All Natural Easter Egg Dyeing

March 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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This is a great way to dye your Easter eggs this year (by the way, Easter is in 18 days!) for whatever reason matters the most to you: it’s a fun science experiment, you stay away from commercial dyes, it is cheap AND its just something new and different!

All Natural Easter Egg Dyeing

Colors

1. To make a beautiful light blue dyed Easter egg, simply take 3/4 of a head of red cabbage, chop it and put it in a large pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

2. To make a green, add 2 cups of spinach (or a box of frozen spinach) to a pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

3. To make a red (and a hot pink for some of the eggs!), add 3 cups of cranberry juice and 3 chopped beets in a pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

4. To make a yellow, add 2 teaspoons of turmeric to your pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

5. I forgot to do this one BUT you can use chili powder (just like I used the turmeric above) to make a fun red/orange color.

Dyeing

1. Bring your mixture to a boil then reduce heat so it is simmering for 30 minutes. Don’t let it boil too long or the eggs will crack!

2. Let the eggs sit in the mixture for a couple of hours.  Be sure to stir them around a few times so the color soaks in on all sides of the egg.

Note: In this pictures it looks like I combined mixtures. I did not. I was just trying out a weird color. So please boil and simmer all of your mixtures SEPERATE.

Check out our beautiful eggs! Don’t they look so rustic and natural? This was a lot of fun to do. The girls loved guessing what colors the vegetables or spices would turn the eggs and then waiting to see if they were right!

Another fun part of this “experiment” was that every single egg turned out a different shade (we did use brown and white eggs) and I just think they are beautiful.

But what to do with the veggies? Throw them in the compost pile! Your garden will be extra happy this year.

Special Spot in Nature

September 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Find your spot in nature.
Help your kids find their special spot.
Make sure you spend time there daily if you can.
Fall is the perfect time to read outside, draw outside, and relax outside.

This was my place for quite awhile:

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Abby loves to be under trees:
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What is yours? I would love to see a picture!

Make sure your children know they can think, create, and relax in nature.

Have family drawing time out in nature, eat your family meals outside together, or just read books outside together!

Harvesting

September 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

My first harvesting experience I can remember was getting permission from the librarian to climb the huge apple tree in front of the library to collect apples for pies, applesauce and juice.

Fall is the perfect time to do this with all of the city fall harvest and festivals, farms and barnyards opening their doors to customers, farmer’s markets, etc. It is always important to take the time to teach and explain to your children the source of their food.

Grape Harvesting in Our Backyard
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Apple, Peach, Pear, Plum, Cantaloupe, Eggplant Harvesting at Our Neighborhood Farm
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Here are some great resources:

Kids Farm is a website following the Harvesting on a farm in Colorado. Your kids can click on different produce to see where it comes from!

Local Harvest is a great place to point you in the right direction

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Activity

September 18, 2009 by · 6 Comments 

utahsnaturalkids11I wanted to think of another activity to reuse plastic bottles before sending the rest to the recycling center. Making them into bowling pins is a simple craft/game that does not take a lot of work and materials, but will teach your children to have fun with reusing materials.

You simply fill up your cleaned plastic bottles with tap water and then add any sort of substance that would easily color the water. Beet juice, carrot juice, cayenne powder, curry powder, dandelion root powder, cream of tartar or tempura paint would work fantastically to color the water.

I glued the top to each bottle but still was not feeling comfortable with knocking big bottles full of colored water over in my house so decided this will be an outside bowling activity.

You can also make some fun  I Spy Bottles with your kids to reuse plastic bottles.

Refrigeration

September 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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What counts for 25% of most households’ electricity consumption? Your refrigerator. So, of course, you are going to want to make sure you are running it the most efficient way that you can!

1. Be Organized–You waste time and energy with keeping the door open while trying to find something in your messy fridge. I have to admit that I am horrible with this, which is why I tidy up my fridge one day a week.  If I didn’t, it would be scary! Up to 30% of the cool air in the fridge escapes every time you open the door, which is quite a bit!  Be quick when you get something out!

2. Going on Vacation–Usually we think of going through our fridge before a vacation so nothing spoils, but it turns out the emptier the fridge, the better. You can turn down the power or even turn it off entirely.

3. Clean Yearly—By keeping the coils in the back of your fridge dust free it makes your fridge 30% more efficient!

4. Wait for Food to Cool–If you wait for the food to cool before putting it in the fridge and make sure it’s covered, it means less energy is used from the fridge to cool it!

5. Check the Door Seal– Try this great test I found online, “By putting a piece of paper in the door you can check your door’s seal! If it slips out when the door’s closed, you may need to change the seal and/or door magnets, to stop cool air from escaping.”

Now we can all get to work on checking our fridges!

