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Clean Your Grill the Green & All-Natural Way

Summer is in full swing which means we have moved most of our cooking to our outdoor kitchens and grills. Dinners become more relaxing and very casual. But you don’t want to be casual about keeping your grill area clean. Even though we are outside we still need to keep the cooking area free from both bacteria and toxins. Here are a few “green cleaning” recipes for you to use.

Grill Cleaner

After cooking on your grill you want to burn off as much of the excess grease that you can. Turn off the heat and let the grill cool down. Sprinkle the grill area with a light coating of baking soda. Fill a spray bottle full of white distilled vinegar and spray the entire cooking area. The baking soda will bubble which will help remove any built up grease. Continue to spray the grill and keep the baking soda moist. Wipe with a wet rag or wash in the sink.

Antibacterial Spray

Keep the areas around the grill free from bacteria by using this spray on any of the surfaces.

Ingredients

½ cup white distilled vinegar
½ cup club soda
½ cup hydrogen peroxide
8 drops Tea Tree oil

Preparation

Mix the Tea Tree oil with the white vinegar. This will cancel out the vinegar smell. Then add the other two ingredients and place in a dark plastic spray bottle to keep in our outside kitchen.

Stainless Steel Polish

This mixture removes build up grease from stainless steel grills.

Ingredients

1 cup baking soda
½ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons borax
Club soda to make into a paste

Preparation

Mix baking soda, borax and lemon juice together. Add enough club soda to make into a paste. Apply the paste to the metal with a soft cloth. Rinse with plain club soda. Finish by polishing with a clean cloth.

About the Author

Hailed as the “Martha Stewart Of Green Cleaning”, Leslie Reichert is a cleaning expert that uses her sparkling personality, great sense of humor and contagious passion to engage her fans and followers. Leslie Reichert is known as a Green Cleaning Coach. She is an author and spokesperson for the green cleaning industry and is a teacher of green homekeeping. She is a national lecturer, a contributor to The Daily Green, which is a Hearst publication, a frequent homekeeping expert on Martha Stewart Living Radio and author of the book: The Joy Of Green Cleaning – a handbook for DIY cleaners. For a free recipe and a video on how to use it go to www.thejoyofgreencleaning.com.

*Image: John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net*

Natural Mosquito Control: Is it Possible?

Summertime brings pool parties, backyard cookouts, camping trips, picnics, Fourth of July celebrations, and just all kinds of good family fun. In fact for many, the lazy, hazy days of summer are like a dreamtime – a time when a wealth of family memories are created and stored away to be cherished for a lifetime.

But summertime also brings something else, something that can sour the summer dreamtime into a nightmare – mosquitoes. At their worst, mosquitoes can spoil outdoor fun faster than an unexpected cloudburst, transforming a family fun event into a free-for-all scramble for shelter.

And the itching welts that the mosquitoes leave behind as a souvenir of their party-crashing behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. Mosquitoes also deal out illness and death on a massive scale globally, infecting millions each year with deadly and debilitating illnesses such as West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and the biggest killer of all, malaria.

Mosquito Control is Critical, But at What Cost?

In years past, we’ve relied heavily upon man-made synthetic chemicals, releasing megatons of chemicals such as DDT into the environment each year in our never-ending battle against the mosquito. These chemicals have been very effective weapons against mosquitoes, but the collateral damage caused by the use of these chemicals is incalculable.

Obviously, controlling mosquitoes is crucial – not only for the comfort of your family, but for their health as well. And in some parts of the world hard choices must be made between the risks of using synthetic chemicals and the benefits of holding at bay the onslaught of mosquito-borne diseases.

But what about your own tiny slice of the world: your backyard? Can you control mosquitoes around your home without relying on synthetic chemicals?

The answer – at least to a degree – is yes.

