Category Archives: Natural Living

reasons you might be a crunchy mom

You Know You’re a Crunchy Mom When…

Crunchy Mom quotes

So, you hear that term “crunchy” again, and you’re wondering what exactly it means? Well, Urban Dictionary defines a crunchy mom as a

“Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods.”

I’m a self-proclaimed earth-loving, organic-eating mama myself, and I’ll proudly share the “crunchy” title with all of the other amazing mamas out there who believe in natural living!

Want to find out if you’re crunchy too, and have a little laugh while you’re at it? Check out these other crunchy mom blogger’s ideas of what it means to be a crunchy mom!

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Healthy Holiday Side Dishes Featured Image

Healthy Holidays: Healthy Holiday Side Dishes

Ahh yes, the holidays are finally approaching! According to most department stores, we’d better start Christmas shopping! (Yes, Halloween was just a couple of days ago! It’s a little ridiculous if you ask me).

While many of us tend to stuff our faces with cheesy potatoes and fudge, we’d like to take another approach around here this year. Healthy Holidays! That’s right, we want to teach people that the delicious comfort food we all love to eat can be tweaked just a little for a healthier, and even tastier version. So, let me introduce to you the next roundup in our Healthy Holidays series…

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oakiewear childrens outdoor gear

Children’s Outdoor Gear- Oakiwear Review

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Clothing

We took a hike on a chilly autumn day last week, but something was different…. Our children didn’t stay on the dirt path- they wandered through the bushes, down the creeks, and stomped in puddles. Although we take nature hikes quite often, they enjoyed this one more than any other.

Were they cold? Nope. Were they wet? Nope.

Outdoor Clothing Explorer Gear for Kids Review

They had clothing that was made for exploring the outdoors. It was well-made, warm, and waterproof! We have never seen our three year-old daughter enjoy getting muddy and tromping through water and weeds before, especially in the crisp fall air! Normally she will cry because her clothes get wet, or a thorn catches her pants. The hiking experience we went on that day changed the way our children feel about nature. They were able to explore and enjoy it while still being dry and comfortable, and that’s why we love our Oakiwear!

Kids Outdoor Clothing Oakiwear

Sue from Oakiwear believes,

“if we truly wish to get kids active again, we need to provide them with the right gear at an affordable price to open the door to new possibilities in outdoor exploration.”

This children’s outdoor gear did exactly that. They went off the path and explored the world, and loved every minute of it.

Oakiwear Outdoor Kids Gear Review

Here’s a little more about the particular gear we were wearing:

We were given the opportunity to try Oakiwear’s Children’s Neoprene Rain/Snow Boots, Trail Pants, and Trail Fleece Lined Jackets. I tend to avoid doing product reviews, however this company is one that our family loves for several reasons…

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Gear

Quality

The quality of Oakiwear outdoor gear is comparable, and possibly even better than well-known outdoor clothing brands. The material their products are made out of are warm and can endure just about anything without tearing.

The Rain/Snow Boots were fantastic. We have yet to find similar neoprene boots made of this quality for the price that Oakiwear offers them. They are warm, waterproof, and comfy!

Oakiwear Children's Outdoor Gear

Sizing

One thing that definitely makes Oakiwear different from other outdoor clothing companies, is that it’s sizing starts all the way down at 2T! Most of their clothing is adjustable around the wrists and ankles, so you can also purchase them a little big, and adjust them as they grow. That means you can get a couple of years of wear out of one piece of their outdoor gear.

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Gear

Price

The price of Oakiwear products is unbelievably reasonable for the quality product you receive. Their waterproof trail pants are currently only $32.99, and they are AMAZING. Since they are adjustable at the ankles, and have a stretchy neoprene waste, I’m fairly certain my children will get at least three years of use out of them. If you divide $32.99 by three years, it ends up being right around $11 per year. THAT is beyond worth it for our children to be able to enjoy the outdoors without a care!

Oakiwear Children's Outdoor Gear Review

We love our Oakiwear because it gives our children a chance to enjoy exploring the outdoors  comfortably. Many may not realize how important outdoor play and exploration is for young children. Get your babies comfy and warm and encourage them to explore. You will see something new in them. You will start hearing questions and excitement coming from them. It is truly wonderful. It’s worth it. I promise.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love  our newsletter; or if you would like to see more pictures of our outdoor adventures and natural learning, follow us on Instagram!

oakiewear childrens outdoor gear

 

 

We Co-Sleep

We Co-Sleep, and I’ll Tell You Why….

We Co-Sleep at Our Home.

We co-sleep

Yep. Our whole family squishes into one bed every night. It didn’t start out that way, and in fact before having children I was completely against the idea.

