Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Ways to Use Rockin Green Detergent

Here are some creative ways to use your Rockin Green Detergent posted recently on their Facebook Page.  Do you have any other ways you use it at home?

Jamie Lynn G. uses it to steam clean her carpets
· Robyn L. uses it to soak dishtowels in the sink. “They come out super clean,” she says. “Rockin’ Green is miracle stuff.”
· Heidi M. soaks her dish rack in Rockin’ Green to bust away all the icky soap scum.
· Diane T. sprinkles Rockin’ Green on her toilets before swishing them.
· Amy K. rocks a soak with her sheets.
· Kellie B. used it once to get red fingernail polish out of her white carpet and it worked!
· Samara Q. uses it on nearly everything in her house - carpets, as dishwasher detergent and as a stain remover for just about anything – bathroom, mirrors, counters, diapers, floors. She has even made a paste with Rockin’ Green and water for shining her appliances before her family comes over, and she got the hard water off her spray hose and showerhead in the bathroom.
· Liz F. uses it to get out dog urine from the carpet and walls, as well as spit up from baby and dog on the carpet and the couch.
· Amy P. rocks the soak with her husband’s military uniforms.
· Amy K. took off the covers from her couch cushions and rocked the soak. “I was shocked that they looked like new,” she says.  
· Heather W. uses it to get out dirt from the grout in her tile floors.
· Alison B. uses it as jewelry cleaner.

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mom's Time Out Giveaway!

If you haven't heard already, we're sponsoring an upcoming shopping event designed for Mom's (or Dad's) ultimate pleasurable experience.  Not only are you going to be supporting parent-operated local businesses but you have the opportunity to get your holiday shopping done for quality and unique gifts!  What's more, we'll have fair-trade coffee, cupcakes, and cookies awaiting you.  If it couldn't get better than that, we are also going to have a FREE raffle from a bunch of local businesses with no entry costs to come shop.

Our goal is to provide a fun, relaxing day for you, while your kids stay home with your significant other.  We hope you'll join us 12/5 from 1-5pm. More details are available on our event's Facebook Page (Mom's Time Out Tallahassee).

Of course, we'd like to get the fun started now :o)  We're going to be doing a free giveaway of an organic layette set from Halo.  If you don't have a babe younger than 6 months, this is also a great gift!

Here's all the different ways you can enter the giveaway:
1. Follow the Mom's Time Out Tallahassee on Facebook
2. Follow the Ecological Babies on Facebook
3. Follow Ecological Babies' Blog.
4. Follow Ecological Babies on Twitter
5. Visit Ecological Babies and find one product you'd like to see at Mom's Time Out.
7. Retweet or share on Facebook about Mom's Time Out,
Ecological Babies, or this giveaway.
List each thing you did in the comments (here on our blog).
A winner will be chosen at random from the legitimate entries.
The contest ends Nov 22 11:59pm (My birthday!)

Best of Luck!!!  :o)

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eating From Our Pantry

 I just came back from the grocery store and I've literally been reworking my pantry and freezer trying to fit everything in.  Granted, I don't have a large kitchen.  But I keep hearing myself say I need to get to the grocery store so we can have some food for dinner.  Hello, are you awake in there?  I'm going to step back and use some of the food we already have at home for the next week.  If all goes well and I'm in a groove, I might even add a week.  Ok, so I'll probably have to get some milk and maybe a couple others after a week but I'm fairly confident we won't be starving.

Over the summer, we purchased a deep freezer with the intention of saving money buy purchasing produce in season in bulk and by making larger portion meals.  I think it's time to tap into the food before it goes bad or is lost indefinitely in my pantry.  Have you bought something you were sure you didn't have at home only to find it in the back of your pantry?  Yep, that happened to me today.  Foolish!

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, join me....even for a day.  One more disclaimer.  We won't be giving up our Kid's Night at Moe's on Monday and Tuesday I have a cooking club.  But Cooking Club doesn't violate my system. 

Who's with me?  What's in your freezer and pantry waiting to be eaten?

 Bon Appetit!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delta=Success, FAA=Still Pending

 I just spoke with Delta's CEO executive assistant about what happened to me on Delta's flight a couple weeks ago.  It was a great conversation and honestly, I applaud Delta for their customer care services thus far.  They initially followed up with me very promptly and were courteous.  Then this follow up came shortly after we all sent our letters of concern.  Thank you again to all who sent your letters and made our voice heard! 

It has helped that both representatives are mothers who are proud supporters of breastfeeding and babywearing.  They both put themselves in my position and were horrified by the way I was treated.  What's more, they both welcomed my/our suggestions to help make Delta a family-friendly and safe airlines.

Once thing I did find out was that MOST of our suggestions need to be heard and taken seriously by the FAA.  They are the ones who call the shots regarding carriers and they basically inform and train Delta.  SO, if we want to press forward (and I do believe we should), then we need to pressure the FAA (more to follow).  I now understand the chain of command, the grievance process, and ways we can make positive changes.

Here's what Delta is doing to make this right:
1.  They compensated me for my ticket.
2.  They are having a Delta liason involved in the "investigation" regarding the flight attendant and my situation, since it was with "Pinnacle Airlines" contracted with Delta.
3.  Effective immediately, they are sending out a memo to remind flight attendants to do pre-boarding for families with small children.
4.  They are going to strongly suggest to Delta's Social Media Team to initiate a "family section" for all families to be near each other during the flight.
 5.  They are going to look into adding the educational section for parents and attendants on their safety video and their presentations, so all are aware of the FAA regulations for keeping "infant in arms" safe.

I feel positive about my phone meeting and am going to press on with the FAA.  The changes with FAA, I was told, is a SLOW and resistant to change process, since it deals with laws being directly changed and consider.  Next I want to work on a new letter we can all send the FAA, focusing on exactly what we want changed and demanding them to take us seriously as parents who want their children to be safe.

Stay tuned and thanks again to everyone who helped make this possible.

Peace and love,


Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ready, Aim.....FIRE!

