar panels or other forms of alternative energy. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still support the market for harnessing solar, wind, water, and geothermal energy. By purchasing renewable energy credits (or certificates) from the power company, you are ensuring that sustainable sources of energy continue to be utilized and pushed out to the general public as a replacement for the average power source (fossil fuels, nuclear, etc.). And when you purchase them in the names of your friends, they can feel good about providing others with the green energy that they can’t yet afford in their own home.

5. Eco-tourist retreat. For the couple that has it all you can’t go wrong with an activity gift. And this one will ensure that the only reason they ever need to visit a lawyer (at Morgan Law Firm or some other reputable institution) is to plan their estate far down the road. Sending your Earth-loving friends for an eco-retreat that puts them squarely in a beautiful, natural setting where they can reconnect (free of the guilt that might result from visiting other resorts). And who knows; by shipping them off to the Canadian wilderness, the Australian outback, or the wetlands of Brazil, you could just start an annual tradition that helps your friends stay together forever. Think of it as couple’s therapy for the green set.

Looking for an extra-special gift and keepsake for your infant, toddler or preschooler’s birthday? You are in luck – the popular I See Me! Personalized Board Books has just debuted two new books for boys and girls on their big day! Made in the USA, My Very Happy Birthday is an adorable personalized hardcover book with durable board pages, created especially for babies and toddlers. Read-along with your little one as Mouse, Duck, Turtle, Bluebird and their friends come together to prepare a birthday celebration and cake for your little boy or girl. Senders can add their personal touch to this beautifully illustrated book with a personalized cover and a printed dedication – the website allows the sender to choose from a wide selection of special dedications for the birthday child.

Written by award-winning author Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Mati Rose McDonough, My Very Happy Birthday is gift that will be read over and over again as children love to hear their name being read aloud and see it in print on the pages! In addition to My Very Happy Birthday, I See Me! offers a variety of charming and engaging personalized stories, including My Very Own Pirate Tale Storybook, The Super, Incredible Big Sister or Big Brother, as well as seasonal offerings for the holidays.

Learn more about I See Me! Personalized Board Books at iseeme.com.

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

As John Denver said in song, “The season is upon us. A time for gifts and giving.” Who is the most fun to buy for at the holidays? The kids, of course! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has chosen her very favorites for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary-aged children for 2011.

Tiny Green Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide for Children

JuneBee Baby

For the youngest member of the family, JuneBee Baby offers over-the-top adorable, luxuriously soft, stylish children’s clothing, all made lovingly with pure natural fibers in one-of-a-kind designs! Each piece of whimsical clothing will have your baby or toddler warm, toasty, and eco-chic through the season. Plus, a portion of JuneBee Baby sales is donated to “Generation Rescue” to directly help families with autism.

Maple Landmark Push N Pull Bunny

For the tiny eco-explorer in your life, the Maple Landmark Push N Pull Bunny is an excellent choice! When your little one is a crawler, the Push N Pull’s large handle is sized for little hands to push the bunny across the floor. As your child grows into a walker, a string can be attached to the front of the bunny through the hole, and it becomes a pull toy. The Push N Pull is crafted from locally sourced, responsibly harvested maple with hardwood components and laser detailing on both sides. For ages 6 months +.

A-Maze Rain Rush

Shake, rattle and roll – this wooden rain maker from B. toys sounds like rain gently falling against the windowpane, and your budding musician will love to sing and dance to the beat! A perfect choice for children ages 18 months to 3 years, this is one musical instrument that will definitely be a hit with the whole family!

In the Indian Night Sky

Hathi Chiti uses eastern-themed characters and concepts as a gateway to educate little ones about different cultures around the world. Children ages 3 and up will delight reading about Indian folklore and culture through this beautifully illustrated book written by Reshma Sapre and illustrated by Jayme Robinson.

Gone Fishin Bath Toy

Encourage your future marine biologist or deep sea fisherman with this BPA-free bath toy from Munchkin! A magnetic fishing pole catches sea squirts and makes “reel” clicking sounds – making bathtime fun and enjoyable all through the winter.

Pengoloo

Children ages 4 and up will adore this all-wooden, eco-friendly memory game taking them on a South Pole Eggspedition! Be the first to collect six penguins with their eggs on an iceberg to win. This award-winning game teaches color recognition, memory, visualization, and social skills. It’s a gift that gives back too, as Blue Orange plants two trees for each one used in game construction!

hello paper dolls

For unplugged, imaginative fun for your granddaughter, daughter or niece, hello paper dolls are sure to inspire creativity! Choose from 4 paper doll princess kits – each comes with a large 6″ paper doll princess and royal pet, 2 sheets of punch out clothing, 1 sheet of fashion accessory stickers and a unique stencil for endless designs. Made with FSC-certified uncoated recyclable paper.

Plush Giraffe Hot Water Bottle

Kids love giraffes, and this particular Giraffe Hot Water Bottle is perfect for a bedtime cuddle buddy during the chilly winter months. Includes a removable travel size Fashy thermoplastic hot water bottle that has a large opening for easy filling, and retains heat for hours. It is odorless, recyclable and safe, and features an adorable machine washable cover.

The season to give to our friends, family and loved ones is upon us! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has selected her top picks for the eco-minded woman in your life!

Tiny Green Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide for Women

kigo flit

For the active gal who prefers to tread lightly upon the Earth while walking, biking or even playing tennis – the kigo flit is an environmentally sound and extremely stylish choice! With a Mary Jane look, the flit is made of post-consumer recycled materials and non-toxic dyes and glues. Shopping early? On Cyber Monday, you can receive 25% off site wide with the code HOLIDAYKIGO.