There Are Several Options for Controlling Mosquitoes Without Synthetic Chemicals

More products are available for controlling mosquitoes on a small, backyard-sized scale than ever before. And though some products rely on synthetic chemical insecticides, others utilize either an organic insecticide or use no insecticides at all. Here are some examples:

• A device that uses carbon dioxide to lure mosquitoes close enough to be vacuumed into a trap where they die of dehydration. Some may not consider this device to be strictly ‘green’ since it burns propane at an extremely low rate to generate the carbon dioxide. But this technology is capable of killing vast numbers of mosquitoes without releasing a drop of insecticide into the environment.

• A product that can serve as your own personal force field against mosquitoes. It uses a natural mosquito repellent to generate a mosquito-free zone of comfort that goes where you go, whether you’re hiking through the woods or lounging on a deck chair.

• A set-and-forget sprayer that will automatically spray for mosquitoes in your yard every day when they’re at their worst, using a natural botanical insecticide.

• And there’s the good old standby, citronella. Citronella candles, coils or torches really are effective in repelling mosquitoes. Lighting some citronella candles won’t instantly turn your yard into a 100% mosquito-free zone, but it will sure help.

Don’t let mosquitoes turn your summer dreamtime into a nightmare. Don’t let them create memories that will be haunting and bitter upon recollection rather than sweetly savored reminiscences.

Explore some of the many options that are available for modern mosquito control, and enjoy a summer that will live on in memory for all the right reasons.

About the Author

Visit the author’s website: mosquito-slap.com, to learn more about the mosquito and the best and most effective mosquito control products and repellents.

*Image: Christian Meyn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Mom” was recently introduced to Fei’d™, a new skin care line that is revolutionizing the skin care industry! Combining both Eastern Medicine & Western Science, Fei’d™ (pronounced “fade”) uses active botanicals rather than harsh chemicals to treat uneven skin tone, hyper pigmentation, and other skin imbalances by rebalancing the skin function as a whole.

Why use Fei’d™ Skin Care?

99% Natural
10 clinically proven key ingredients
Certified by the Natural Products Association
All natural fragrances
No harsh bleaches
No hydroquinone
No kojic acid
No mineral oil
Paraben free

According to Fei’d™ Skin Care, in traditional Eastern medicine, uneven skin tone is believed to be caused by a lack of qi (pronounced (“chi”) circulation to the skin. To treat uneven skin tone, traditional healers therefore actively target the meridians that govern the function of the skin. Namely the Lung (Fei), Spleen (Pi) and Liver (Gan) meridians, which regulate energy flow to and from the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

Mom” has been in the sun quite a bit in her life, and has significant sun damage, so she was excited to try this new product! It glides on easily, like moisturizer, and just one pump of the dispenser was enough to cover her face, neck, and hands – all three areas that show the signs of sagging, aging, and wrinkles as people age. Fei’d™ does not tingle or burn, as some products for treating hyperpigmentation that are more chemical-laden do when placed on the skin, and “Mom” has already noticed a brightening effect on her skin, especially on the backs of her hands!

For postpartum mamas, Fei’d™ may also help to treat the dark melasma that can occur during and after pregnancy. It was these same dark spots that prompted Claire Gutschow, founder of Fei’d™ Skin Care, to develop the unique formulation using both Eastern Medicine and Western Science. To learn more about Claire, check out the interview with this eco-conscious entrepreneur.

If you are interested in trying out Fei’d™ on your own skin, you can enter the Fei’d™ Skin Care Giveaway on Tiny Green Mom through May 25th, 2011!

To learn more about Fei’d™ Skin Care, or to order online, visit www.feidskincare.com.

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

Ladies (and gents, too!) – let all of your skin troubles just Fei’d away… Enter to win an incredible new skin care product that will literally fade away your melasma, lighten and brighten your skin – naturally! Certifed by the Natural Products Association, Feid Skin Care features 10 clinically proven ingredients to target the appearance of sagging, wrinkled and aging skin. From May 16th – May 25th, 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 Fei’d Skin Care Giveaway

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Visit Fei’d Skin Care on Facebook. Please leave a comment below to let us know you have stopped by their page to learn something new! This is only valid for one entry.

