Monday, December 14, 2009

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

Gnats can be a pesky nuisance. Where do they come from? What attracts them? Here are a couple of non-toxic remedies I recently came across. I'm going to try them the next time I spy a gnat!
clipped from

On the "home remedy" side, you can mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a small bowl of water, and sit the bowl near your potted plants. You can use wine or fruit juice as well. Many a gnat has reportedly met their fate with this concoction.

Your drains are also a haven for gnats. Pour some vegetable oil down the drain; this will saturate the gnats, hindering their ability to breed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Homeschooling the Right Choice for Your Family?

Homeschooling, private school, public school - there are so many choices when it comes to our children's education.  In this post, I'm going to let Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest share her reasons for recommending homeschooling.

5 Essential Ingredients to Homeschooling Success

By Terri Johnson – co-author of Homeschooling ABC's– an online class starting this month for brand new homeschoolers

We’ve all seen it… or, at least, heard about it… the homeschooled child who wins the geography bee, or the one who graduates at the age of 15, or the one who excels in musical accomplishments…

Now, obviously, a student does not have to be homeschooled in order to accomplish one of the feats above, nor does every homeschooled child excel in such notable ways. However, every homeschooling parent desires for success in teaching their children at home and launching them into the world to become all that God has intended for them to be.

The flipside to this statement is that no one wants to fail when it comes to teaching their children at home. So, what are the five necessary ingredients to homeschooling success?

The first one is the desire to foster a closer relationship with each of your children and your kids with one another. If you don’t want to spend more time together and deepen these relationships (or, at least, want to want to spend more time together), then homeschooling may not be the best choice for you. However, I am sure that you have heard it said before that at the end of the day, no one is going to say, “I wish that I had spent more time at work… or by myself… or with my canary…” No, the universal regret that aging and dying people declare is their sadness over not spending enough time with their loved ones. Teaching your children at home is an amazing opportunity to spend more time with your dearest loved ones and have no regrets.

The second ingredient to homeschooling success is a teachable spirit on the part of the parent. This is essential because, like it or not, you will learn so much more teaching your own children than you ever did in school the first time around. So, you might as well like to learn.

On that same note, the third essential ingredient to successful homeschooling is creating a home environment that is conducive to learning. This may show itself differently in each of our homes, but the result is the same – a place where kids can learn and enjoy it.

A home that is conducive to learning may have quiet and cozy reading nooks, bookshelves crammed with great books, a listening corner complete with headphones and a beanbag chair, uncluttered smooth surfaces for writing, stacks of coloring/activity books and colored pencils, a place to gather together and talk about the day’s events. You get the idea… Create centers in your home that make learning fun and accessible.

The fourth ingredient for a successful homeschool is 2 hours of your time to devote to your children’s studies. Truly, when the one-on-one teaching method is employed in your home, you do not need all day in order to get things done. In fact, a child in K-2 grades might be finished with her schoolwork in as few as 45 minutes (of course, that probably does not include the time that you spend reading together because who can get enough of that!).

At the other end of the spectrum, you might not need that much time with your middle schooler or high schooler either, because they become such independent learners by this age. The kids that will need the majority of that time that you have designated for school – those full 2 hours – would be your students in 3-6 grades as math and grammar assignments might get a little more involved.

The final ingredient for homeschooling success is a library card. That’s right! With access to a huge roomful of books, a world of learning opportunities is at your doorstep. Let’s say that your child is interested in insects or flowers, electricity or magnetism, transportation or inventions… check out as many books as he can devour on the subject and then some more. Watch your child light up with the delight of learning.

With these 5 essential ingredients incorporated into your homeschool, you will experience successful learning in the lives of your children, because this is the measure of success – children that love to learn!

Enjoy those learning moments…

Terri Johnson

Co-author of Homeschooling ABCs – an online class starting this month for brand new homeschoolers. Don't let self-doubt, or lack of experience, rob you of the best first year possible! Sign up for class at Homeschooling ABC's.

Best of Success to you,

Todd and Terri Johnson

Knowledge Quest, Inc.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Green Baby


I just finished a book that I think you will like.  It's called Green Baby by D.K Publishing.  This book has everything from advice on avoiding hidden toxins to product recommendations.  It is written in short, easy to read chapters which is the perfect style for a busy mom who has to snatch reading time in bits and pieces!  I highly recommend that you add  Green Baby to your reference library.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Immune System Booster

       I wanted to share an interesting article by Norma Erickson about making elderberry syrup.  This all natural syrup is made from only three ingredients:  elderberries, water, and raw honey. 

We've all heard about the andioxidant and cholesterol lowering properties of berries.  Honey also contains antioxidant as well as antimicrobial properties.  To see Norma's recipe, click here.

Remember, you should not give honey to children younger than 12 months.

                                 organic baby products


Friday, September 25, 2009

Allergy Concerns in Baby Shampoo?

Have you ever heard of Quaternium 15? Neither had I!  It is an ingredient found in many personal care products, including some baby shampoos and body washes.  This chemical preservative has been shown to be a strong allergen which can cause contact dermatitis.

 Of course not everyone is allergic to this chemical, but it might be wise to avoid products containing it when bathing your newborn.  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which includes founding members Friends of the Earth, the Clean Water Fund, and the Breast Cancer Fund, together with the American Nurses Association,  has called on companies to remove hazardous chemicals from their children's products.

I've recently learned about a company called Earth Mama Angel Baby (don't you love that name!) which offers products which are all pure and natural.  Their goal is to combine the wisdom passed down through generations of women with modern research and testing techniques.

Earth Mama Angel Baby has a lovely and informative website describing their natural, organic, non-toxic products, which include everything from herbal teas for mom to safe, pure lotions for baby.  It's worth visiting the site just to see the beautiful pictures!
Click here to learn more                                           


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Natural Dental Care

I just read an interesting article about making your own natural toothpaste from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  According to Quickstar at, some of the ingredients in commercial toothpaste tend to dry the inside of the mouth of some people, making it more prone to sores or infections.

  The recipe is simple and could be a fun project to make together with your toddler.  Who knows - they might even be more enthused about brushing if they make their own toothpaste!  And, although your child probably won't care, they'll be doing something that is safe and healthy for themselves and the environment!  Click here to check it out.

Happy Birthday, Happy Green Babies!

       Hello everyone and thanks for visiting my blog!  I decided to start this blog because of the difficulty my friends and I have had finding green, natural, healthy ideas, recipes, products, etc. for our babies.  I'm hoping to begin a lively mom-to-mom discussion here!

        I am interested in ways to keep our homes and families as safe, pure, natural, and toxin free as possible.  I'm always on the lookout for herbal and organic alternatives to traditional medicines, cleaning supplies, clothing, and so on, which are as beneficial to the environment as they are to our babies.

     I will be providing you with interesting and relevant information and ideas to take you from pregnancy through post-partum recovery and beyond!

     I hope you will leave comments with any good tips you have and suggestions for what you'd like me to include in my articles!