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With Father’s Day just around the corner, the following 5 gifts for Dad are both practical and eco-friendly! All of these great finds can be purchased online for any last-minute shoppers.

5 Great Gifts for the Planet-Friendly Dad

Shea Terra Organics Baobab Sea Kelp Shaving Soap

Protect dad while he shaves, with the new 100% natural soothing shaving soap. The enhanced formula includes Cape Aloe, Cape Kelp, and Baobab oil to help skin cells regenerate, prevent ingrown hairs and heal razor nicks fast. He’ll be thanking you for the perfect shave. Available at www.sheaterraorganics.com for $18.00.

Bobble

Bobble makes an affordable and thoughtful gift for the active, on-the-go Dad. Bobble is an easy, eco-friendly and inexpensive way to stay hydrated while keeping single-serve plastic water bottle out of landfills. The reusable filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants from tap water, yielding a cleaner, crisper taste. Plus, it can be used up to 300 times before it needs to be replaced!

Bobble is available in 3 sizes, the original 18.5oz, a larger 34oz and a smaller 13oz. Bobbles retail at $9.95, $12.95 and $8.95 respectively. Bobble can be purchased in several retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Crate & Barrel, Bed, Bath & Beyond and online at www.waterbobble.com.

3M™ TEKK Protection™ Digital WorkTunes™ Hearing Protector & AM/FM Stereo Radio

Whether it is jamming to his favorite music station, catching the ball game on the built in AM/FM Stereo Radio, or just listening to his tunes via his iPod, Dad can have a great time passing the time outside while keeping his ears safe from the harmful effects the volume of powers tools and lawnmowers can cause! Visit www.acehardware.com.

EvolutionMAN

For the modern Dad, EvolutionMAN offers an amazing collection of men’s skincare staples with everything from shave cream, to exfoliant, to man-friendly cosmetics! Created by famed celebrity Groomer Marco Berardini, EvolutionMAN leaves Dad feeling clean, fresh, and fantastic without the use of harsh, toxic ingredients. For Father’s Day treats and one-of-a-kind gift sets, visit www.evolution-man.com.

Bento from Skip Hop

For the proud new daddy or expectant father, Bento is a sleek, functional diaper bag that will keep Dad organized when out and about with junior in tow. Designed from the ground up to be a total solution for today’s busy, multi-tasking families, the BPA-free Bento is not just a diaper bag. This innovative bag includes an insulated Mealtime Kit with Clix containers, which slides into a convenient compartment — keeping food in its own special place. The perfectly sized containers store snacks and more while the insulated cooler bag and perfect-fit freezer pack keep food fresh. Bento also features plenty of pockets for superior storage and organization, padded tote straps, an adjustable messenger strap and patented Shuttle Clips so that it can attach to any stroller. This amazing bag is perfect for Dad. (and Mom, too!) Available online at www.skiphop.com.

Sarasa Eco-Clip Retractable Pen

Every Dad needs a great pen, and for the eco-conscious father, the Sarasa Eco-Clip Retractable Pen by Zebra just makes sense! Made with 81% post-consumer recycled materials, the pen will quickly become dad’s favorite! It features a soft rubber grip, retractable tip, strong pocket clip, and a translucent barrel to provide ink supply visibility to easily refill when low. Plus, the packaging is made from 100% post consumer waste! For more information on Zebra Pen’s line of eco products, visit http://zebrapen.com/products/eco.

Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate Mom

It might be tempting to buy flowers and candy for your mom this Mother’s Day, but that may not be what she really wants. Your special mom deserves careful consideration, and these three simple gifts will help you to make this Mother’s Day as unique as the mom in your life!

The Gift of Listening

Have you asked the mom in your life what she might like for Mother’s Day this year? The answer may surprise you.

Depending on the person, the special mother in your life might want to take a hike with the family or may want a couple of hours alone. Or, if she’s like me, your mom might want an unusual Mother’s Day gift, like a barbecue grill, or perhaps she won’t want you to spend a lot of money in order to cut down on potential financial stress.