This is it everyone.  So far I've felt nothing but absolute support from everyone and I know you're itching to play a significant role in seriously making some positive changes. All that's required is for you to flood the policy makers' emails and the media contacts with letters asking them to take this issue seriously.  Good news- I've make it VERY simple for you to do this and I promise it will take maybe 2 minutes MAX.  Below are 2 letters for you to simply cut and paste into an email body.  The first is the big guys who have to make the decisions on everything.  The second is to hopefully grab more media attention, in case the "big guys" still need more pressure.

A Couple of Notes:
1.  Send a mass email cc'ing everyone from each section.  That shows them that they aren't the only ones who are hearing from you.  It adds the pressure and intensity of what you're saying.
2.  The BIG guys have hidden emails.  I have their link to email them below and they will receive the letter individually.
3.  The optimal time to send these emails are Sunday evening and Monday morning.  As the week presses on, they have other "issues" to compete and catch their attention.
4. I'm not asking but FEEL FREE to send the same email everyday this week...maybe even next week.  We want them to think we're not going away.

Policy Makers:,,,

FAA Hotline:
SUBJECT: "Infant in Arms" Safety Regulations Need Updating!

To Whom it Concerns,

I am writing to ask you to review and update your safety policies regarding “infant in arms.”  A friend of mine, Jen Starks, was recently escorted off an airplane because a flight attendant attempted to force her into following an FAA “regulation” that did not exist.  While the attendant acted poorly and abused her position, the situation illustrates the importance of proper guidelines and adequate instruction of parents and flight staff regarding infant safety on airplanes.  Parents should feel secure in knowing that the regulations have been purposefully constructed to ensure safety and all involved should be adequately educated on the proper procedures.  I am joining with many other people in this movement and believe that the situation requires serious consideration.  I hope that you will join with us and work towards improving standards and ensuring the excellence of air travel in the U.S.


MEDIA:, ,,

SUBJECT: Join Us--"Infant in Arms" Safety Regulations Need Updating!

I am joining with many people in a movement to improve safety standards and policies regarding “infant in arms” air travel in the U.S. A friend of mine, Jen Starks, was recently escorted off an airplane by armed police because a flight attendant attempted to force her into following an FAA “regulation” that did not exist.  While the attendant acted poorly and abused her position, the situation illustrates the need for proper guidelines and adequate instruction of parents and flight staff regarding infant safety on airplanes.  Parents should feel secure in knowing that all regulations have been purposefully constructed to ensure safety and all involved are adequately educated on the proper procedures.  Jen’s story has recently appeared in Mothering Magazine, and I am asking you to write a story that puts additional pressure on policy makers to update and improve guidelines and education.  Thank you for your consideration.


Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Monday, September 27, 2010

Decluttering Your Main Rooms- Part 2 (Green) Clean it Up

 I don't know about you but it has been WAY too long since I deep cleaned the main rooms.  When was the last time you vacuumed the curtains, cleaned your ceiling fan, or cleared the rooms to completely clean your floor?  I'm not going to tell you my answer but can say I'm excited to see how great the rooms are going to look.

We recently discovered that our almost 3 year old, Rita Clare, has environmental-related allergies.  Our family doc suggested we invest in a air purifier, especially since we often run our ceiling fan.  The fan kicks up all the dust from the room and contributes to allergies.  Our 8 month old, Tyler, is also crawling/pulling up like crazy.  That boy is also putting EVERYTHING in his mouth.  Our floor and table space is overdue for a deep clean.  And it's time to eliminate all spit up spots and lost cheerios once and for all!

Materials Needed:
A lot of rags
Safe Cleaners (might need to purchase materials and spray bottles)

You're more than welcome to use store bought cleaners.  We personally like 7th Generation.  However, here's an opportunity to make your own and see just how easy it is.  I also want you to take this opportunity to COMPLETELY say good bye to all your harsh chemical cleaners.  Bye bye oven cleaners, drain stoppers, chlorine bleach, windex, Comet, and all other toxic cleaners.  Instead of the running chance your child might poison themselves or doing yourself harm from inhaling or absorbing these chemicals into your system, let them go and vow to only clean safely. Guess what?  Those harsher chemicals aren't going to outperform your green cleaners.  That's a myth!  In fact, they might actually harm the things you're trying to clean by eating away what they are trying to clean (pipes, clothes, floor surfaces, etc). What's even better is that you will save A LOT of money too.

What to do with your old cleaning bottles?
- Give them to a neighbor that uses them or use Freecycle.
- Dispose of them properly by bringing them to your local hazardous waste center.

Much like transitioning to cloth diapers, the hardest part about switching to green cleaners is the upfront education, purchasing the materials, and using them for the first time.  After that, you'll probably be thinking "why did I think this was going to be so hard?"  Let's just say "the man" wants you to believe that you are incompetent to do things on your own. Ok, enough of my soap box.  Here are some easy recipes for getting started:

Glass/Mirror Cleaner:
1 C White Distilled Vinegar
1 C Water

All Purpose Cleaner:
1 1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. borax
1/2 t. liquid soap or detergent ( Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is recommended)
2 C hot water

Wood Cleaner (all types of wood, including bamboo):
1/4 C Vinegar
30oz warm water

NOTE: Oil-based cleaners are not recommended for wood floors, contrary to popular belief. 

Soft Scrub Formula (Stove, Bathtub Grime, etc):
-1/2 C Baking Soda
-2 T. Castile Soap (Dr. Bronner's)
-Enough water to make a paste.

Other Things to Clean with just Vinegar:
-Defogging glassware
-Deodorizing toilet
-Stove and Refrigerator- Removing sticky substances
-Coffee Pot

Most of these items can be purchased at a Dollar Store (white distilled vinegar, baking soda, borax).  Here in Tallahassee, Dr. Bronner's can be purchased at New Leaf Market.  I'm sure it can be found other places too.  Where have you found it? Also, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice fresh scent.  What's your favorite?  We like lemon and eucalyptus!

OK, now that we have our supplies here's what we're going to tackle.  Remember to clean from top to bottom or you'll spend time re-cleaning surfaces.