Lunchbots

A great find for your office pals, LunchBots are super cool lunch containers that are plastic-free and made from the highest quality stainless steel. Perfect for those who love variety, the orange Duo and yellow Pico feature a divider to keep everything in its place. Pack crackers and cheese, fruit and nuts, and all your favorite snacks to go.

Lonesome George & Co. T-shirts & Eco-Accessories

For the eco-activist, Lonesome George & Co. creates bold organic tees & eco-accessories that make a statement from production through to everyday wear! Rockin’ one of their super-soft t-shirts is sure to inspire – choose from a variety of messages, from Agent of Change to Fuel the Future. Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes available.

Fortune Wine Tote Bag

These Fortune Wine bags are perfect for housewarming gifts and holiday get-togethers! Xenotees has come up with a truly eco-friendly, whimsical packaging alternative to cheap throwaway bags you see at wine stores. You can comfortably fit a wine or champagne bottle and they make great conversation pieces!

Coffee & Sweets from Aspire Coffeeworks

Need something for the boss, mother-in-law, or older sister who can’t make it without their cup of java? This gift basket from Aspire Coffeeworks fits the bill with 2 pounds of certified organic, fair trade coffee packaged alongside 6 ounces of handmade chocolate from Chicago’s renowned Fudge Pot and 6 ounces of delicious, all natural artisan shortbread cookies.

City Saky

For the eco-urbanite, the Spotty Saky for Ocean Futures is a gift that will be appreciated and used daily! Not only does the purchase of the Spotty Saky give back to Ocean Futures, but this durable bag can hold up to 25 lbs. while shopping in the city! From groceries to gym gear, the Spotty Saky is as fashionable as it is functional!

Harvest Apple Basket

Know a budding baker or aspiring chef? Give her this lovely Harvest Apple Basket from Fischer & Wieser – filled with Harvest Apple & Brandy Pie Filling and Apple Crisp Mix. Packaged beautifully in a reusable basket, this is one gift that was meant to be shared!

Hadaki Insulated Lunch Pod

For your newly graduated daughter who is working at her first internship, the stylish and reusable Insulated Lunch Pod by Hadaki will be a welcome gift! Say good-bye to the boring brown bag – this planet-friendly and AZO-free tote is definitely a keeper! Available in 20 bold, bright color combinations and patterns.

Wildly Natural by Mad Gab’s

Fun stocking stuffers for your tween, teen, little sis, the new Wildly Natural line by Mad Gab’s includes Lip Butters, Lip Shimmers, and Lip Glosses in juicy flavors. Made with moisturizing shea butter and organic oils, the new line of products come packaged in clear recyclable plastic containers. Did we mention how incredible they smell?!

Simple Craft Ideas That Make a Great Father’s Day Gift

While any dad is proud of the crafts his children make for him as Father’s Day gifts, it is particularly nice to give him something that is personalized and full of love. There are many possibilities, none of which is a wallet or gardening equipment. When Father’s Day nears, sometimes ideas can be hard to settle on, so there are a few nice crafts outlined below to give kids some good possibilities.

1. Create a special place mat for meals on Father’s Day. You can take a piece of fabric, cut out to the correct size, and paint a family scene on it or simply decorate and spell out ‘Happy Father’s Day’ with magic markers. Smaller children can help by making little handprints with finger paint. A gift like this is also wonderful for framing after the day is gone, so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

2. Forget buying a tie – bake a cake! You can buy a plain sheet cake at the supermarket or help the kids bake it themselves, then carefully cut it into the shape of a neck tie and re-frost it. The tie-shaped cake can be decorated with Dad’s favorite candies. Fine-tipped icing tubes are useful for writing a sweet message on the top. If Dad is diabetic, there are some wonderful online recipes that are appropriate for diabetic diets.

3. A memory book is a thoughtful craft for Father’s Day. It doesn’t have to be as fancy or complicated as a traditional scrapbook – it can be made of regular printer paper or construction paper folded over or stapled at one side to create a book. To avoid damaging cherished photographs, you can scan them and have the kids use copies. If the children have memories that they want to include but that there are no photos of, have them draw pictures of those memories to include. You can use stickers, ribbon, and markers to make borders for the photos or write down sweet messages for Dad to read.

4. Make a ‘Best Dad Award.’ Children can easily make this out of some cardboard from a leftover cardboard box. With cardboard, construction paper, markers, and stickers – and if you’re feeling brave, some glitter – they can make quite the nice Father’s Day trophy for their Dad. Gold star stickers and gold paint pens are particularly useful. If your children are competitive and can’t seem to make it work to create just one, this is a great, inexpensive craft project that can allow them each to make one. Dad will be gifted with a trophy from each child and the awards can make your kids proud when displayed on the mantle or on a shelf next to other trophies.

5. Help the kids to create a t-shirt that Dad can wear. You can find light colored t-shirts and undershirts for just a couple of dollars each, and with some fabric paint or fabric markers that can be made permanent, the sky is the limit! Whether your kids want to draw a scene or write out a Happy Father’s Day message of some variety, they can create a personalized shirt for any casual occasion that Dad will be proud to wear.

A wonderful Father’s Day gift does not have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to end at ties, tools, or neckwear. While sophisticated, grown-up gifts are all well and good, sometimes it truly is the thought that counts when Dad opens up a gift made by little hands.

About the Author

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging for three years; she is finding great deals and coupons for her Father’s Day gift at Savings.com and she also enjoys helping her daughter make funny t shirts for daddy.