Welcome to Lily’s Garden Herbals

I’d like to welcome a new advertiser to Crunchy Domestic Goddess – Lily’s Garden Herbals, maker of natural, herbal, non-toxic household cleaners. You may recall that I reviewed these natural cleaning products a few months ago and was very pleased with the results.

Lily’s Garden Herbals were formulated by Kim Falcone, a mother and herbalist with a deep appreciation for the natural world. All of Lily’s Garden Herbals natural household products are homemade, non-toxic, contain NO chemical ingredients or synthetic preservatives, are biodegradable and never tested on animals.

Her ad is located in my left sidebar. Welcome, Lily’s Garden Herbals!

A digital camera is up for grabs

2/2/08: This GIVEAWAY is now CLOSED. I am no longer accepting new entries. Thank you for all of the interest! 🙂

It’s time again for another round of the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival and this time I’ve got something supa-dupa cool to give away – a digital camera!

It’s an HP Photosmart M547 6.2 MP 3x Optical Zoom digital camera. (Thank you, HP!) I’d like to say that it’s brand new in the box, but the truth is that I took it out and used it a handful of times. That was back when we were thinking of buying a new camera and I wanted to see how this one handled. HP Photosmart M547The good news is that it’s a fine point and shoot camera, is easy to use, has a powerful (in my opinion) flash and 2.4″ LCD, and takes good pictures. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and is a nice little camera. It does need a memory card and batteries, but my husband tells me that you can get a good 2 GB card for under $20 (heck, under $13!) at Amazon.

If you want a chance to win this camera and you live in the continental United States (sorry, but I can’t afford the cost of shipping internationally), please leave a comment below and make sure you include a valid email address so that I can get in touch with you if you are the winner. You do not need to have a blog in order to enter. I will randomly select a winner (using Random.org) on Saturday, Feb. 2, and announce the winner later that day.

Good luck! 🙂

Now head on over to Bloggy Giveaways to see what everyone else is giving away!

Like my blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed. 🙂

New writing gig

blogher contributing editorI’m excited to announce that starting this week, I will be writing for BlogHer in the BlogHers Act: Maternal Health area.

While we were in Kansas over Christmas, I got an email from the wonderful women of BlogHer asking me if I’d be interested in joining them as a contributing editor writing on the topic of maternal health. As most of you know, pregnancy and birth, two big aspects of maternal health, are among my passions, so of course I said yes. I am thrilled for the opportunity to write about the things that I love (and I must admit the opportunity to be paid to write is rather appealing as well).

I found it rather ironic though that I came down with a cold just days later. So much for my own maternal health. 😉

While I believe I will be focusing on pregnancy and birth a great deal, I also plan to write about other areas of maternal health such as mental health, environmentalism, and nutrition.

Part of writing for BlogHer includes featuring other women bloggers who write about these topics on their own blogs as well, so don’t be surprised if you find your blog linked to over on BlogHer. 🙂

I’m honored to be a part of the BlogHer community. My first post there will be this Tuesday and now, if you will excuse me, I need to get to work. 😉

Crunchy Domestic Goddess Year in Review – 2007

Kelli at There is no place like home and Steph at Adventures in Babywearing both inspired me to do my own year in review post. They both posted the first sentence of their first blog post of each month, but I’m changing the “rules” for my blog and doing things a little differently. Instead of taking the first sentence from the first post of each month, I’m selecting the first sentence (or few sentences) from one of my favorite posts from each month and including a link to that post as well in case something piques your interest. (Yes, it took a lot more time to do it this way, but it seems I’m all about making things more difficult challenging for myself.) By doing it this way I hoped to select posts that best represented my blogging throughout the past year. 🙂

The CDG Year in Review

JANUARY
I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil, but was happy to learn he was having the Sears doctors (Dr. William Sears and sons, Dr. James Sears and Dr. Robert Sears) on a show on Friday called “Young Moms Ask the Experts.”From The Sears doctors chime in on CIO and other parenting topics

FEBRUARY
One of Ava’s books about nursing (Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy) contains a picture of a mom nursing a toddler and a baby and states: “Two can breastfeed without fuss, there is room for both of us.” On Wednesday night, we – me, Julian and Ava – experienced that for the first time. — From Room for two

MARCH
It’s the little things that make me appreciate just how much I love my kids.
Like the new lip-smacking sounds that Julian makes.
Like the way Ava kissed my arm a few times while falling asleep tonight. — From The little things

APRIL
In the spirit of putting more of myself “out there,” here it is, as promised – my completely honest post. — From The truth will set you free