1. Cobwebs on ceiling and room corners (Tip: Wrap a rag around the end of your broom using a rubber band and swirl in circles on the webs).
2. Dust ceiling fan (all you need is a few damp rags).
3. Ceiling air vents (take off the covers and soak/scrub them in a bucket of warm water)
4. Clean windows inside and out (tip: Wipe vertically inside and horizontally outside to see which side still needs more attention)
5. Dust off all items on table tops.  If necessary wipe them down with a multi-purpose cleaner.
6. Wipe down all surfaces with a new damp rag (only water necessary).  After wiping down, dry off the wood surfaces.  Recondition them with olive oil.  Using a clean rag, dab olive oil on rag and rub it into the wood in a circular motion.  Get ready for some serious shine!
7.  Time to pull out those cushions and vacuum inside your couch and chairs.  How many cheerios did you find?  Any money found to treat you for doing a good job cleaning?
8. Move out your furniture and clean up your floors (don't forget the base boards too!).  Spot clean your rugs, vacuumed and sweep.  Then clean up your floors if they're wood (see cleaner above).  

This is also a good time to consider rearranging your furniture.  It's amazing how different a room feels when the furniture has been changed!

Special considerations for Kitchen:
1.  Clean under the heating elements with a baking soda/water paste.  Let the paste sit on it for awhile and it will come right off.
2.  Use the same paste in your kitchen sink.  Voila, a bright (and disinfected) sink!
3.  Use the same paste inside your oven too.  Bye bye toxic fumes in your house with the self cleaner!
3. Microwave and fridge can be cleaned out with the multipurpose cleaner.

Did I miss anything?  PLEASE share some of your homemade solutions with us.  We'd love to hear what you use!

Other Green Cleaning Resources:

Good luck and HAVE FUN!


Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Decluttering Your Main Rooms- Part 1 Reflections

 Well, it's clear my time line was a bit off ;o)  In my house, these days, decluttering a room is kinda like digging a hole in sand close to the tide.  If the tide is low, then the hole I dig may stick around a while and I might be lucky enough to make a great sandcastle.  But if the tide is on its way in, I can't make too much progress before it disappears.  Right now, I feel the tide retracting and thus can make progress on simplifying our house.

Our first part of decluttering the main rooms has been a 2 tiered project.  I typically don't think of our house as being terribly cluttered. What I found was that once I took away the visible clutter and piles that initially bothered me, I realized that I have many little things laying around that have been there so long that I hadn't even really noticed them anymore.  I changed my lens to a finer focus and started to tackle the little things and they were mostly "unfinished projects" like taping up a ripped page in Rita Clare's pop-up book, putting cd's back in their cases and storing them in the other room, random seasonal items needing to be put away, etc.

With the main rooms cleared away, I actually feel a lot more organized and clear headed, even though many of the others rooms are still a disaster (trying not to think about it!).  I now enjoy my living space and feel more "present" in the room.  Who says Feng Shui is bogus?  :o)

Unfortunately, this journey toward simplifying your home isn't a quick project.  At least, not in my home.  Maybe before kids, I could tackle this all in one weekend.  Now, I can barely finish 1 project from start to finish.  If I do, I usually feel a bit guilty that I've neglected my kids.  Alas! 

Now you have a choice.  You can either move on to all your other rooms and do a big sweep of purging the unnecessary items OR clean up the other rooms.  This is a great opportunity to deep clean the rooms, since you'll have less to move out of the room before more things return and take up space.  I'm going to move on to cleaning in my next post and then will revisit cleaning up the other rooms later on.  Each other room has some special considerations.

If you've started this journey with me, what are some obstacles you found?  Any surprises? Issues?

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Friday, September 24, 2010

Step 1 Achieved: Local Media Coverage

 Tonight, my story was shared on our local news highlighting the greater issues with Delta's safety regulations in question and accountability for their flight attendants.  This was a great jumping point for us, especially since the station made it the lead story for the 5pm news.  By being the lead story, it reiterated how significant this issue really is and how it has potential to make some real positive changes in regulation and our experiences flying with Delta.

Next, we REALLY need someone national to pick up the story and run with it.  Delta isn't going to make any changes without some serious attention and pressure.  Here's the link to the story:

The best way to keep up the momentum is to copy this link on your Facebook, Twitter account and continue to ask your friends to spread the story around.  Delta cannot get away with treating families poorly and should be providing us with extra consideration during our flights.  

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Delta's First Offer of Compensation-Take it or Leave it?

Yesterday evening, I received a phone call from a Delta Customer Care Representative.  I can't tell you how nice it felt to have someone from Delta eager to hear what happened, empathize with what I went through, and apologize for it.  Instead of blaming me, she listened and asked questions.  After hearing the whole story, she said there will be a thorough investigation on what happened.  We'll see!

After apologizing, she said she wanted to make it up to me by compensating me for my plane ticket and offer me some sky miles. I was thrown a little off guard, since I figured nothing would be offered until the investigation went through.  At that point, I had the opportunity to take the offer and let the situation go.  Perhaps I should. After all, being heard, apologized to, and refunded was a nice gesture.  Over the last few days, however, I have realized that I might have the opportunity to be a voice for all the other mamas (and dads) to listen to our concerns about flying with children, change/improve the regulations, and request all parents to be better informed on how to keep our children safe inflight.

Here's the bottom line:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rebel with a Cause- Best Case Scenario, Can you Help?

After reading all your responses, I realized that this situation with Delta is bigger than my lone experience.
I want to discern my ultimate goal/what would correct everything. Of course, we'd all love to have free flights the rest of our lives and for the delta attendant (whom somebody nicknamed Cruella the Attendant!) to make a public apology for the way she has treated myself and others on the plane.

But this isn't really about just my situation.  It's about much more. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rebel with a Cause-Delta's 2nd Response (Small Victory!)

I just received an email from the Delta Social Media Team.  Here's what they wrote:

Dear Ms. Starks:  We have had the opportunity to review your posting on the “Raising a Green Family” blog and have initiated an internal investigation on the matter. 

Rebel with a Cause- Delta's First Response

 SO, I filled out my complaint online (see my Part 1-My Complaint to see what I wrote) and received an auto-reply (listed below). I wonder how many people complain on a daily basis and am sure they probably won't do much unless the press gets hold of this story.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rebel with a Cause (Part 2)-My Complaint

 Here's the statement I submitted to Delta.  If I receive a response, I'll post it!  Thanks everyone for your support!