The process of finding out what the mom in your life wants makes this gift special. The first part of the process is to ask seriously how she envisions that special day. The second essential step is to listen to the answer and act accordingly to make her vision for Mother’s Day a reality. The listening and follow-through on your part will provide a day to celebrate as unique as the mom in your life, and one she will remember for years to come.

The Gift of Surprise

What if your mom doesn’t really know what she wants on that special day? Don’t be discouraged – this is a wonderful opportunity to plan a surprise.

One of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts involved a surprise planned by my husband and children. On that Sunday afternoon, I was given our GPS programmed with a route that I was to follow, and at each stop I was greeted with a special treat – the first stop was a manicure, the second was coffee and a scone, and the third stop was at my favorite thrift store. This was a delightful way to spend the afternoon, and the surprise element only added to my excitement and joy.

The planned surprise doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated, it just needs to cater to what’s special about your mom!

The Gift of Thoughtfulness

The crucial element to planning for Mother’s Day is to spend time thinking about what the mom in your life would really enjoy. Invest effort in thinking about her values and daily life, including how she spends her time and energy. Is she thrifty? Does she enjoy an occasional splurge and if so, what does she consider a “splurge?” Does she like to be active, or would she enjoy a relaxing massage? Could she benefit from some time alone with a gift card to shop without interruption? What is her favorite meal? Build your plans around your mom’s preferences and you’ll automatically be providing her with special treats.

These unique details are your keys to planning the best Mother’s Day celebration for the special mom in your life!

About the Author

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer who is looking forward to Mother’s Day. To find out more about the gift of teeth whitening for your special mom, check out Dr. Brett L. Johnson, DMD, a dentist in Oregon City, OR.

*Image provided by Organic Bouquet.*

Your parents’ lives revolved around you from Day One: from changing diapers through helping with homework, kissing boo-boos through dishing out dating advice, they’ve helped make you who you are today. But before fanny packs became their go-to accessory and minivans their car of choice, they were people, too!

In a digital age where we can retake digital photos until they’re “perfec,” the wildly popular website My Parents Were Awesome bucks the trend by appluading the everyday heroes – parents – with vintage photos. Launched in 2009 by writer, comedian and editor Eliot Glazer, the online collection of old photos of parents before parenthood proves that parents were once young, fun, and effortlessly cool. Yes – you know you want to check it out!

Now, Glazer combines the spontaneity and nostalgia of old photographs with stories by sons and daughters in a heartwarming collection of essays: MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME: Before Fanny Packs & Minivans, They Were People Too.

With intimate memories from Jamie Deen, Christian Lander, Laurie Notaro, and other acclaimed writers, comedians, musicians, and artists – MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME celebrates the hilarious stories of real parents: the mom and dad who traveled by VW bus to see Led Zeppelin for $1, the grandmother whose halter top and shorts belied her perfect demeanor, the father whose wanderlust passed down to his equally nomadic daughter.

A perfect gift for Mother’s Day, MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME includes a special section where you can personalize the book with your favorite image of your parents and write down your own cherished memories. With stories and photos that will warm your heart and make you laugh, the paperback edition of MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME reminds you to reflect, say thanks to Mom (and Dad) – and admit that, yes, your parents ARE awesome.

To learn more, or to order in time for Mother’s Day to let your mom know how amazingly awesome she is, visit myparentswereawesome.com.

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

This Mother’s Day, pamper Mom and the planet in luxe, eco-friendly style! Tiny Green Mom has compiled a list of the latest eco-chic must-haves for Mom – with a little something for every Mom, Grandma, and special Auntie on your list!

Eco-Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Bialetti Aeturnum

Stylish and eco-friendly, the PFOA-free Bialetti Aeturnum cookware line will quickly become the foodie Mom’s favorite for preparing fresh, healthy meals for the family!

Features include:

  • Made with a pristine white nanoceramic nonstick coating. The unique white ceramic surface also provides excellent thermal properties and even heat distribution, so dishes are cooked to perfection every time
  • Italy’s #1 selling nanoceramic cookware line
  • Responds to consumer demand for healthier, greener cookware – PFOA-free (free of perfluorooctanoic acid), a harmful chemical used in the manufacturing of nonstick coatings
  • Attractive, eco-friendly and a breeze to use and clean

For more information on the Bialetti Aeturnum cookware line, visit www.bialettishop.com.