MAY
As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled with nervous excitement. When I was about 10 minutes out from the church in Lafayette where the event was taking place, a friend of mine called me to say she was saving some seats for me and other friends of ours and she was able to get pretty close to the front. I felt like a teenager going to a rock concert. — From An Evening with Ina May

JUNE
On Sunday morning, Jody, Ava, Julian and I braved the record-breaking 100 degree heat to attend the National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration in Denver hoping to help break a record of a different kind. — From National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration


JULY
Some days you have to throw out your plans and just go with the flow. Today was one of those days. — From Go with the flow

AUGUST
As parents, we do the best we can to ensure our children have the very best start in the world. We may breastfeed them, make their baby food from scratch, buy organic and whole foods, childproof our homes, teach them not to talk to strangers, and a myriad of other things. We trust that when we buy age-appropriate toys for our children, that they will be safe and not pose a choking hazard nor contain toxic elements… – From Tots, toys and toxic paint don’t mix

SEPTEMBER
I tend not to write much about celebrities on my blog. As a general rule, I find there’s just too much other stuff going on in the world (especially my family’s world) for me to discuss who’s doing/saying what out in Hollywood. But when I heard that Brad Pitt (and then Kevin Kline) recently made comments about co-sleeping… – From What I believe: Brad Pitt, Kevin Kline on co-sleeping

OCTOBER
Halloween is right around the corner, but in light of my recent discoveries about damaging effects of artificial colors and flavors (and petroleum and coal tar) in candy, I haven’t been feeling very excited about a holiday that promotes candy consumption. — From Amy’s Halloween Candy Alternatives

NOVEMBER
It’s been just over a year since my baby boy made his amazing entrance into the world, and yet, I never posted his birth story on my blog. So here it is one year later – in it’s full, unedited (LONG) glory (altered only to change the midwives’ names to first initial) – for your reading pleasure. — From One year later – Julian’s (footling breech) home birth story

DECEMBER
In light of articles like this one, stating that as recently as Nov. 20, hazardous toys (containing high lead levels and other dangers) were still being found on the shelves in stores like Target, it’s validating (but really no surprise to me) to read that Simple Retro Toys May Be Better For Children Than Fancy Electronic Toys. — From Simple toys better for children

If you wrote a year in review post (of any kind) on your blog, please add a link to your post in the comments. 🙂

Happy New Year!

The (mostly) Green Girly Gift Guide and Giveaways

PLEASE NOTE: As of now, 12/19/07, this giveaway is now closed for entries. Thanks!

Green Girly Gift Guide

A few weeks ago I posted my holiday toy gift guide for kids, but now is the time to start thinking about yourself and all of the women (friends, aunts, grandmothers, mothers, sisters) on your list, because let’s face it, we women deserve some great gifts too! 🙂

In keeping with the crunchy spirit of reducing, reusing and recycling, I’m happy to say that most of the items in my girly gift guide are green (good for the environment). These gift ideas aren’t just for Christmas and Chanukah, they also make great birthday presents.

What could make a mostly green girly gift guide even better? How about the fact that this guide is chock full of great giveaways and coupon codes to help you with your holiday shopping or to score some cool stuff for yourself! 🙂 See the end of the guide for instructions on how you can have a chance to win one of the giveaways.

Lookin’ Good and Green

Choose happiness t-shirtTees for Change – Including positive messages like: “Choose Happiness,” “Live Mindfully,” and “Today Matters,” Tees for Change shirts ($28-$38) are out to make the world a better place. I don’t know about you, but I often need to remind myself that happiness is a choice. Rather than getting caught up in the moment or events of the day, I can decide to roll with the punches, laugh it off and choose happiness. That’s why the Choose Happiness shirt is my favorite. I love that these tees have such a great message for the person wearing them, as well as everyone he/she comes into contact with. Oh, and I’m also keen on the fact that they are the brainchild of a local mom who also had a home birth. A Boulder, Colorado-based company, Tees for Change is very eco-conscious. All of their tees are made from 100% organic cotton or 70% bamboo/30% organic cotton mix, are dyed with low impact dyes and screen-printed with water-based inks, and they plant a tree for every shirt sold. It’s a win-win and now you can win too with this giveaway!
– Coupon Code: For 15% off, use coupon code “goddess” at checkout.
– Win It! : I’m giving away (1) Tees for Change short-sleeved t-shirt of your choice

For the jewelry-lovers

  • BeadforLife unique necklaces and bracelets – “BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees — and hope. All profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty.” Necklaces range in price from $10 to $30. Bracelets range in price from $5 to $15. They also sell loose beads (for use in making your own jewelry or other crafts) and gift certificates. I bought a few BeadforLife necklaces at a BeadforLife party I attended (and blogged about) a couple of years ago. I love that the pieces are beautiful, unique, made from recycled paper and are helping such a worthy cause. If you are in the Boulder, Colorado area, you can stop in the Bead for Life store to see all of their unique styles and colors.
  • Sea glass necklaceSea glass jewelry from Oceano (an Etsy store) – I remember my mom first introducing me to sea glass (broken pieces of glass that have been made smooth by the ocean) when I was a child. I always thought it was beautiful. I love that someone else appreciates the beauty of sea glass and thought of the wonderful idea of making it into jewelry. What a creative way to recycle/reuse discarded glass!