Follow Fei’d Skin Care on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

The Fei’d Skin Care Giveaway ends on May 25th, 2011 and is open to the US and Canada only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and 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! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

We have to admit, we were just so impressed by Claire Gutschow, the classy entrepreneur behind Fie’d Skin Care, an eco-fabulous company that is sweeping the nation! Her commitment to the earth, her passion for naturally beautiful skin, and her desire to make a difference – wow, what a combination! “Mom” had the distinct pleasure of asking Claire a few questions about her up and coming skin care line, which was recently launched in 2010. For more information about Fie’d, please visit www.feidskincare.com. (PS Claire, please share that homemade lemon meringue pie recipe! Yum!)
An Interview with Claire Gutschow, Founder of Fei’d Skin Care
Tell us about your eco-inspired company!
I’m from South Africa, and I spent my whole life in the sun. So I have dark marks all over my face. Being pregnant with my son didn’t help matters – I was one big blotch with no pregnancy glow in sight! I tried loads of products, but nothing worked. Since I’d worked in the skin care industry in my “past life” (i.e. pre-kids), I knew I could make a better product than all the ones I’d tried. I was still in touch with a couple of the best formulators in the world, so I was super-lucky. It also helped that my husband is a traditional Chinese healer. He knows some of the most respected traditional Chinese herbalists in the US. So once I’d found the right people, it was just a matter of getting them to work together. (Which was a lot easier than I thought – easier than managing a toddler play-date and WAY easier than coordinating a block party.) Not that I’ve ever coordinated anything as complicated as a block party. In fact, I have yet to discover domestication of any kind. I can work a microwave though. Does that count?

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

For years I followed the experts’ advice and tried to be “perfectly” green. But their suggestions were often way too complicated. So these days I just try and use common sense. We recycle. We buy used clothing for my son (they grow out of everything so quickly anyway). We avoid plastic bags like the plague and we try to buy local when we can. And we walk instead of drive wherever possible – it helps the planet and it tires out my son so it’s a win/win scenario!

And of course, Fei’d is as green as we could possibly make it. We do no animal testing, ever. Fei’d is 99% natural, certified by the Natural Products Association, biodegradable, and sourced from renewable resources. Our carton is 100% recycled, FSC certified, made with 100% renewable energy, Green Seal Certified and processed chlorine-free.
Guilty green pleasure?
Homemade lemon meringue pie made from the lemons in our garden. Although I have to be honest, I don’t feel TOO guilty. The way I see it, it’s a great way to get my daily allowance of vitamin C!
Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?
Be prepared to pay more for EVERYTHING when you make the commitment to be green. I couldn’t believe the cost of our cartons the first time I received the quote! Recycled board is just so much more expensive. But I have to have faith that it’s worth it. In my mind, it’s a karma thing. I want to look back at my life when I’m old and believe that I made a difference. Even if it has affected my “bottom line”!
*Image provided by Fei’d.*

You know the saying, “A little dab will do ya” – well, they must have been talking about Colman’s Mustard! This tangy English Mustard has been adding zip and zest to everything from recipes to basic sandwiches since 1814! This is no classic yellow American store-bought mustard that you can spread liberally on your burger or hot dog – this is intense, spicy, and mouth-watering mustard, meant to enliven your food! It is true, a little dab on your sandwich will do ya!

Colman’s distinctive and incredibly flavorful mustards provide a subtle, but rich flavor that is not overpowering and is great for even the pickiest of eaters. It adds unique layers of flavor to everything from Asian dishes to American grilling favorites. Toss in dressings, add to soups and stews, or make your next family dinner extra special with a mustard that serves as condiment, spice, and seasoning all rolled into one delicious spoonful.