Rebel with a Cause :o)

This past weekend, I was almost arrested for misconduct on an airplane.  I wasn't the obnoxious drunk or a physical threat to anyone, although I wished I might have had a little buzz as I was escorted off the plane by police when we landed.  The story?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Decluttering Your Main Rooms- Part 1 Picking Up & Removing

Decluttering Your Main Rooms- Part 1 Picking Up & Removing

The main rooms in our homes are our living/family room, kitchen, and dining area.  These areas are top priority, since we spend the most time living in these spaces.  After these rooms are finished, we are already going to feel tremendously better.

Our Recommendations: Turn up your favorite music and have fun with this!

Main Objectives:

  1. Tidy up the room and remove everything that doesn’t belong.
  2. Clean the room.
  3. Organize what gets to stay.

Task 1: Tidying

This process can either be an easy one or a tough one, depending on how attached you are to the things in your home.  I try and think objectively about what I really don’t need or haven’t used in this room in a while.  For instance, I had been collecting my shopping bags by the front door to take to the car (someday).  It had been there so long that I stopped seeing it.  Look on top of your surfaces, then below it.  Have you been storing things on higher surfaces, so that your kids can’t get to them?  We have! 

Everything that doesn’t belong in that room either needs to return to the room where it belongs (e.g. shoes by the front door need to go back in my closet), or it needs to find another home. 

Here are some suggestions:
Garage/Yard Sale
Thrift Store

Everything we decide is going to leave our house is going to be stored in one place.  My rule: Once I put it in that area, it’s not going back in the rest of my home.  You’re welcome to give yourself a couple days to think it through before you let it go.

Give yourself a day or so to do this.  In my house, I rarely get a long time span to devote to anything.  It’s bits and chunks of time (and often depends on how well the two kids slept the night before!).

What's your favorite local thrift store?

Next Objective: Cleaning the Room!
This will include moving furniture, simplifying your cleaning products, removing the dust bunnies, and more….stay tuned!

Good luck and have fun!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Before We Begin-Our Intentions

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. "
~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

First a disclaimer....In no way am I an expert on simplifying your life nor do I want to impose any of my personal values on you.   This journey has to come within yourself, and take or leave what you want.  This is a great opportunity for those of you who are pregnant and nesting like crazy, have kiddos at home constantly undoing the house behind you, and those of us who haven't done our "spring cleaning" in a while.  If you have just had a baby within the last 6 weeks, please don't do this right now.  The beauty of these posts are that you can start it whenever you like, at the pace you want, and pick and choose what you want to do.

As we begin this journey toward decluttering our homes together, we're going to start with our main rooms- front living room, kitchen, & dining room.  These are the spaces we use the most and are most visible to us.  Once we tackle these rooms, we'll already feel a lot better about what we're doing.

 I'm constantly being told by family and strangers to enjoy the time with my kids and not worry about keeping the house tidy.  I understand the intention and believe it's important to spend quality time with my kids. 

There are a few reasons I'm advocating decluttering and organizing your/my home:

1. I think much clearer when I'm organized.  A clear head means I'm able to be "present" to my kids when I'm spending time with them.

2. I want to know what I have in my house to use with my kiddos, rather than miss an opportunity of fun because I didn't know I had it.  (Quick story to illustrate my point-I recently discovered a bunch of arts and crafts materials I bought Rita Clare for Christmas.  All this time, it was hidden under junk I haven't moved since Tyler was born.) Goal: I'd like to have an organized craft area that is accessible to use when Rita Clare wants to do something fun.  It's a waste of time rummaging around a mess and I'm not as likely to want to take the effort to do it when it's unorganized.

3.  Other people could actually benefit from your unused possessions. Whether you sell it, donate it to a thrift store, or post on freecycle, it's time to let things go.

4.  It's better for the environment.  Your house is using extra energy when there are more things inside.  How many things do you have plugged in that you haven't used in a long time?  I can think of a few things of mine off the top of my head.

Can you think of other reasons? Are you ready to begin??? 

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

CONTEST: Submit Your Best --Beans & Rice/Legumes & Grain Recipe

One of the best ways to start our journey of simplicity is to embrace a simpler and healthy way of eating. I'll admit that I used to despise beans. But over time, I've experimented with different types of beans/legumes and recipes. Now, I really enjoy them and particularly embrace them during the cooler months.

This month, I want to start eating a legume & grain meal once a week. It's a great way to start eating healthier, is a simple meal, saves money, helps us be in solidarity with those in poorer countries, and better for the environment. (I'll go into more detail about the last statement in another blog post.)

Join us in pledging to eat a meal like this once a week. I know many of you have a great recipe or two you already use with your family. Let's put our favorite recipes together, so we have a great central location to try new recipes.

Contest Requirements:

For the next week, submit some of your favorite beans & rice (or legumes & grain) recipe. At the end of the week (9/9 5 pm), I'll draw a name for the winner. Our lucky winner will receive a set of 4 plates from Kidishes. ($17.99 value)!!

To Qualify: 
1. Post the recipe in our Discussion Board section under "Great Simple Meals".
2. Every time you submit a new recipe, you are entered into the contest. (PLEASE don't just submit a random recipe from the web you've never tried. I want these recipes to be GREAT...and the simpler, the better!)
3. You have to be a "follower" of our blog.

We look forward to trying some of your fabulous recipes!



Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September's Theme: Simplicity

This month, we're going to be focusing on simplifying our lives. There's something about the beginning of the school year that feels like a new beginning (much like New Year's). This is the first year our oldest daughter started school (preschool) and I've been "nesting" again like crazy trying to become organized in our house.

As you know, both simplifying your life and becoming organized is a process. It's almost like detoxifying both our physical homes AND our inner "home". It's a spiritual experience. Initial questions such as, "Do I NEED this?", "Am I ready to part with that?" "Am I ever going to look at my house and feel like it's not cluttered?"