Brooks Cascadia 6 Trail-Running Shoe

Slip into planet-friendly comfort with the Cascadia 6 Trail-Running Shoe by Brooks! For the serious trail runner or eco-crusader, the Cascadia 6 is hands-down the top pick for the Mom on-the-move. Stable and sturdy, the Cascadia 6 offers unsurpassed traction, and every aspect of the shoe itself has an environmentally-friendly component. Available in two bold color choices, in women’s half and whole sizes ranging from 5 – 12. Check them out online at www.brooksrunning.com.

Earth Creations® Clothing

Mom will look and feel eco-fabulous in this trendy line of organic, sustainable, and clay-dyed clothing! From flirty dresses that can be dressed up or beach-ready to feminine organic cotton tank tops & tees, there is something to suit every style at www.earthcreations.net.

Edward Marc Chocolatier

Indulge Mom with rich, decadent chocolates from Edward Marc Chocolatier! Sinfully delightful, these handcrafted chocolate creations are made from high-quality ingredients including cocoa from West Africa, vanilla beans from the South Pacific and citrus fruits from the Mediterranean. Pure chocolate bliss! Choose from a wide selection of gourmet chocolate collections online at www.edwardmarc.com.

eyecandy Soothing Eye Coolers

Over-stressed Moms need a quick fix for tired, puffy eyes! For an appreciated gift this Mother’s Day, these reusable candy-colored soft gel rounds reduce puffiness, relieve allergy symptoms, minimize dark circles and fine lines, and provide an overall quick fix for busy mamas. Available in 4 styles, including Classic Chillin’ Cucumber, Sugared Ice Blue, Tart ‘n Tangy Tangerine, and Cotton Candy Pink. Visit eyecandycoolers.com.

Zulugrass™ Jewelry

Show Mom how much you love her, and celebrate other mothers, as well, with the Pink Show Your Love Bracelet from the Leakey Collection. A gorgeous pink porcelain heart (which is removable) is strung on eco-friendly Zulugrass™ intermingled with Czech glass beads, and is handcrafted by Maasai mothers. Simply lovely, this is a gift that gives back on Mother’s Day! To locate a retailer near you, go to www.leakeycollection.com.

Duca del Frassino

For an elegant Mother’s Day luncheon, or a worry-free picnic that includes wine but not a breakable glass bottle, look no further then Duca del Frassino, Italy’s premium wine in a box! Each varietal is the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine, contained in eco-friendly packaging. Duca del Frassino wines cost $19.99, and are available nationwide, in four blends to suit Mom’s taste. Durello/Chardonnay and Merlot/Pinot Noir are the newest additions to the line’s already popular Garganega/Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon/Corvina blends. Visit www.cantinasoaveusa.com to learn more.

Colure True Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner

Treat Mom to luxurious, green hair care products from Colure True Color Care! Made with certified organic botanicals and free from sulfates, parabens, SD-40 alcohol, petrolatum, sodium chloride, dyes and irritants, each Colure Hair Care system offers UVA & UVB protection, hydration and more! The packaging is 100% recyclable, as well. For more information, visit www.colurehaircare.com.

REI ecoSensitive®Trail 25 Pack

The trail-lovin’ mama will look pretty in pink with the REI ecoSensitive®Trail 25 Pack when she hikes with the family this Mother’s Day! Made with 100% recycled PET polyester fabric, each pack keeps 19 16-oz. plastic bottles out of landfills! With a roomy main compartment to hold all of Mom’s essentials (and everyone else’s, too!), a zippered front pocket, and side mesh pockets for smaller items, the pack also can accomodate a hydration reservoir with 2 exit ports for the tube for hydration on-the-move. Sleek and comfortable, Mom will be hiking and trail-blazing in style! www.rei.com

Spoonk ™ Acupressure Massage Mat

Ease Mom’s stress naturally and in the comfort of her own home with the Spoonk ™ Acupressure Massage Mat! Made of Organic Hemp and eco-foam, these unique mats contain no synthetic AZO dyes which can cause skin hypersensitivity and allergies. Spoonk™ massage mats are portable, making it easy for Mom to destress anywhere, anytime! www.spoonkspace.com