What recipe did “Mom” try with Colman’s Mustard? Classic Meatloaf, with a kick! This made the hubby happy, of course!

Colman’s Classic Meatloaf

Ingredients

2 lb. ground beef (You can also substitute Harmony Valley Veggie Burger Mix)

2 eggs, lightly beaten (“Mom” prefers cage-free, organic eggs)

1 onion finely chopped

2 T. Worcestershire sauce, plus one teaspoon

1 ½ tsp. Colman’s Dry Mustard

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 cup fine, dry, seasoned bread crumbs (“Mom” prefers Panko-style bread crumbs)

¾ cup beef broth (“Mom” prefers vegetable broth)

1 T. olive oil

¼ cup ketchup (“Mom” prefers organic spaghetti sauce, as it adds more flavor)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, onion, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, Colman’s Dry Mustard, and bread crumbs. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Well washed hands are the best tool for the job. Add broth and mix again. Oil the inside of the loaf pan and add meat mixture. In a small bowl, mix ketchup and 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce. Spread on top of meatloaf. (“Mom” likes to top the meat loaf with ketchup drizzled across the top and sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.)

Bake for 45-55 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

For more information about Colman’s Mustard, to locate a store near you, or to purchase, visit www.colmansmustardshop.com.

*Company geneorusly provided samples, images, and recipes for this review.*

Mom” has just been introduced to an amazing new skincare line for little ones – jenerations baby! These hair and body care products were created by a mother who knows what other moms want – safe, all-natural & organic ingredients that clean, moisturize, and leave your baby smelling oh-so-sweet! In addition, jenerations baby products are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic – an absolute must for the most delicate of skin.

jenerations baby head to toe lotion

Moisturize and soothe baby’s skin with this creamy, dreamy lotion! It smells wonderful, and is great for an impromptu massage for fussy babies, as well! Made of moisturizing shea butter and sweet almond oil, it is light and non-greasy.

jenerations baby shampoo & bodywash

Double duty! This luxurious shampoo and body wash is made with extra sensitive ingredients, which includes extracts of rosemary, chamomile, and comfrey to relax and calm little ones. It smells fantastic, and just a little goes a long way to clean both body and fine baby hair!

jenerations baby hair gel

Tame those tresses! Go ahead – let your baby’s unique style come out with this natural and organic hair gel that is easy to rinse and not sticky when applying. This gel offers a light hold on baby-fine hair without all the chemicals!

jenerations baby no tangles conditioner

What’s worse to a child than having their hair washed? Combing their hair out afterward! De-stress the situation with this lovely no tangles conditioner – it contains sunflower oil and wheat germ oil, adding moisture and shine naturally!

For more information on this planet-friendly new line of organic & natural skincare products, visit www.jenerationsbaby.com.

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

Dish up healthy servings of hope with the HopeFULL Gift Pack! Originally created by two sisters who wanted to provide a dear friend with nutritious and delicious options that would not turn her stomach while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, the HopeFULL Gift Pack is truly special. Designed to be sent or brought to a loved one, the contents of the gift pack includes 20 easy-to-make recipes, BPA, PVC, and Phthalate-free HOPEfull Silicone Mold, 100 Birch-wood spoon-sticks, and 1 insulated neoprene cooler tote. The recipes are simple enough for any caregiver to make and freeze, and the frozen meal pops offer cooling relief as well as tasty nutrition!

Not just for those undergoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses, the frozen meal pops make a wonderful summertime activity and healthy treat for the kiddos, as well! Little ones will love to help Mom or Dad in the kitchen as they measure the ingredients, add them to the blender, and once blended, pour them into the silicone mold to freeze. What “Mom” loves is that these pops do not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients, just delightful flavors and sound nutrition! With 20 unique flavors to make, you can choose from Greenie Pineapple Pops to Cocobanana Bean, and introduce your child to flavors around the world, as well, with the Taste of Thailand or Tropic Treat. Yum!

