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Archive for Green Parenting
January 19th, 2016
Cooking is a big part of our family life. Over the years we’ve allowed our kids to be active participants in our kitchen. They stir, they pour and they create. They are allowed to help in every way possible. There are plenty of days when there’s no interest -they’re too tired, busy and hungry- and that’s OK.
All three boys have expressed an interest in cooking. They’ve mastered a few specialties with room for plenty more. I’ve spent much time fostering their love of cooking through deep breathing and overlooking sauce, flour, sugar and other ingredients that cover my walls and floors. They try, but the kitchen usually looks like a war zone when they’re done with their creation.
I’ve found that if my kids cook they’re more likely to eat it and hopefully love it. Having cookbooks specifically for kids around the house helps make the process much more fun. Having the right cooking tools for kids make the experience even better!
Cool Cooking Tools for Kids!
This wooden children’s rolling pin ($8) is perfect for those little hands. Get your kids cooking and baking with this great addition to any family kitchen. Our favorite use for this rolling pin is to make your own pizza crust. Pizza night is a family favorite around here.
Check out this Animal House Monkey Peeler ($14)! Great for peeling fruit and veggies. The blade is stainless-steel and swivels. The handle is non-slip and shaped like a monkey with raised arms. Kids will love using this to help out.
Make them feel like a true baker with this Adjustable Chef Hat ($8). The hat is made from 100% cotton and also comes in adult sizes, if you want to join the cooking party!
Test out this heavy-duty stainless steel whisk ($14). It can be used to beat a single egg or mix up a favorite cake batter. The entire whisk is stainless steel.
I love this Alli-Grator ($8) for shredding cheese or vegetables. Unfold the jaws to form the easy-to-hold handle. It’s made with stainless steel cutters. When you’re finished return the handle to the “closed jaw” position.
What’s your favorite cooking tool for kids?
P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin Newsletter. Receive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using an affiliate link they’ll kick me a couple of bucks to offset the cost of the coffee I drank while writing this post. Thank you!
photo credit: Amun and Abital shelling peas via photopin (license)
July 2nd, 2013
Mark your calendars. Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt, opens in theaters everywhere on November 22nd. I’ll be attending an advanced pre-screening of the film at BlogHer in Chicago this year so I’ll let you know the lowdown before the official release date. I have a good feeling since Vince Vaughn is at the top of my funny man list.
Today I’m participating in a very special event. I’m one of 533 bloggers debuting the official trailer for the film right here on Groovy Green Livin.
You might be thinking “why 533?”
In the film, Vince Vaughn plays an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life, when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of the twentysomethings want to know the identity of their biological father.
We all know that Vince Vaughn is a funny guy. While the concept of Delivery Man is amusing, it’s also a really heartwarming look at what it means to be a family — no matter how unconventional. The definition of family has evolved and, as seen in the film, can come in all shapes and sizes.
I know from parenting three boys that it truly takes a village. What I’ve also observed in my few years of parenting is that love is essential and possible in any family, regardless of how that family is formed. The world is filled with both traditional and non-traditional families and regardless of how we come together we all find strength in one another. That’s the true meaning of family.
So back to the 533 bloggers. In order to celebrate family, 533 bloggers have joined forces to exclusively deliver this trailer online to you.
Are you ready for the Delivery Man trailer? Remember you’re one of the first to see it…..very exciting!
DELIVERY MAN opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd. It’s rated PG-13 for mature themes.
So….what did you think?
June 12th, 2013
And know that of all the people out there, you finally found someone that can truly make a difference. That person is – and always has been – you.” ~ Ed Brown, Debut filmmaker “Unacceptable Levels”
Ever wonder about chemicals in your day-to-day life?
What’s in the air I breathe? The water I drink? The food I eat? Even the things I put on my skin?
Ed Brown wondered these same things after his wife suffered two miscarriages (they now have two beautiful children). But instead of just wondering, he traveled around the country with his video camera to interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy and law and learned there are unacceptable levels of chemicals in so many things. Including our bodies.