*Companies listed above generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Elegance and whimsy grace every piece of wearable art in the Leakey Collection™! Zulugrass™ jewelry specifically offers the modern woman versatility in the gorgeous and bright strands of color that can be worn separately or together to compliment any look. Handmade by skilled Maasai artisans, each bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings captures the spirit and essence of the Maasai, and feels as though you are wearing a part of history itself. Brilliantly colored beads made from readily available and sustainable grass are hand-dyed, and then strung together with hand-blown Czech glass beads, and the outcome is simply gorgeous! Not only are the pieces truly one-of-a-kind, but the women crafting these pieces are given a chance to provide for themselves and their children through their natural talent and abilities. To learn more about the story of the Maasai, click here.

The Zulugrass™ Collection is simply beautiful! You can create your own look by twisting various colored strand necklaces together, wearing a bracelet as an anklet, or adorning your wrists with a variety of bangles! The possibilities are endless for this eco-chic collection. Plus, with every purchase, you are supporting an amazing cause by helping the Maasai women empower themselves by providing an opportunity for them to care for their families with grace.

To learn more about the Leakey Collection™, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, please visit www.leakeycollection.com. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to find a stunning, eco-fabulous gift for the special Mom in your life that also gives back!

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

15 Conversations to Have with Your Parents

By Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, author of Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

For readers who still have the chance, there may be no greater gift you can give yourself and your children than to know more about your parents’ early years. Sometimes the opportunity to ask questions simply presents itself, perhaps at a family reunion, or in a relaxed setting on vacation. But for many, it will not. I’ve found that since my memoir of my mother and I, Bending Toward The Sun, came out three weeks ago, people have told me that they wish they had asked their parents more questions about their pasts. We often have to pro-actively initiate these probing, more intimate conversations, which are not always in our comfort zones. However the opportunity arises, what follows are 15 suggestions that will help open up these important discussions among family members.

15 Conversations to Have with Your Parents

1. Create a family tree with your mother, father, or both. Ask them to tell you everything they know about your ancestors, including birthplaces and important dates in their lives.

2. Ask your mother or father to describe his or her primary childhood home. Perhaps he or she can go on to tell you about a particularly happy memory of an event that took place there, and a painful memory as well.

3. Ask your parent what books, movies, and music were his or her favorite as a child. You can then move from there to ask about current favorite books or movies.

4. Childhood heroes provide a rich topic of conversation. Ask your parents who their childhood heroes were. Again, you can move from childhood to present day and explore whom they most admire and why.

5. Explore the family vacations your parents took as a child. Ask about where they particularly liked to go, and whether there were any trips they disliked.

6. Try and discover what the rules were in your mother’s or father’s family, and which of these rules, if any, they felt were unfair. Also use this opportunity to learn what responsibilities your parents had as children, and how these contributed to the people your parents evolved into.

7. Inquire about the things your parents wanted to do as children but could not because your grandparents wouldn’t allow them to, they were unaffordable, or your parents did not possess the talent or skills to do them.

8. Ask your parents what questions they wish they had asked their own parents but never did.

9. It is not always easy to ask parents about their own fears, but it provides a good opportunity for mutual understanding. Ask your mother or father what he or she was afraid of as a child and about what he or she fears most today.

10. Ask your father or mother to describe a crush he or she had, or a special teenage romance.

11. Explore how your parents perceived themselves as children. Ask them how they thought adults and peers viewed them, and which aspects of these perceptions were accurate or inaccurate.

12. Ask your parents what first attracted them to each other, and what they most respect or respected in the other. If they are no longer married to one another, see if they will discuss what drove them apart and why.

13. Probe into the highs and lows of your parents’ lives. Ask about their proudest accomplishments and greatest disappointments. If they had one thing to do over in life up to this point, what would it be and why?

14. While they are reflecting, ask your mother or father what they would most want to be famous for, if they were destined to be famous for something.

15. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore how your parents view you. Ask your parents what about you reminds them of themselves at the same age. Ask what they are proudest of in you. And, if you are feeling particularly comfortable by that point in the conversation, ask if they have any questions to for you.