Once you clear the physical clutter, it's time to work on embracing a simpler lifestyle. Instead of having to regularly remove the clutter in your life, you'll be preventing the clutter from occurring. In the long run, you'll be saving money and time spent on figuring what to do with everything. The Earth will also thank you :o)

So join me this month. First we'll go through your home, car, office. Then we'll work on organizing everything you have so that you actually USE what you're keeping. Then we'll focus inward, understanding why we consume, how we can embrace a simpler, yet deeper life. Are you ready? I know I am!!!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Breastfeeding Humor

I once came across this great song about breastfeeding and thought it would be appropriate to share in honor of breastfeeding awareness month.

(Sing to tune of "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast)
See our breasts, see our breasts-
Everywhere, half-naked chests.
While we nurse,
The prudish curse
And wish we'd button up our vests.
Sorry, folks, look away
If we're too decollete,
But this is what boobs are made for,
Not those Wonderbras you've paid for.
We refuse to go feed
Hunched in bathroom stalls indeed,
We're appalled that you would make sure rude requests.
Would you agree to eat
Upon a toilet seat?
See our breasts, see our breasts, free our breasts!

Enjoy and feel free to share with others!

(taken from Babytalk Magazine Oct. 2006)

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Monday, August 9, 2010

Win $10 in credit or a Free Diaper-Promote our Upcoming Workshop!

Hey y'all!

We're having a "Cloth Diapers 101" workshop on August 24th starting at 5:30pm at The Birth Cottage. We need your help to spread the news. As an incentive, we'd like to give you a couple ways to win.

First Winner- New bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Diaper!

All you need to do is post the following on your Facebook wall and give us a shout out:

Using "<@>Ecological Babies" post: If you're interested in cloth diapers and want someone to give you the "in's and out's", attend Ecological Babies free upcoming workshop August 24 at the Birth Cottage starting at 5:30pm. If you can't make it, they do free one-on-one consultations!

Winner will be randomly drawn (from and announced the day after our workshop (Aug 25th). Note: Winner must be able to do a store pick up to receive the diaper.

Second Winner- $10 Credit on ANYTHING in our store!

If anyone in the workshop attends because of your Facebook post on your wall and they tell us, we'll give you $10 in credit. Sweet, huh? All they need to do is mention you and the Facebook contest during the workshop!

We'll write down all the referral names at the workshop and do the drawing at the end of the workshop. Winner will be announced and notified after we return home from the workshop! Note: You don't have to be local to win this one.

We hope you'll help us out, so we can help more people choose cloth for their babies!


Jen Starks

Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Survival Tips for Traveling with a Toddler & Infant 22 hours in the Car

We recently took a road trip with our two kiddos (6 mos & 2 yr, 8 mos)up to Indiana to visit both sides of our family. Since I'm currently still recouping from it, I'm not sure I'm going to do it again. Then again, I said that after Rita Clare's birth and somehow got back into the idea :o)

Gone are the days when we could make it in a long day for 12-14 hrs. Now, we break it up into 2 nights and 3 days, in order for it to be bearable. I know, that's a huge difference! Last summer, we purchased a pop-up camper so we could make our trips into little family holidays rather than pure torture.

This post is just going to be some tricks we used on during our car time. Rita Clare, our 2 yr old, was the hardest to please but we anticipated this.

1. Bag of surprise gifts wrapped in tin foil- I purchased little items from the dollar store that she could use either in the car or some time on our trip. (Silly Putty, gel pens, capsules that grow in water, jump rope, sunglasses, stickers, candy, cd)
2. Pipe Cleaners- great fun to manipulate and doesn't make a mess!
3. Colored pencils and a note pad (blank)-don't dare bring crayons in the car, risking a lost one to melt somewhere.
4. Water coloring pad
5. New markers that only show colors in a specific coloring book-it's quite amazing!
6. Borrowed DVDs and a new one.
7. LOTS of cds.-I included kids sing a longs, some calming ones, and some of mine I haven't heard in a while. If I'm happy, then the car is a lot more pleasant!
8. Activity book with dry erase markers. Actually, I wise up early on and we only used these during some down time on our trip when I was with her. She really liked them those.
9. LOTS of books. She's really into the seek and find books.
10. A doll to play with.
11. FAVORITE snacks-string cheese, pretzels, graham crackers were the biggest hit.
12. Finger puppets and songs with finger gestures- RC now knows what each finger is called and can sing "Two Little Blackbirds" all by herself.
13. Talking about things outside of the car.-Great distraction, especially when she wanted to wake Tyler up by screaming or when stuck in traffic.

1. We packed about 8 different toys. It was nice when RC would fall asleep and he started to fuss.
2. Mesh food eater. This was great when we tried stalling him from nursing. It always seemed to happen that we'd be less than 30 minutes from our destination and he'd have a meltdown. Then we'd all kinda start to melt down too. He liked the cheerios and bananas but boy he was a mess after the nanners! We also put ice in there a couple times.
3. Butt and Back Massages! Every time I took him out of his car seat, I'd nurse him and change him. Then I'd let him play on his belly while I gave him a good rub down. I'm sure his little tush was aching during some of those long hours.

All in all, they we both champs! We were lucky when they'd both fall asleep at the same time. That was basically our break during our traveling days (no fun). On the bright side, I almost finished my sweater I'm knitting for myself-woohoo!

Do you have any good travel tips I didn't mention? I'd love to hear them!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with a Local Midwife

I had the opportunity and honor to be taken care of by Diana Janopaul, a local midwife here in Tallahassee.  It was during my pregnancy with Rita Clare, when I spent some quality time sharing my new journey into motherhood with her.  At the time, she was working at The Birth Cottage.  However, she decided to take a leap of faith late last summer to start her own practice, being allowed to grow more intimate with a few clients while spending more quality time with her family.

I briefly interviewed Diana and encourage you to take a look at her website, learning more about what she does in the community as a midwife....awesome and inspiring woman!

 How/when did you first become interested in becoming a midwife?

 I first became interested in midwifery when I was living in NYC at 18 years of age attending NYU.  Honestly, I probably had never even heard the word "midwife", but when I found a copy of Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery in a bookstore on 8th Street, I knew that was what I was put on the planet to do.  (You can read my article The Call to Midwifery online-- it talks a lot about my journey to becoming a midwife)

What's the best part of being a midwife?