Approximately 200 synthetic industrial chemicals interact with our cells every single day.
Ed’s documentary dissects the ways chemicals saturate our homes and environment amid a backdrop of a glaring lack of regulation. It chronicles the results of the post-WWII chemical boom and details common avenues of exposure, from food to fluoride to toxic sludge. View the trailer for his award-winning debut film, Unacceptable Levels—about the chemicals in our bodies and how they got there—here.
Some Unacceptable Facts from the film:
- Autism now affects one in 50 children.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death (after accidents) in children younger than 15 years in the United States.
- In the last twenty years, the rates of asthma, allergies and ADHD are on the rise:
- 400% increase in allergies
- 300% increase in asthma
- 400% increase in ADHD
- $2.6 Trillion of the GDP is spent on treating disease every year.
Chemicals saturate our homes and environment amid a backdrop of a glaring lack of regulation. The film chronicles the results of the post-WWII chemical boom and details common avenues of exposure, from food to fluoride to toxic sludge.
Ed is touring the country this summer, with a bicoastal premiere June 12 at the ArcLight Hollywood in California and at the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut. He’ll be joined in Hollywood by Mariel Hemingway, Gary Hirschberg, Christopher Gavigan. Fran Drescher and other passionate environmentalists to inspire others to take action.
The L.A. World Premiere is invite only. But, the first 50 to show without an invitation will get in free!
Tickets for the Connecticut premiere can be purchased at the door.
Premiere screenings in several key cities: Austin (August 3rd), Boulder (July 16th), Chicago (July 24th), San Francisco (July 10th- 11th), and Washington DC (June 20th). First 50 to show up to any of the premieres will be admitted free!
To find a screening in your area, visit UnacceptableLevels.com. New screenings will be added, so be sure to check back often.
Connect with Unacceptable Levels on Facebook and twitter.
What others are saying about Unacceptable Levels…
“Unacceptable Levels is a hugely important film… Sadly, most Americans are misinformed or not informed at all about how many toxic chemicals we are being exposed to 24 hours a day. These toxins are making us sick and quite simply our lives are being threatened. We need to stand up and speak out. We must demand a healthy environment for ourselves and for our children. Unacceptable Levels poignantly reveals how chemicals have invaded our lives.”
—Mariel Hemingway Actress, Author, Healthy Living Advocate
“This movie lives the Healthy Child motto: No one can do everything, everyone can do something. Ed Brown has done something by creating an amazing, powerful experience that moves all of us to realize how important it is to know how our system works and what we can do to fix it.”
—Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff Former Executive Director/CEO Healthy Child, Healthy World
“This film is a huge eye-opener! Once a parent sees this, they thankfully won’t ever approach their child’s health & future the same way ever again!”
—Jessica Capshaw Gavigan Environmental Advocate and Actress
Are you heading to see the movie? Can’t wait to hear what you think.
photo credit: ToniVC via photopin cc
February 28th, 2013
Parenting in a digital world can be an uncomfortable place at times. Technology is constantly changing and it’s hard to keep up. There are times when my head feels like it’s going to explode.
As a parent of 3 boys who LOVE technology I sometimes struggle with finding the right balance between allowing technology and limiting their exposure. With smartphones and tablets becoming more and more common place there’s no end in sight. I’ve talked about how young is too young for Facebook and other technology issues that come way (there are many!).
I know I’m not the only one trying to find a perfect set of rules for media consumption. According to a study by Common Sense Media kids ages 0-8 spend an average of two hours a day with screen media like smartphones, video games, computers, television, and DVDs.
Join me for a Twitter Party to talk about parenting in a digital world
Our friends over at FamZee have organized a Twitter Party to explore parenting in a digital world. FamZee is a fantastic phone app that simplifies how parents keep track of their family’s smartphone usage and manage costs, while ensuring their safety 24/7.
What’s a twitter party?
A Twitter party is a fun, face paced event held on the Twitter platform. You do need to have a free Twitter account to participate. Click HERE for more information on what to expect and how to participate.
