Hi folks, this post is region specific to share some of the things what we’ve learned in the 7 years of living and gardening in Colorado’s Front Range. Although we come from a family of gardeners and have had lush gardens in our home country, gardening at this altitude (6,975 ft or 2126 meters) has given us a lot of challenges. But gradually we found what seem to do well and give good results with least effort. And while it does take work and often comes with many heartbreaks (those late Spring 2 foot snowfalls) it is so worth it!
Whether or not you live in Colorado or at another high-altitude (and not very garden-friendly) place on Earth I hope you find this post helpful to you as well.
Hello, now that it is summer I wanted to share a quick little post about how flowers make the prettiest decorations for gift wrapping. Here I used just some of the roses from our own yard that already finished blooming and dried right on their branches. But you could use any other flowers that are abundant in the region where you live. I also really like using some of the herbs for decorating, such as rosemary, thyme or lavender. Those I just clip fresh and add to the little ribbon I’m tying around the gift. They add loveliest smell to the wrapping making it even more special.
As always, this is not a sponsored post. The reason for the post is to merely share with other mamas brands that are sustainable and make great things for our little wildlings to help them be comfortable, healthy and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Jumping in puddles is one of the biggest joys of childhood as I remember it. 🙂 Another one is being able to get really dirty or stump around in wet, slushy, dirty mud. Recently we got both boys their first pair of wellies (rain boots) so they could do exactly that — stump through mud, jump in puddles and any combination of these two beloved activities. 🙂 And they have been a priceless addition to their outdoor gear both in cold and warm weather, in the forest as well as in the garden.
While there are many rain shoes on Amazon and possibly department stores I learned not all are of equal impact on the environment, some are considered toxic and of course there is quality of craftsmanship to take into account. So I wanted to share with you here the shoes we love and recommend; other brands we tried and what we didn’t like about them; some of the information on the natural rubber rain shoes vs PVC ones. Basically all that I learned and discovered so far on the topic of rain shoes to help you find the best ones for your little wild creature at home 🙂
Hi folks, I wanted to share with you this great laundry detergent we’ve been using that comes with absolutely ZERO plastic packaging. Which is a huge deal, considering that plastic pollution is considered one of the most severe and devastating environmental issues our planet is currently facing.
As usual, this is NOT a sponsored post. I have no arrangement with Meliora to post about their products. This is me sharing with others a product that I believe is good for our families as well as gentle on our planet.
“Most GMOs have been engineered to withstand the direct application of herbicides and/or to produce an insecticide.” — source nongmoproject.org
Two years ago here in Colorado we had a citizen initiative on our ballots that would require all food to be labeled whether or not it contains GMO. And to my great surprise and deep disappointment the initiative did not pass. Yes, there was a non-stop avalanche of commercials against this initiative, the amount of money poured into our state to fight against this initiative was colossal. But the choice of having a choice, to know what’s in our food seemed like an obvious one to me.
In this post I’m not trying to convince you one way or another. But I do want to share with you those things I have learned about GMOs which helped me to make up my mind on whether or not I consider them safe. Hope you find this information both informative and useful for when you shop for your family.
I wanted to share with you a quick post about these beautiful snow suits I got for both boys from our beloved Lea and Jojo. You might have seen this blog post on a rain jacket we have that is made from recycled plastic bottles. And just like their wonderful rain jackets the snowsuits are also made from 100% recycled plastic bottles as well as being certified non-tofus, thus free of formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals.
I highly recommend their products, and here few reasons what makes them so special.
Ok, looking at this photo probably makes you think it is some hippy-dippy stuff that just isn’t your thing. 🙂 Honestly, where all the fancy skin and hair products? Instead some funky powders and a metal shaver on top of it all! Right?
But hear me out on this one and give me a chance to show how these products are actually incredible, they are cleansing, nourishing and make you healthier.
The short version
Conventional cosmetic products contain chemicals that are toxic to the reproductive system, disruptive to the endocrine system, neurotoxins and/or known carcinogens
Contrary to common assumption the FDA does not regulate the majority of ingredients used in cosmetic products
The word ‘Fragrances’ in commercial products mean further undisclosed synthetic chemicals
The word ‘Natural’ in the product name is pure marketing, there is no official certification or standard associated with it. It is 100% unregulated term.
Even products labeled ‘Organic’ can contain petrochemicals and as little as 10 percent of organic ingredients by weight or volume
The list of substances banned for use in cosmetics in Europe is over 1,000, while in America it is only 8 substances long
Isn’t this photo with our garden pickings from few days ago so beautiful! It is October, but we are still enjoying the tomatoes, fall raspberries, plums and pears and few other veggies. Yet, as much as I refuse to accept it, the summer is finally slipping away. This past Sunday we had a little family farewell party to this beautiful and generous summer we had this year.
Yet the gardening life is still very busy. If you are new to gardening, you might not realize that some things you wish to enjoy next year get planted in fall. Plus if you’d like to add some fruit trees and berry bushes to your garden now is a great time to check for end-of-season sales at your local nurseries.