For the aspiring photographers

  • Photo cuff braceletsHere’s a unique gift idea that any aspiring photographer and/or mom would love to have – a Photo Cuff Bracelet from Mama Needs It. The Photo Cuffs are made of die cut vinyl (vegan friendly) and are a cool way for you to show off your favorite photos of your children, grandchildren, pets, whatever! I have the Chelsea Photo Cuff Bracelet and love it! Of course I have mine filled with pictures of Ava and Julian, but you can fill yours with whatever you like. I also like that you can swap out new photos whenever you choose.
    – Coupon Code:
    Receive 10% off any purchases from Mama Needs It by entering the discount code “CDGknowsgifts” at checkout.
    – Win It! : I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to Mama Needs It
  • The holiday season generally means we moms will all be taking more pictures than usual. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get those holiday photos printed and into an album, you might be interested in HP’s Photo Books. They are available in two sizes: 5″ x 7″ or 8.5″ x 11″ and a variety of colors. HP photo book“The HP Photo Book includes all the things you need: a professional looking hardcover photo book, easy to use layout and design software, and HP Advanced Photo Paper (12 sheets). Simply add your photos and creative touch, and you’re ready to go.” I like that they are also customizable and allow you to add more pages or mementos such as cards or invitations any time you like.
    – Coupon Code: To receive a 20% off coupon code (expires 12/31/07) for the Photo Books, visit Snap Shot Chronicles.
    – Win It! : I’m giving away 2 sets of Photo Books – (1) 8.5×11 size and one (1) 5×7 size in each set

For the Foodies on your list

  • What’s Cooking Weekly menu planning service will help you answer the age-old question of “What’s for dinner?” Each week there are five healthy meal recipes, as well as shopping lists, “Call the Kids” section with suggestions to get your children involved in the meal preparation, nutritional information and tips for eating foods in season. It is a mom-owned and operated business.
    I had the opportunity to give the service a try and was very impressed. The meals I made were all delicious and a big hit with my family. This is a great time-saver for anyone who has a million and one things to do every day and doesn’t necessarily have time to figure out what’s for dinner. The shopping lists are organized by grocery department and the recipes are easy to follow. I especially like the “Call the Kids” section to help get children more involved in their meal preparation. I find that my daughter enjoys her food more when she helps make it herself and she loves telling daddy, “I helped!”
    A What’s Cooking Weekly Subscription makes a great gift (and generates no waste – how cool is that?!). A 6-month subscription is only $35 – less than $6 per month!
    – Win It! : I’m giving away a 6-month subscription to What’s Cooking Weekly
  • BYOBagsBYO Bags – reusable mesh produce bags from What’s Cooking. These reusable mesh bags are a great way to cut down on the number of plastic bags used. They can easily be stuffed into your purse and pulled out in the produce aisle when you need them. $10 for 3 bags.
    – Coupon Code:
    To receive 10% off any purchases from What’s Cooking, enter the coupon code “Eat_Well” at checkout.

For the woman who has everything

  • Consider a gift subscription to Green Dimes – For only $15 $12 (reduced for the holiday season), GreenDimes pledges to “cut your junk mail up to 90%” and plant 10 trees.
    My mom bought me a subscription a while back and I really have noticed a reduction in our junk mail. Plus I love the fact that they plant trees for you.
  • What if there was a way to have a tree planted for every book you read? Now there is with Eco-Libris. “Every book you read was once a tree. Now you can plant a tree for every book you read” with Eco-Libris. Give an Eco-Libris gift certificate to the people you care about, with which they will be able to plant trees for the books they read. For every tree planted, Eco-Libris will send them an Eco-Libris sticker to display on their book’s sleeve. (Thanks to GreenStyleMom for bringing this cool site to my attention!)