Mom” chose to make the Summer Fruit Pops with her daughter, pictured above, and they turned out marvelously! Measuring, blending, and pouring was easy, and the pops were ready in a little over an hour – just enough time to play outside!

Summer Fruit

Ingredients

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (“Mom” used Vanilla Almond Milk)

1/2 cup silken tofu

1/2 cup fresh raspberries (“Mom” used 1/4 cup fresh raspberries and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries)

1/2 cup fresh strawberries de-stemmed and halved

1/2 cup vanilla whole milk yogurt (“Mom” used Organic Fat-Free Greek Yogurt)

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Pour into HopeFULL tray, add wooden spoon-sticks and freeze.

The pops tasted smooth and creamy, like a creamsicle, and are perfect after a long day spent playing! They can also be taken out of the freezer, left to melt just a bit in a bowl, and then eaten with the wooden spoon-stick.

Whether you are enjoying the pops as a treat, or sending cheerful goodness to a loved one or friend, the HopeFULL Gift Pack is sure to make someone smile! To learn more about the HopeFULL Company, the inspiration behind their business, or to order, visit www.thehopefullcompany.com.

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

How To Green Spring: an Eco-Friendly Easter

Don’t we all love Easter? After all, most Americans celebrate with candy, eggs, and talk of bunnies. But unlike Christmas, the holiday comes and goes in a flash. Here are some ways that you can prepare for, enjoy, and even keep the fun of Easter going days later, all while relying on eco-friendly materials and setting a great example for the little ones.

Pre-Easter Projects You Can Do With the Kiddos

Basket-Making

No jokes about 101 college classes, please! You can make your own baskets by taking an old food container or coffee can, decorating it, and attaching handles. If you’re interested in going the extra mile, you can crochet, knit, or weave a plarn basket. What is plarn, you ask? It’s a groovy plastic yarn made from simply knotting strips of plastic grocery bags together. (Google Image it!) If time isn’t on your side, focus on getting a basket already made with eco-friendly materials — something that will last a long time, and possibly be used again for other purposes.

Dye Your Eggs Naturally, Instead of Buying Store-Bought Easter Egg Dye

Yellow #2. Blue Lake #40. Do you really want these glowing petrochemicals to be stars of the show at your egg-dying activities? Instead, just go shopping in your own pantry for a variety of natural foods that make great dyes. Simply mix vinegar with boiling water, and then add:

Red cabbage leaves to make blue eggs
Carrot tops or turmeric to make yellow eggs
Red onion skins to make red eggs
Black walnut shells to make brown ones

These are just a few of your options — do some research and have a blast experimenting!

Eco-Friendly Easter Grass

Replace that gosh-awful plastic junk and delight your kids by hunting down an eco-friendly way to embellish the bottom of your basket. Turn to a shredder or — old school — scissors-in-hand to finely shred some of your colorful junk mail. Or, use a natural alternative like raffia, which can be repurposed for other projects after the holidays are over.

And Now for the Best Part: The Goodies!

We all know there are plenty of options out there for filling those Easter baskets. But not all fillers are created equal. Taking the eco-track this holiday means avoiding all that “Made in China” dollar store dreck. Will your little one really thrill to getting a plastic whistle with a yellow chick painted on it? Do the kids actually need another plush bunny to fill out their collection? Here are just a few examples of some basket goodies that sit well with both the young’uns and Mother Nature.

Recycled Crayons: Scavenge through the broken crayon nibs and melt them down. You can either gently melt them in the oven in a silicone mold, or slowly melt them in a double boiler and then pour them into candy molds. This requires special bowls and other tools that will be dedicated for this purpose alone; you don’t want to use them with food again!