Join the Twitter party!
Join us for an engaging and eye opening discussion about how to talk to your family members about their mobile device usage habits!
Theme: Parenting in a Digital World
Who: Join me (@groovygreenlivi), Micaela from Mindful Momma (@MindfulMomma) and Monique from My Digital World (@inspiredmomma) for the FamZee (Fam_Zee) Twitter party
When: Tuesday, March 5
Time: 2-3 pm EST (11-12 pm PST)
Use this Twitgrid link to join in the fun on Tuesday: http://ow.ly/i7lDe
Yes, there will be prizes if you are at the Twitter party! We are giving away the following to random winners:
- Two $50 gift cards to Amazon.com
- Final prize: Family prize pack of coupons and a Stonyfield water bottle (prize valued at $50), 1 gift card from Barnes & Noble and 1 gift card from Amazon.com- combined value $100.00
- ALL winners get a FamZee Premium FREE for 12 months
Tweet this to help spread the word: Join me for a Twitter Party: Parenting in a digital world! on Tue, Mar 5 2pm ET #MobileFam http://ow.ly/iapfh via @Fam_Zee
RSVP so we know you’ll be there
Click HERE to sign up for the fun!
Disclosure: I was compensated to host an online Twitter party for FamZee. All bloggers involved in the campaign were compensated as well.
February 28th, 2012
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
When my oldest son (who’s now 11) was born my mother-in-law generously gave us a stack of children’s books she had been saving from when my husband was a child. The books were in immaculate condition and included classic titles that I had also treasured during my own childhood. The Lorax was one of the books passed on to us, ready for sharing with our own children. And that it was-over and over again. I was determined to keep on reading it to them, with the hope that someday they would understand the important (and somewhat complex) messages in the book.
When my kids got wind that The Lorax was going to be released as a movie on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) they were beyond excited. We wondered and discussed how Hollywood would spin an animated version of our beloved book. I was thrilled when I was contacted by Universal Studios and asked to participate in a Blog Tour (see below for the full blog tour schedule) in support of Universal Pictures ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’.
Most of us are familiar with the general story-line of The Lorax. If you need a refresher, Beth from My Plastic-Free Life shared a great summary as part of this blog tour.
With the release of The Lorax there’s no better time to talk with children about one of the many messages of The Lorax: Ways our families can help protect the earth. The good news is there are so many options for change and each will have a big environmental impact on our precious planet. As a family I’ve found it’s important to create routine and habit around these simple changes so they become second nature.
Here are a few ideas to get your family started protecting the earth:
1. Turn your lunch box into a waste-free zone
Did you know that Children’s lunches create more than 3.5 billion pounds of garbage each year, which amounts to a crazy 18,760 pounds of trash annually from an average sized elementary school? We have worked hard over the years to make our children’s lunch boxes as waste-free as possible. Instead of using single-use items in their lunch boxes try using reusables: a reusable water bottle, a reusable napkin and reusable bags for snacks instead of single serving snack bags.
2. Celebrate Meatless Monday (or meatless any day)
Meatless Monday is a movement encouraging people to improve their health and improve the health of the planet by lowering their meat consumption. Each year the average American eats 200 pounds of meat. There are a lot of health reasons to not eat as much meat, but there are also quite a few environmental reasons to cut back on meat eating. The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. There are many ways to green your Meatless Monday (or any day of the week) and all will have a positive environmental impact on the earth.
3. Reduce, reuse and recycle
The 3 R’s still rule when it comes to protecting the earth. Reduce by trying to use fewer resources. This is a tough one-it requires letting go of some very American concepts: the more we have or the bigger it is, the better off we are.
Reusing can go well beyond the items in your lunch box. The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” Encourage your children to give trash a second chance by reusing some of the garbage to make crafts out of recyclables. We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we changed that mentality and considered whether or not a product could be reused before recycling we would keep new resources from being needed and old resources from entering our overflowing landfills.
As The Lorax says:“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “
Don’t forget to visit Mindful Momma on February 29 for the next post in our LESSONS FROM THE LORAX Blog Tour!