Other sources for groovy green ideas

  • Green Feet – Green Feet is a groovy online store that is sure to have something for the women (men and children, too) on your list. bambu dishesThey carry the full Bambu line, which includes bamboo dishes, cutting boards, serving trays, baskets and more. Wonder what’s so great about bamboo? It’s durable, beautiful and sustainable. It’s a grass, not a wood, grows incredibly fast and never needs replanting. Green Feet carries all sorts of other cool things like jewelry made from a bike chain or a record, recycled sari purses, hemp bath pillows, aromatherapy diffusers, a kitchen compost crock, Coco Zum Chocolate Soap, water bottles, reusable bags and much, much more.
    – Coupon Code: 10% off your order. Use the code “Crunchy” during checkout. Not valid with other offers, sale items or memberships.
  • happy bagsReusable Bags – Reusable bags have come a long way, baby. Check out their Gift Ideas for Her and you might be surprised by the variety of hip reusable bags available. There are also some great reusable bottles, a reusable gift bag set, and a reusable bamboo utensil set.
    – Coupon Code:
    10% off your entire order. At checkout, enter the following code in the Gift Certificates/Discount Coupons section: “49c7fg” (note that it is case sensitive) – Good through Dec. 21. One use per customer.



For those who love the written word (magazine subscriptions for thinking mothers):

  • Mothering : Natural Family Living – Buy a one-year subscription at the reduced price of $19.95 (regularly $22.95) and you can order additional one-year subscriptions for friends and family for only $17 each.
    – Coupon Code: Use code X7DE in the promotional code box.
    Mothering also has a digital subscription option to help save the trees!
  • Brain, Child : The magazine for thinking mothers- A one-year subscription is just $17.95 for a full year of reading pleasure. (That’s 25% off the newsstand price)
    – Coupon Code: Use code MWX07 at the checkout.

Final thoughts

Don’t forget about Etsy: “Your place to buy and sell all things homemade” – Check out their gift guide page where you can search according to whom you are shopping for – women, men, babies, children (by age), etc. 🙂

Lastly, here are some other great places to look for unique gift ideas:

* flea markets
* closeout stores (I just saw bamboo cutting boards at Ross for more than 50% off retail)
* thrift stores (You never know what you’ll find!)

GROOVY GIVEAWAYS!

Win It!
There are four great giveaways mentioned above. You get to choose which ONE giveaway you want to enter. That’s right – you may only enter to win ONE of the four prizes. Please note that I’m doing these giveaways differently than I have in the past.

To try your hand at winning one, please send an email to cdggiveaway@gmail.com and make the subject line the name of ONE of the following giveaways:
– Tees for Change shirt
– What’s Cooking Weekly subscription
– Mama Needs It gift certificate
– HP Photo Books
(Only one email per person please)
To receive an additional five entries either post the Green Girly Gift Guide button on your blog and email me the link or tell five friends about this guide and cc me (cdggiveaway@gmail.com) on the email. The winners will be randomly selected using Random.org and posted on my blog, as well as notified via email. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, Dec. 19. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 20. Note: Prizes will be mailed after Christmas.

Good luck and happy green shopping! 🙂

NaBloPoMo burnout

Julian at the park - 12/4/07Am I the only one who’s been feeling slightly less enthusiastic about blogging since NaBloPoMo ended? I admit having the pressure of posting every day removed has allowed me to be a bit more lax in my blogging efforts, and I’m enjoying the break.Julian & Ava at the park - 12/4/07

It’s allowed me time to take the kids to the park when the temps nearly hit 70 degrees on Tuesday (fun!), and to catch up on cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry (not so fun).

It’s allowed me time to submit some pictures to a magazine photo contest – America and the Sea (crossing my fingers).

It’s allowed me more time to spend reading “Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care.” The book is now overdue from the library, but I can’t bring myself to return it until I finish it. Hopefully that will be in the next couple of days or I’m going to start racking up some serious overdue charges. 😉 I plan on reviewing the book once I finish it so you will hear more about it. So far though it’s been excellent!

It’s also allowed me time to work on a new holiday gift guide for women (well, many of the gifts would be great for men too), with lots of giveaways and coupon codes, that I think you will like. That should be up early next week. Yes, I know that’s for my blog, but still. (Jody’s boss has told him that’s the way to win any argument. End it with, “yes, but still.” hehe)

What about you? Are you keeping up with the daily blogging now that NaBloPoMo is over or are you taking it easy and enjoying a bit of a break?

I made it!

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. I made it!
nablopomo

(Thanks to Fussypants for the cute button.) There were some days that I felt just like that monkey. It was fun to be a part of it all, but I don’t know that I will do it again next year.

Did you survive NaBloPoMo?  Will you do it again next year?

Another “real” post will be coming along later today.