Most people have neither the time nor the desire to spend a decade writing a memoir about a parent or close family member, as my mother and I had the opportunity to do. But even a couple hours spent exploring the past with a parent could provide new and deeper appreciation and understanding. Moreover, a few pages of heart-felt answers could be very satisfying and useful to future generations.

©2010 Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, author of Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

Author Biography

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, author of Bending Toward the Sun, is a writer, lawyer, teacher of Holocaust Studies, child advocate, and former executive at NBC. Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is a member and past president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, a founding member and past president of the non-profit Alliance for Children’s Rights, and a board member and co-chair of the Education Committee for the Los Angeles Music Center. She has been a recipient of the American Jewish Congress’s Tzedek Award for Outstanding Commitment to Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Justice, and the Alliance for Children’s Rights Child Advocate of the Year Award. This year she will be honored in Los Angeles by Facing History and Ourselves, for her work as a writer and teacher.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two teenage children. For more information please visit her website at www.bendingtowardthesun.com.

For the chocolate-lover on your gift list, don’t forget to tuck a couple of packages of Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups into their stocking for a delectable treat! With five rich, decadent flavors to choose from, there is something for everyone, including Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cup and Milk Chocolate Caramel Cup. “Mom’s” favorite? Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, a decidedly holiday-inspired treat!

Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Seal, and both of the Caramel Cups bear the USDA Seal. To learn more about Newman’s Own Organics, to locate a retailer near you, visit www.newmansownorganics.com.

Looking for a great last-minute stocking stuffer this holiday? SIGG, the manufacturer of premium Swiss-made reusable beverage bottles, CafePress, the online source for custom printed merchandise, and Paul Frank, renowned designer of the beloved “Julius the Monkey” character have come together to bring a fun-loving twist to the world of custom water bottles. You can now personalize SIGG water bottles by choosing from a wide selection of Julius clip art and adding your own text to create a one-of-a-kind SIGG bottle at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

These Paul Frank SIGG bottles make the perfect gift for anyone who is green but still wants to make a fashion statement. Made from pure aluminum and 100% recyclable, SIGG is the ideal alternative to plastic bottles and does not leach any harmful chemicals such as BPA’s, alleviating the plastic waste dilemma that plagues our oceans and landfills. The durable bottles have baked on, non-porous interior lining that is taste neutral so you can have lemonade one day and water the next with no lingering taste or odor.

Affordable, eco-friendly and fashionable, they make the perfect personalized stocking stuffer! Depending on size, SIGG bottles cost $26 – $30, and you can customize yours today online at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

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

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Newman’s Own Organics new licorice twists, made with organic ingredients! Perfect as a stocking stuffer, these delightful twists are available in four tantalizing flavors, Black, Strawberry, Pomegranate and Tangerine.

Mom” could not believe how juicy and true-to-life Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists tasted! The three fruit twists just burst with flavor in the mouth, and are nothing like their non-organic counterparts. It will be hard for anyone to eat just one! Plus, the licorice twists are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol-free, and contain absolutely no trans-fats. This will definitely be the snack of choice this season (and beyond)!

Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists cost $2.99, and are available nationwide, as well as online at www.newmansownorganics.com.

For the active gal or guy on your holiday gift list, the new GreenLaces Collection by Hydrasip, reusable, stainless steel drinking bottles, make an excellent stocking stuffer! This eco-fabulous new collection are 100% (304) food grade stainless steel, extremely durable, and oh-so easy to clean! Both BPA-free and non-leaching, the bottles can be used for both hot or cold beverages, making them an excellent choice throughout the season & beyond! What “Mom” loves about the Hydrasip bottles is that not only are they recyclable, but each bottle arrives with two different caps, for your desired preference! The GreenLaces bottles are available in Classic ($16.99) and Insulated double wall ($19.99) styles and can be purchased online at www.hydrasip.com.

Founded by Women’s Professional Soccer Player Natalie Spilger, GreenLaces aims to unify environmentally conscious individuals and leverage athletics to reduce their environmental impact. A percentage of all purchases made of the GreenLaces Collection will benefit GreenLaces.org

To learn more about Hydrasip’s GreenLaces Collection or to order, visit www.hydrasip.com.

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