The best part of being a midwife, other than the obvious baby catching part, is the emotional connections I get to forge with women and their families.  Birth is a peak experience and I have the honor of being present for that moment over and over.  It is wonderful! 

 What's the worst part?

I don’t think there is a worst part.  Some parts are harder than others-- not being able to plan to do things with my family if I have a woman due is hard.  Lack of sleep is hard.  Dealing with insurance is super-hard.  But, those things are outweighed by all of the good things.

Why did you start "Where the Heart Is Midwifery?

I started Where the Heart Is Midwifery last November.  I had been practicing in a birth center setting for almost four years, but needed more flexibility for me and my family.  I wanted to slow down a little bit and be able to focus more on each woman.  I also was intrigued by the idea of doing all of the care in the woman's home.  It has worked out really well for me.  I accept two women a month (occasionally three!).  I come to their homes for all the care, including the prenatals, lab draws, birth, postpartums.  I can be flexible to meet their scheduling needs, so I do evening and Saturday appointments, if need be.

 If you had someone call you skeptical about a home birth, what would you tell them?

If someone were interested in homebirth, but skeptical about it, I would suggest that they sit down with me and their list of questions/concerns and talk.  Most concerns that couples have are easily addressed and often based on inadequate information.  My job is not to "talk someone into" a homebirth; it is to present accurate and complete information so that the couple can make a good decision for themselves. I find that out-of-hospital birth works well because women feel safe in their own nest.  It is important for a woman to feel safe, no matter where she chooses to birth.

If you had only a couple minutes to talk with pregnant mamas on the best ways to take care of themselves during their pregnancy, what would you emphasize?

I would tell them to get to the basics-- eat real, whole food.  Sleep as much as their body requires-- if it is asking for a nap in the middle of the day, go for it.  Avoid those things that we know are not good for us and, therefore, couldn't be good for a developing baby.  Exercise--stretching, yoga, swimming, walking are all good exercises for a pregnant mama.

Relax, laugh and enjoy the pregnancy!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Remember "Mama and Baby Love"? It's back as a blog!

A couple years back, we had a wonderful local business that served the Tallahassee area as a premier place for natural parenting to blossom.  It was a yoga studio, a "green" boutique, offer massage, and had many resources on becoming a "green" parent".  No longer serving in that same capacity, it has returned to us as a blog.  It provides us an outlet to continue how to be "ecological" parents and I'm excited to promote it! 

Right now, you have the chance to win a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag.  All you need to do is follow it.  Pretty sweet deal, eh?
Welcome back, Mama and Baby Love!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

P.S. Stephanie also wrote a great post on why she chose cloth diapers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top 10 Reason to Come to our Potluck 6/12

Top 10 Reasons to Come to Our Potluck this Saturday from 11-2pm:

10.You can just drop by for a while, if you have other plans that day.
9. It doesn’t conflict with the World Cup Game at 2:30.
8. Smoothies (free) made and demonstrated on site…yum!
7. Meet some doulas and midwives to prepare for your upcoming birth.
6. Learn how to make healthier and tasty food for your kiddos and family.
5. You’ll learn about the importance of Tummy Time, Baby Signs, and Potty Training Tips.
4. Relax with a chair massage after enjoying some good food.
3. Family Portraits will be available at a super low price at the event.
2. Bounce House, so they can have fun and take a LONG nap afterwards
1. Meet some incredibly awesome families in our community.

We hope you'll join us!!!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Theme of the Month: Community

This month, we're focusing on the value of community. There's something authentic and satisfying about being a part of community and yet, many of us miss opportunities to get out there and join in.   Once upon a time and in many underdeveloped countries today, it literally took a village to raise children.  I believe we're missing out on something that our ancestors once had and villages have. 

When was the last time you went to a local festival?  How many locally-owned businesses have you supported?  Do you know the owners?  How many of your neighbors do you know...REALLY know? When was the last time you went to a potluck?  Has it been since your kiddos were born?

One of the greatest joys I receive in operating Ecological Babies is from connecting and contributing to our community.  I love meeting other locally-owned business owners and working together on a project.  I love donating to a local fundraiser, meeting new customers in the area, and seeing our "ecological" babies out and about.  

I personally want to instill the importance of community to my kids because I think it has a spiritual component and essential for their development.  Here's an example: We all go through tough times.  Think of how much it meant to you when you received a meal or some Easter cookies from your neighbor or a friend you made from a local mom's group. Here's another example: About once a week, the kiddos and I deliver meals with Meals on Wheels.  My daughter, Rita Clare, usually starts out by saying that she wants their meals.  Then I have her come to the door and bring some of the meal with me.  After seeing how much they appreciate it and through talking about how much they need it, she becomes excited about it and ends up yelling. "Enjoy your meal!" as we head to the car.  The rest of the day, she talks about the experience.  When we drive near neighborhoods where we've delivered a meal, she remembers.  I can tell it impacts her.
This month, I challenge you to put yourself out there.  Contribute to something local and see how it impacts your entire family.  This month, we'll give you lots of ideas to do this, so get ready!!!  For starters, you can come to our potluck on June 12 from 11-2pm.  I promise loads of fun and community development opportunities. :o)

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Mother's Day.  It's a day that's worth celebrating more often, don't you think?   Since becoming a mother, I have a new perspective on Mother's Day.  Not only does it feel nice to be acknowledged and valued as a mom, but I certainly have gained a lot more insight and appreciation for all the mother's in my life (adopted mom, mother-in-law, birth mom, step mom).

This Mother's Day I am especially overjoyed because it was a year ago I first found out I was pregnant with Tyler.  Seeing those double lines on a pregnancy are moments I'll never forget.  Just a simple test, yet the emotions overflow.  Every time I've had a positive test, I feel disbelief, excitement, scared, anxious, and many more emotions!  It's truly one of those "I'll never be the same" moments.

I could list off many reasons why I love being a mother.  But it is often events that occur when I suddenly think "this is why!".  The hours following Tyler's birth were one of those occasions.  He was resting on my chest naked and I was so grateful to be holding him finally.  The other day my daughter, Rita Clare, gave me one of those moments.  It was a day I was particularly exhausted and I banged my leg on a chair.  She ran up to me and say "It's okay, Mama.  I love you!"  Then she kissed my leg (to make it better of course, like I do to her). (Even now I'm tearing up thinking of that!)