Always an adventure

NaBloPoMo – Day 27

Bet you were starting to wonder if I was going to get a post in today, weren’t you? Me too, but here it is!

Yesterday we did a little day trip to Estes Park to spend some time with my parents at their timeshare resort and we all went out for a late lunch together to this great restaurant called Poppy’s. If you are in Estes Park, check it out. 🙂

On the drive to Estes, I remarked to Jody that I once got carsick as a child while reading books in the car on a trip. And I wondered aloud if the same thing would happen to Ava who was, at the time, “reading” in the backseat. Not 5 minutes later, she threw up all over her shirt, and then some more into a washcloth I quickly hurled under her chin, and the some more into a Taco Bell cup also hurriedly shoved into her general direction. Oops. That’s what I get for putting that thought out into the universe.

I cleaned her up as best as I could while she was buckled into her carseat. After getting off of the two-lane windy mountain road, Jody pulled over and we were able to clean her up a bit more. At this point she decided she needed to go to the bathroom too, and I was so thankful Jody had the foresight to bring along a little potty with us. So she crouched in the back of the car and took care of business, as I rinsed her shirt off outside with my water bottle, and Jody sat in Ava’s carseat (LOL) to entertain Julian who had woken up from all of the commotion. What a sight we must have been.

Of course I hadn’t packed an extra shirt for her, but my parents had a washer/dryer at their place and Grandma got her shirt clean in no time. Thankfully, it did seem to really just be a case of motion sickness and not another round of the stomach flu (which Grandma and Grandpa both had on Thanksgiving Day this year).

Note to self: no more reading in the car on windy mountain roads.

We’re heading back up to Estes tomorrow for a few days of vacation and Jody and I are hoping to sneak out for a date or two. We actually got out tonight for a “date” of sorts while Grandma and Grandpa watched the kiddos, but it was only so we could go to another parents’ night at Ava’s school.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep on blogging while on vacation. I really don’t think it will be that big of a deal. Between my mom’s laptop and Jody’s laptop and the WiFi at the resort, I should have no connectivity issues. I can’t promise anything extraordinary (though ya never know!), but I will be popping on. Oh, and tomorrow, at long last, I’m posting Julian’s birth story. 🙂

I took these pics (with a new point & shoot camera from HP that I’m trying out and will be giving away on my blog in the near future – woot, woot!) while we were up in Estes yesterday. The first one is the view as you are heading into the city. And the second one is about what our view of the mountains will be from our bedroom window.

Estes Park Mountains outside of Estes Park

Now I need to go figure out what all I need to pack for our little vacation. It seems like we are going to have to cram an awful lot of stuff (baby gate, fan AKA white noise maker, clothes, coats, hats, boots, food, kitchen sink…) into our Forester for a three-day trip. Wish me luck and a vomit-free drive this time!

To blog or not to blog

Estes ParkNaBloPoMo – Day 25

That is the question.

Later this week I’m heading into the mountains to Estes Park to spend a few days with my parents (as well as Jody, Ava and Julian, of course) at a resort. This is really the closest thing I will have had to a vacation in quite some time.

The resort has WiFi, but I’m questioning whether or not I want to worry about getting online at all (using Jody’s laptop) while I’m there.

WWYD (what would you do)??

Would you schedule some posts in advance to fulfill your NaBloPoMo commitment and enjoy the break from the computer and the Internets? Or, knowing you will probably want to at least check your email while there, would you plan to go ahead and continue blogging while on vacation? ‘Tis quite the dilemma.

Mayhaps* I will schedule some posts ahead of time and then reserve the right to change my mind and get online to post other things while I’m there. Spending a couple of nights away from home with two kids is bound to make for some interesting blog material. 😉 Let’s just hope it’s not too interesting. I don’t need that much excitement.

Thanks in advance for your bloggy opinions. 🙂

*Like that word? Jody and I made it up years ago. We’ve got quite a few made-up words that have become part of our repertoire. 🙂

Almost famous

NaBloPoMo – Day 2

olympus evolt

A photo I took of my Halloween zebra (Julian) and lion (Ava) is the “Neighbors: Featured Photo” on the Denver Post website today, Nov. 2. 🙂 It’s on the right side of the page, about half-way down. I’m pretty excited about it if I do say so myself. 🙂 (You can also click here to go directly to the picture.)

This happened as a result of my discovery of a cool new blog for Colorado mamas called Mile High Mamas. I submitted some photos of the kids to a gallery there and, low and behold, one was selected to be featured on the Post. 🙂 By the way, if you are a CO blogging mama and would like to get your site in the blogroll at Mile High Mamas, head on over there and shoot them an email.