Eco (Play) Dough: Eco-friendly play dough recipes are a snap to make. When the kids are done playing, simply store in a cleaned out previously-used container. To make peanut butter play dough, which they can devour after playing with, simply mix 1 cup smooth peanut butter with 2 cups powdered sugar and ½ cup honey. Or for a salt bread dough: make with 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 4 cups water, 4 tablespoons oil, and ½ cup cream of tartar. The kids can leave out their creations to harden into permanent treasures (like marbleized paperweights or Christmas ornaments), or just toss when done. Similar to dying eggs, you can experiment with natural food dyes to color your dough.

Make Hair Clips from Eco-Felt: Eco felt is a readily-available felt purchased at most craft stores. Made in the U.S.A. out of post-consumer plastics, it’s perfect for a variety of projects ranging from flower clips to wallets.

The Fun Continues!

Keep all of your boiled egg shells and make some eggshell sidewalk chalk with the kids! Make sure to thoroughly clean the egg shells and then grind them into powder with a mortar and pestle, or a spoon or rock on concrete. Once ground, combine the powder from 6 egg shells, and add it to 1 teaspoon of flour and 1 teaspoon of very hot tap water. Make a paste, and wrap it in a paper towel to dry.

After 3 days, you have yourself some eco-chalk! Now aren’t you proud of your growing stable of eco-friendly home arts?

About the Author

Jennifer Tescione adores being a craft nerd and making bright and shiny things by raiding her kitchen cupboards. She also writes for FavorIdeas, a leading destination for unique baby shower favors and adorable bridal shower favors.

Leslie McCann, founder of My Mama’s Love, stopped by Tiny Green Mom for a quick interview, and wow – what a powerfully driven woman in all facets of her life! From her business to her own life, she is a true inspiration! Oh, did we mention that her product line is simply eco-fabulous?

An Interview with Leslie McCann, Founder of My Mama’s Love

Tell us About Your Eco-Inspired Company.

The creation of my first product (Complete Skin Ailment Curative) was driven out of pure desperation. My daughter’s skin issues were so bad that diaper changes were painful for both of us. She also had scratches all over from scratching her itchy and eczema-ridden skin; she’d scratch herself until she bled. When I found a solution, I could not keep it to myself knowing there were other parents out there who were equally as frustrated with what they were finding on the market. The first commitment I made was that all my products would be safe enough to eat. It eventually evolved into eco-friendly, too.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

It’s been a process, and I am still learning new things all the time. I am aware of everything I buy now, where before I just didn’t think about the packaging, where something came from, what eco-system was affected by the manufacturing process, or how far something traveled – thereby creating all sorts of eco-insults. I think long and hard before I buy something, I do a great deal of shopping at consignment stores and on Craigslist. I buy local and I grow my own food (when my thumbs cooperate, that is). I recently swore off bottled water and using any new bags whatsoever. I compost my food scraps for my garden and I buy organic almost exclusively. Most of my choices originated from considering the health of my family, but as I learned more, it became painfully obvious that without considering our planet, we are feeding into the viscous cycle which is affecting all of our health.

Guilty green pleasure?

Theo’s organic chocolate – a divine local company!

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Oh, boy. Well, I guess I’d say that if you’re in it for the profit, you should probably reconsider. It’s not that you can’t be profitable being good to people and planet, it’s just that if you are blinded by profit-potential, it’s much easier to fall into eco-offending traps. Even in the few short years I’ve been in business the prices on eco-friendly products have come down and the options have gone up, however, there are still less expensive options when you go with things that are not planet/people friendly – and they are much less work to find. We have to think of ourselves as a cooperative – all of us eco-friendly businesses – we are working together to change something much more significant than the “average balance” in our bank account. The more of us who stick to the goal, the more we contribute to the well-being of mankind and the planet, spread consciousness and conscientiousness and eventually should enjoy a larger monetary gain with less effort. But, most importantly, we are making it easier for other companies to follow in our footsteps by setting up the demand – if you think of us all as cooperative partners, the need to compete goes away, because we are all after the same thing: change.