So here I’m sharing with you some gardening tips on planting bulbs (garlic as well as lovely flowers) and what to look for when buying fruit trees. I hope this helps you get started with your Urban Garden if you don’t have one yet. You will be so rewarded once you get one going and it is much easier than you think. And there is no words that can describe the joy it gives to little fruit bats aka ‘small children’ 🙂 who spend their summer days snacking on fruits and berries as they round around half naked 🙂
Few years ago we got this container from To-Go Ware. I was attracted to it for being stainless steel rather than plastic, and also being an upright container. Over these few years it’s been such great and integral part of our outings with the boys, so I wanted to share it with you.
One thing that has always been a bit of an inconvinience for me with regular rectangular broad-base containers is that when placed in a bag they pretty much always end up getting on their side and the contents are at risk of leaking some liquid out into the bag. And that is if the lid doesn’t come ajar from all the shaking and rattling in the bag. And when they do stay put the way you had them they always take up more room than I wished.
This container is made in the style of Indian tiffins — Indian style lunch container. They have been around for ever in India, but are apparently a cool new thing in our cutting edge Western world 😉
You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
– Colors of the Wind song
Recently I saw a post on the NextDoor about a coyote sighting in the area. Some people were scared for their pets, others argued whether or not hunting and trapping was legal within city limit. It is always very sad to see these discussions. Surely we can do better than that. Especially considering that it is us who came to their turf and destroyed their habitat, in which they’ve lived for thousands of years, to build our homes.
Most of us living in urban areas are rather detached from wildlife, knowing very little about it. And to make things worse the news channels only love airing things that are shocking and terrifying (ideally both) while Hollywood specilizes in creating ridiculous and most unscientific concoctions about wildlife such as ‘The Grey’. In all of these the wildlife is always presented as a canning beasts always searching for its next victim and eating anything that moves or breathes, humans included. [Big sigh…]
As a result of these misconception peddled from the TV screens people are scared and seek the ‘removal’ of the wildlife to safeguard their beloved pets. Co-existence doesn’t seem an option. And at the end of the day the coyote, one of the most native animals of America, is killed in astronomical numbers. It is estimated that about 500,000 of these animals are killed annually. A half a million of beautiful native sentient creatures who lived here and served this land well long before us.
Alexandros turned 3 years this weekend! Few weeks before I asked him what he’d like for his birthday. This is how our conversation went:
— Me: “Ale, what would you like for your birthday?”
— Ale: “Garbage track! Yellow one. No, blue. No, white. No, red!”
— Me: “But you already have 2 garbage tracks…three actually.”
— Ale: “I want GARBAGE TRACK!” Big beaming smile! 🙂
So, we got him this big beautiful Fagus wooden garbage track from Wooden Wagon.
These three products, or their variations, are all that we use. No shampoos, no fancy lotions and special baby things…none of it. It saddens me to see all the chemically laden, plastic wrapped so called baby products all over the internet, magazines, not to mention supermaket shelves. Parents are made to believe that they need those to take care of their most loved little ones. But in truth our children need none of that. And with these basic products they could be cared for in a healthy, simple and sustainable way. 🙂
This isn’t a sponsored post. These products are just the ones we are using. You could use other similar ones. There are many small businesses offering great natural care products. You could also make your own.
Recently I have discovered a Zero-Waste community over on Instagram. It is inspiring to see people around the world striving to live without leaving a trail of trash behind them. Through this community I’ve learned a number of good tips and merchants where one can buy package-free goods (here is a good one). A blog post on this is coming soon… providing my boys nap at the same time at least couple times this coming week, so I get a chance to get to my computer. 🙂
One thing I noticed people have difficulty with even among the Zero-Waste community is finding a package-free (read trash-free) way to feed our four-legged buddies both canine and feline. So, I wanted to put this little blog post together, because this area is one where one can easily shift away from packaged goods. In fact, in Russia and Kazakhstan where I come from we never bought dog food and always fixed dog food at home, using the same produce we had for our family.
It’s been about 4 or 5 years since I last used a shampoo or conditioner on my hair. And it’s been about 2 years since I’ve been using soap nuts exclusively to wash hair.
The reason I started on the no-shampoo path was because my hair was getting dirty so fast that I had to wash it daily and still by the end of the day it was not a pretty sight. I went through many different brands of fancy and expensive shampoos, but the result was more or less the same… or worse. My first no-shampoo experience was with a dry mix of some herbs and clay my mom send me from Russia. It worked remarkably well, but we could never find that particular brand again. So the search for natural ways to care for hair ensued.
It’s been few years now since I’ve been using only natural products to wash my hair. I’ve also successfully replaced various other conventional body care products with clean natural ones (see my post here). And for the past year I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring our household as close to zero-waste life-style as possible. I’m hoping you’ll find my experience and the information I share here helpful.
How beloved is the beautiful tradition of decorating a tree, lighting the lights on it and waiting for the magical winter-y man to bring us some sweet gifts under the tree! This tradition has survived the rises and demises of kingdoms, cultures and religions. It has changed the name from Yuletide to Christmas and even became a New Year tradition in some countries. Yet, the tradition itself has barely changed in centuries and all of us big and small are excited every year to light up the tree and unwrap our gifts when the time comes. 🙂