One of the hardest things I personally struggle with is finding enough time for myself.  Often too busy and tired, I try to "do it all." But when I make the time to take care of myself and be away from the kiddos awhile, I am such a better mom.  I appreciate what I have and I'm more balanced.

All moms can use a little pampering, even if the baby is still "cooking" inside.  To me, you're already a mom and we honor you too this weekend.  We're doing a contest to win a FREE pedicure at Kanvas Spa in Tallahassee and hope you'll join in on the fun.

All you have to do are 2 things: 

1. "Follow us" on our blog.
2. Tell us what you love the most about being a mom, or a special "mommy" moment.  

We'll randomly select someone and announce it Sunday evening on our Facebook page.  Good luck and we look forward to reading all your responses!


Jen Starks

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vote for a new scent & receive a free sample!

Hi all,

After receiving many suggestions to carry the popular detergent "Rockin' Green Soap,"  I've finally decided to put in my first order over the weekend.  I need your help though!  There are a lot of scents to choose from and I can't decide which ones you'd like the best.  Would you help me out and tell me which one sounds most appealing to you?  If I choose your scent, then I'll offer you a free sample for giving me your input. How's that for a win-win?

  • Orangevana - orange and cream combine together to reach a new level of cleaning awareness
  • Smashing Watermelons- this juicy watermelon blend is like a kick to your senses.
  • The Green Tea's - the zen like blend of green tea and aloe, is sure to make it to the top of your playlist.
  • Rage against the Raspberry- this raspberry and honey blend will have you running around the laundry room looking for the mosh pit!
  • Mötley Cleän - there's clean and then there's Mötley Cleän. This fresh blend has hints of ocean, fresh linen, and sunshine.
  • Lavender Mint Revival- this medley of lavender and mint is like nothing you have heard or smelled before!
  • Bare Naked Babies- because we love the smell of babies, we offer an unscented variety too!  
Which one sounds most appealing for laundry?



Thursday, April 15, 2010

GroBaby as a Hybrid Option

Cloth diapers seem to get easier and easier the longer I'm in this business.  I'd have to say that GroBaby has become a great new alternative that all families (even those unenthusiastic about cloth diapers) can use and love.  GroBaby started out with shells (covers) and an organic cotton snap in soaker.  Basically, it looks like a giant cotton maxipad that snaps inside.  Despite how bulky it may appear on the inside, this diaper is very trim when put on your baby/toddler.  The snaps are great, so that it doesn't move around inside the shell (as opposed to the BumGenius "Flip" diaper). 

GroBaby works as a system.  What that basically means is that it works best when you purchase at least 2 shells and then buy 4 or more soaker pads.  Like prefolds and covers, you'll snap out the soiled soaker pad and then lay that damp shell on the changing table.  Then you'll use another shell with a clean soaker pad.  When that soaker pad is wet or poopy, then you'll snap it out and grab your initial shell laying on the changing table.  If you fully invest in GroBaby's system, you could ultimately spend about $15/diaper and receive ultimate convenience and organic material against the skin.  That's really a great deal compared to other diapers on the market right now.

Now, GroBaby has released biodegradable soaker pads.  The soaker pads stick inside the shell.  Then when it's used, you can either flush, compost, or trash the pads.  This concept is a great option for our busy summer months, day cares, and errands. I've only been testing the biodegradable pads for almost a week now, so I'm still learning and forming opinions.  Here are my first impressions. 

Overall, I really enjoy having them to turn to compared to another disposable diaper.  It has save ingredients and is a lot less harmful on the environment.  I've had some really messy diapers and not a single blow out yet. The material is soft to the touch and easy to put in the diaper.  I hand washed the covers and was able to just use 2 in a single day's worth of diapering.  The pads are the smallest option for a diaper bag I've ever seen (smaller than disposables).

Here are the not so great parts I've found.  First of all, I almost want to not like it because it feels like a slippery slope to disposable diapers.  Secondly, they need to improve the sticky part on the pads.  The sticky part likes to cling on to the snaps and can leave part of the stick behind.  With a little bit of effort, the sticky part does come off but it was annoying to mess with it.  Thirdly, I wasn't able to go 12 hours at nighttime without a leak.  I can go that long with our other cloth diapering options, so I was a bit bummed by that.  My 12 wk son seems to wet A LOT though at night and I've only tried it once.  But who likes to wake up wet and change all the sheets?  Not me! Next time I try it at night, I'm going to stick in a booster that the GroBaby shell set comes with. Maybe in combination, I can find success at nighttime.  Finally, I'd like the pads to come in a one-size fits all like the GroBaby is meant to be.  It would be nice to be able to use the box for both my newborn AND my toddler.

We've tried the GDiapers too, which is a direct competitor of the GroBaby diaper.  We've had an awful time with leaks in the legs, since they are cotton legs.  Plus, the velcro on the GDiapers take getting used to as well.  The GDiapers are also more expensive option, especially when factoring shipping costs too.

I've now had a few customers give the GroBaby Hybrid Test Drive Kit a try so far.  I'd love to hear other people's opinion and definitely think it is a great summer option, despite some drawbacks.  PLUS, I hear they are improving the pads and will be releasing new ones in the near future months.  I have not been able to find out when it is going to be released yet but will keep you posted. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Event 4/14 from 5:30-7pm


Wednesday, April 14th
5:30 - 7:00 PM
Earth Day Dinner and Educational Night
"Saving Energy at Home"

The Good Shepherd "Green Team" is hosting a night focused on ways to care for the earth and save energy and money in the process.

Following a simple dinner showcasing local produce and fresh foods, Bob Seaton from the City of Tallahassee will give a talk on ways to cut home energy usage.

In addition, members of First Presbyterian Church, a leader in environmental stewardship, will discuss changes that their church has made in operations as well as an outreach program that provides carbon offsetting for their church's energy uses.

There will also be display tables on green cleaning and green products to purchase including fair trade coffee. Since all food is homemade, they need a definite count for the dinner.