Are you planning to see The Lorax? Do you have any hopes for the film?
Follow the Lessons from The Lorax Blog Tour:
2/20 New Green Mama
2/21 The Green Parent
2/22 Eco Child’s Play
2/23 The Smart Mama
2/24 My Plastic Free Life
2/27Retro Housewife Goes Green
2/28 Groovy Green Livin
2/29 Mindful Momma
3/1 Green and Clean Mom
2/2 Moms Going Green Blog
2/3 Kitchen Stewardship
2/4 Nature Moms
*Disclosure: I received compensation for being part of this blog tour. The opinions expressed in this post are my very own.
September 6th, 2011
As we go through our daily lives we are bombarded with information overload. We are overwhelmed with products claiming to be green and pressured to act and think a certain way –the media, our friends and family-everyone has an opinion. While our goal is very simple: to make good choices for ourselves, our family and the planet- the means to get there is anything but simple. How do we sort through it all?
If each of us had all the time in the world to devote towards finding what’s truly green we quite possibly still wouldn’t have all the answers-there’s just that much information to process. There are times when I just want to let my kids be kids, but inside I’m panicked about the Popsicle they are eating that has synthetic colors or flavors or I think about the toxic cleaning products that are used in their schools. It could all drive me insane if I let it.
Over the years I have gathered a few tips and strategies that have helped me stay sane while on my green journey.
- Take small steps. Find what works for you (and that might not be what works for me). Start with your living space and then add when you feel comfortable. This year I made a mid-year resolution to eat local, sustainable food. If each of us commits to making small, simple changes in our lives, together we can create a healthier, safer space for living and ultimately a healthier planet for us all.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. This is a tough one for me-I like to say yes to everything. Focus on changing one or two things-maybe change your cookware or commit to using less plastic. Keep it doable and realistic.
- Find community. Your community could be family, friends, online, local or beyond. It doesn’t matter. It always helps to be surrounded by like-minded folks for support, sharing and discussing.
- Ditch the self-judgment. We can’t do it all and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Guilt and self-judgment are harmful rather than helpful. Find self-compassion and be grateful for all that you are able to do. Whatever you do it is making a difference.
- You are not alone. We are a community, all striving to make the world a better place for our families and others and together we will make a difference. You aren’t the only one feeling overwhelmed and guilty (trust me; I’ve been there many times!).
- Everything in moderation. Again-we can’t possibly do it all so we do what we can. If this means eating organic some of the time, but not all of the time THAT’S OK! Years ago I used to freak out when someone offered my kids snacks that had high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Now, since I know they’re not eating HFCS most of the time I’m ok with an occasional deviation. Read Paige Wolfe’s book, Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. You will realize how completely normal and unnecessary all of your guilt and self-judgment truly is.
- Find your voice. Ask for change on a larger scale. This can be done by joining organizations like Healthy Child Healthy World, which are working to protect our children from toxic exposures. Call or email your representatives and let them know how you feel about the toxins in toys, personal care products and food.
- Acceptance. Focus on what you have done-not what you are unable to do.
- Don’t get discouraged. There are days when I wake up and wonder if I’m really making a difference. Are my kids healthier and safer because of all we’re doing? Is the world a better place because of the small changes I’ve made? Deep down I know the answer is yes.
- Remember every small change makes a difference.
What are your tips for handling toxic information overload?
[Photo used under Creative Commons from Thomas Guest/Flickr]
April 8th, 2011
I’ve had the honor of being nominated as one of the Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms by Circle of Moms. There are some pretty amazing bloggers on the list and I am privileged to be among them.
I can’t do this without you!
Click here to cast your vote for Groovy Green Livin. Click on the orange “thumbs up” and you’re done (takes maybe 5 seconds). You can continue clicking on the “thumbs up” daily through April 17th.
I am grateful to have all of you as part of my tribe. For those of you that have already begun clicking- I sincerely thank you.
Have yourselves a groovy green weekend.