After becoming a mother of two, it seemed like there was always a little one sleeping next to me at night. I always just pinned it on the fact that I just can’t say no when a sweet little face asks if they can sleep with their Mama. Or when one of them wakes up in the middle of the night and crawls into my bed to find their place between my arms.

Honestly, it was a goal of mine to get them sleeping in their own beds soon, until last night…

I had just finished reading them their bedtime story, and Miss Three had fallen asleep sucking her thumb. Mr Five cuddled up to me, and turned to look at his sister with his expression so sweet and caring. He smiled slightly, and said “She’s so sweet, isn’t she mama?” I replied by whispering, “You know, you can give her a goodnight kiss on the cheek if you’d like.” His smile grew bigger, and he leaned over and softly rubbed his nose on her face, and then kissed her on the cheek as she continued to suck her thumb.

He then said, “She never lets me do that… I want to listen to her heart,” while placing his ear tightly to her chest. He whispered, “It’s beating Mama, that means she’s healthy. My sister’s healthy.”

He kissed her a few more times on the cheek, and then cuddled himself up in the blankets and dozed off while watching his sissy sleep.

Because of last night, I’ve realized this…

You Know What? Co-Sleeping is Okay.

Yes. I said it, and I’m certain many people will disagree. But for our family it works. I appreciate those special moments we share as we all fall asleep together. Our children feel comfortable; they feel safe.

Just as we believe in letting them learn at their own pace, and try new things at their own pace, we have decided that they can move to their own beds when they are ready. We won’t be sharing those precious moments forever, and if it is working for us why change it because others don’t agree with it? Co-sleeping actually has several positive benefits that many may not realize as well, including security, closeness, and ease of nursing.

Yes our kids can be bed hogs, and yes, I may have been startled awake by a foot to the face a time or two. Knees and elbows in my back are a regular occurrence as well, but the benefits outweigh the negatives for us at this time.

If you are considering co-sleeping with your child, I would definitely advise purchasing a co-sleeper (affiliate) during the time they are tiny babies. I do agree that co-sleeping while you are an extremely exhausted new parent can be unsafe, but as your children get a little older and they want to snuggle with their Mama or Daddy, I see no problem with that.

Soak up those sweet cuddles while you can!

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Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch


With school starting back up, what better a time than now to talk about tips for packing an eco-friendly lunch? Packing an eco-friendly lunch reduces massive amounts of waste, and saves you money at the same time! There are so many great products out there that will keep you from heading to the store to buy more plastic baggies…

By the way, have you ever thought about how many plastic baggies you use in a week? What about a year? How much money are you spending on them? If you do the calculations you will be absolutely shocked at the money you are wasting on those things. Plus, it takes them hundreds of years to decompose. It’s a really sad, sad thing! The chart below is calculated for a one adult, and two child household. It’s really unbelievable the amount of waste we are creating, and most people don’t really think about it most of the time.

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly packed lunch products that will help your family reduce the large amount of waste that generally results from packing lunches on a regular basis. Some of them are affiliate links, so I will receive a small percentage with no additional cost to you, but all of these products are great and very earth friendly!

Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch

  • Ditch the baggies and plastic wrap! Purchase reusable containers and baggies.
  • Find a great safe lunch box similar to some of the ones listed below. Reusing a lunch box is much more eco-friendly than using paper bags.
  • Don’t purchase individually packaged food and snacks. That will save you a ton of money and reduce waste, plus in general foods that are not packaged individually have less added ingredients (example: pre-cut and pre-packaged apples).
  • Try using cloth napkins rather than paper napkins or wipes.
  • Avoid buying plastic silverware. Just pack normal stainless steel silverware and wash it when it’s brought home.

 Great Eco-Friendly Lunch Products

Although it’s not completely necessary to purchase any of the products below, I really enjoy the many compartments that they have. It’s particularly great for packing a variety of different foods in one simple container for kids, since normally they love variety and finger foods!

Eco Lunchbox

Eco-Friendly lunch box choices


Planetbox

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Yumbox

Eco-Friendly Lunch box choices

Dabbawalla Lunchbags

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch Tips

Make Your Own Sandwich Bags

Reusable Sandwich Bags- Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

Reusable Food Wraps

Waste-Free Eco-Friendly Lunch

BleuRoo Sandwich Bags

Eco-Friendly Packed Lunch No Wast Lunch Bleuroo

I hope that this post has motivated you to think about how much waste is being created by packing lunch every day with disposable items. By tweaking your normal lunch-packing routine, you can reduce your yearly waste by hundreds of pounds!

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