Please RSVP to Pat Beckett at the Parish Office, 893-1837 or E-mail to

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top Foods to Buy Organic

I know as parents of young children, we're always looking into giving our child the best.  Especially during these tough economic times, it can be challenging to afford things like organic foods.  I like to refer to this list when I'm grocery shopping, so I know which foods are really worth buying organic.  This way, you can save some money and avoiding those terrible pesticides.  This list is from and the full link is at the bottom of this.

The “Dirty Dozen”: Must-buy organic foodsFruit
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes, imported (Chili)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
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  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more — but are well worth the money.
Other organic foods worth considering:
  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Poultry
Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food. They often cost 100 percent more than conventional products.

No need to go organic with these foods:Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Peas
These products generally do not contain pesticide residue.
SeafoodWild or farmed fish can be labeled organic, despite the presence of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs.  No USDA organic certification standards for seafood — producers are allowed to make their own organic claims.
CosmeticsHaving “organic” or “natural” in its name doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer. Only 11 percent of ingredients found in personal-care products, organic or not, have ever been screened for safety.
Managing the high cost of organic foods:
Why does organic cost more?
Growing the food is more labor-intensive. And even though organic food is a growing industry, it doesn't have the economies of scale or government subsidies available to conventional growers.
How to save money buying organic food:
  • Comparison shop in local grocery stores.
  • Take advantage of local farmers' markets: Many farmers do not charge a premium.
  • Order by mail: Products such as organic beef can be shipped nationally.
How to protect yourself from “non-organic” pesticides: Produce
  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
  • Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
  • Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue.
  • Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subject to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from Mexico.
  • Wait until just before preparation to wash or immerse your produce in clean water. When appropriate, scrub with a brush. Experts at the University of California-Berkeley report that this removes nearly all insects and dirt, as well as bacteria and some pesticide residues.
  • Special soaps or washes are not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label! Cold water is perfectly fine.
  • Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

Potty Training Tips

Quick Facts About Potty Training
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Potty Training Solution
    Potty training can be natural, easy, and peaceful. The first step is to know the facts.
  • The perfect age to begin potty training is different for every child. Your child's best starting age could be anywhere from eighteen to thirty-two months. Pre-potty training preparation can begin when a child is as young as ten months.
  • You can begin training at any age, but your child's biology, skills, and readiness will determine when he can take over his own toileting.
  • Teaching your child how to use the toilet can, and should, be as natural as teaching him to build a block tower or use a spoon.
  • No matter the age that toilet training begins, most children become physically capable of independent toileting between ages two and a half and four.
  • It takes three to twelve months from the start of training to daytime toilet independence. The more readiness skills that a child possesses, the quicker the
    process will be.
  • The age that a child masters toileting has absolutely no correlation to future abilities or intelligence.
  • There isn’t only one right way to potty train – any approach you use can work - if you are pleasant, positive and patient.
  • Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child's physiology supports this--you can't rush it.
  • A parent's readiness to train is just as important as a child's readiness to learn.
  • Potty training need not be expensive. A potty chair, a dozen pairs of training pants and a relaxed and pleasant attitude are all that you really need. Anything else is truly optional.
  • Most toddlers urinate four to eight times each day, usually about every two hours or so.
  • Most toddlers have one or two bowel movements each day, some have three, and others skip a day or two in between movements. In general, each child has a regular pattern.

  • More than 80 percent of children experience setbacks in toilet training. This means that what we call “setbacks” are really just the usual path to mastery of toileting.
  • Ninety-eight percent of children are completely daytime independent by age four.

This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006) 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Green Safety at Home-Fluorescent Lights

As families turn to "green" ways to improve their household (and to save money!), many have chosen to start using fluorescent lights in their home.  But are you aware of their health consequences if they shatter?  Did you know there is some mercury inside that is toxic?  First of all, it's important to know how to dispose of them properly when they burn out.  Here in Tallahassee, we can recycle and dispose of them properly by bringing them to our city's hazardous waste center off Apalachee Pkwy. 

But secondly, it's important to clean them up properly if it breaks in your home. Today, one of ours shattered and I honestly didn't know what to do. SO, I looked it up and was surprised to learn what I found. Note: The bold is my emphasis. 

According to National Geographic, "...the greatest danger may be the broken glass.  But to minimize exposure to mercury vapor, EPA and other experts advise a few precautions.

Children and pets should stay away from the area, the agency says, and windows should be opened for at least 15 minutes so that vapors may disperse. Cleanup can be done by hand using disposable materials, the experts add.
'Use rubber disposable gloves and scoop up the materials with stiff paper or cardboard,' Bender said. 'Use sticky tape to pick up small pieces and powder, clean the area with a damp paper towel, and dispose of the materials in an outside trash can.'
'Never use a vacuum,' Hogue added. 'This, he said, will only disperse the mercury vapor and leave particles trapped inside the cleaner bag.'


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cloth Diaper Review: Smartipants

Here's another diaper I've heard some chatter about, so I decided to test it out. Unlike the Happy Heiny's, I'd use this diaper more often.  But to me, it feels like a "cheap" diaper.

-Cute colors
-Snaps for a one-size
-Insert swishes out in the wash

-The overall design and fit of the diaper is awkward.  I think they need to improve it to fit on a baby better
-The inner lining, like a suede cloth, is rather rough against the skin.  It feels like a generic material and RC doesn't really like it (my daughter)
-The insert that it comes with doesn't really fit correctly in the pouch.  It's a bit too big and some of the microfiber always pokes out.  This is a material you don't want against your baby/toddler's skin!
-We've had multiple leaks in this diaper.  I use it around the house but cannot rely upon it while out and about.
-The diaper is made in China and at this point, I have no idea what the factory conditions are like there.

Cloth Diaper Review: Happy Heiny's One-Size

I've been testing out the Happy Heiny's One-Size diaper and I've been disappointed.  I wanted to like this brand, since it is made in the USA and it is a well-known brand.  However, it just isn't comparable to other diapers.  This is a diaper I use as a last resort.

Cute colors/patterns
Not bad price for a one-size
Made in USA

Sags when stuffed for nighttime causing leaks around waist
Inner fleece loses its softness quickly
Front snaps pop out easily, losing its custom fit
Velcro isn't strong