Eco-Friendly Dolls

August 31, 2009 by · 4 Comments 

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My daughters and niece love their matching Poot & Boogie dolls. They are unique, funky, cuddly, eco-friendly, handmade and colorful. The dolls are individually handcrafted, pre-washed and pre-shrunk, made with 100% cotton and 100% wool materials.  They’re stuffed with eco-friendly fiberfill derived from EcoCraft corn. They are “handcrafted with love and smiles” in a small house on a hobby farm in Aldergrove, BC.

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Poot & Boogie accepts requests for custom orders– how fun would it be for your child to have a doll with the same features as her own!

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Kiwi Magazine

August 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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Kiwi magazine is my one of my favorite parenting magazines, and here’s why:

“KIWI is dedicated to helping parents raise their children the healthiest way possible. Our charge is to introduce families to the latest in natural and organic living—showing how to practice this lifestyle on an everyday basis.We know that achieving the right balance between the real world and the ideal world is often difficult. Our lives are busy and our family’s schedules are often simply out of our control. So, our mission is to help you make the best choices, with the best information available, in the shortest amount of time.
 
Look for articles in KIWI on serving the safest and most nutritious foods along with the latest in family wellness—what’s good for your family and what’s not. Our environmental emphasis will help moms and dads raise children with an eye to the future of their planet. We’ll bring to light important social issues that affect our families. And, we’ll help to guide our readers in teaching their kids to care about people in their neighborhood, their country and the world. In short, we hope to inspire parents to achieve new heights in family growth without missing a beat.”

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Organic Flower Arrangments

August 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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image courtesy of CaliforniaOrganicFlowers.com

We are a family that sends flowers to funerals, mothers in the hospital, for Mothers Day, or just because.  To be honest, I still have not found a great online source for ordering and buying flowers. I haven’t been thrilled with any of them and just now realized I should have been looking for an organic flower source. We strive for everything else to be organic.  Why not the flowers we send as gifts?

I started browsing the web in search of these companies and am excited to share with you the list I put together:

1. Your local Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market might carry organic flower arrangements. Here in Utah, we aren’t lucky enough to have a Trader Joes and the Whole Foods near me does not carry them. But they do in thousands of  other locatinos, so be sure to check that option out.

2. California Organic Flowers is a beautiful and (gasp!) affordable online ordering and delivering service for organic flower arrangements. This is a wonderful company that prides itself on growing and then selling their own organic flowers from their farm. They also go by the motto that, “Flowers are our way of celebrating nature, and celebrating ourselves, so they just have to be grown in a way that cares for the environment or it defeats their whole purpose.”

3. Organic Bouquet is a company that has been around since 2001 and works with their partner farms in providing their customers with organic and beautiful flowers to deliver. The company has played a key role in “the transformation of the floral industry by promoting and living up to the highest social and environmental standards—developing the most eco-friendly floral packaging, initiating the industry’s first carbon offset program, and growing our flowers in a way that is gentle on the earth and that safeguards the ecology and the well-being of wildlife and farm workers”

Be sure to check out these store and online websites the next time you think of sending flowers. Sending flowers is such a beautiful gift, and now you can take it to the next level by sending them in their truest healthiest form.

Art Days

August 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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I hosted our first Art Day Outing a while back and it was such fun! In Salt Lake City they have these amazing murals painted by the 377 Project Artists.

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The project is called the Urban Gallery and we found it at Neighborhood House (1050 West 500 South), but there’s a good chance it’s no longer there. On June 12th and 13th, ten of Salt Lake City’s best artists were given a garage door and 18 hours to repaint it. The audience picked one artist to win a $1000 prize!

“Altogether, it was one of the most exciting nights of art we’ve experienced, and we’ve put a good many miles into the monthly gallery stroll. Once again the 337 Project has delved into Salt Lake’s underground creativity and brought up gems most of us didn’t even know were there.” –Salt Lake Magazine

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If you are in the Salt Lake City area, do a drive-by and check it out. Not in Utah? Find out if there’s something like this in your area and bring some friends along!

Cooking with Fair Trade Products

August 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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We love to cook together as a family; it is a wonderful way to have fun and spend quality time together. Cooking with your children has numerous benefits: it teaches your children mathematics; gives your child a sense of pride and accomplishment; helps your children try new things; entices them to eat what they help make. In our home we have a silly tradition of “dolling” ourselves up for cooking together. We wear fun, bright aprons, put on our favorite lip gloss and dance around to our favorite music.

We have been using Alter Eco Fair Trade products in our cooking for well over a year. I have been more than impressed with their website, fast shipping, wonderful packaging and quality ingredients. It has also added a new dimension into our cooking because we can teach our children the importance of fair trade products.

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. This supports a better life for families through fair prices, direct trade, community development and environmental stewardship. In their products chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been replaced with organic fertilizers and natural plant extracts to produce their products.

Kind of makes you wonder why more people don’t cook with fair-trade products, doesn’t it?

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