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It's Been A While I Know...

Its been much much too long I know. I've been up to my ears in Darling Clementine Business and juggling Juliette's busy schedule (I mean come on, she has dance class at age 2, really!) and trying to enjoy my happy little family life with Kevin. I hate that I've neglected Urban Branches, really I do. Just know that I have been keeping up my eco ways (though a few good habits have given way to some bad habits, I'll get to that...)

I have recently noticed (not for the first time might I add) that our little household of 3 goes though a lot and I mean ALOT of trash. I honestly don't know where it comes from. Our trash can isn't huge, but it seems to get filled up every other day to the brim. Plus I am one of those people that hates even the faintest smell of rotting food. Ew just thinking about it makes me shudder, so I am usually quick to rush the trash to the curb.

Having have read Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte I know well that though we think out of site out of mind when it comes to our trash that simply is just NOT true. It goes somewhere, every day, every hour most likely our trash is being dumped. And there isn't endless space. So we better start reducing the trash we create, fast.

Here are some tips I plan on sticking to

* Stop buying small portioned food! Being a mom, it's so nice and easy to purchase a tiny bag of cheddar crackers at the corner store while out and Juliette needs something to snack on, but it's much more waste than we need. I vow work my hardest to stop doing that. I mean we have 3 Lunchskins after all, and we do use them everyday in fact, but sometimes I forget to refill, or toss in the bag or Juliette pulls them out and hids the bags in her toy bin or whatever myrid of excuses I can come up with...

Here they are if you haven't seen them, they are reusable bags called LunchSkins, they come in great prints too, we have thisthis and this and we love them. Easy to clean, Juliette loves using them too!

*Curb Juliette's hand washing time. She loves washing her hands, and likes to do it by herself, well this often ends up being a 3 minute long hand washing session, and that's a whole lotta water...

*Continue shopping vintage, consignment and thrift stores for her, I did it a lot in the beginning and really have gotten away from it lately... but it is so thrilling to find a great item at a great price, plus you are giving something a second life!

*Create a scrap paper bin for Juliette to use as art paper! That's easy enough!

*Get creative, make her modeling dough from scratch, and switch to natural crayons, we sell this cute set at Darling Clementine.

*Get Juliette involved in recycling, give her little jobs, like stacking the yogurt cups or putting the papers in the right spot! Yes, will do this tonight!

Tell me some of your ideas and tips to reducing your garbage load! I'd love to hear them!

Darling Clementine

Hi All,

It has been an embarrasingly long time since I've posted here, and I feel terrible. Really terrible. I have been a busy girl, working on a 2 year project called Darling Clementine. Darling Clementine is an online children's shop I just launched about a week ago, and I couldn't be prouder of it! It is my heart and soul. I  have worked hard to incorporate many eco-chic brands into my collection of children's wares. Here are a few I'd like to spotlight.

Baggu Reusable Bags
Smiling Planet Plates & Bowl
Go Gently Baby
Lunch Skins by 3 Green Moms
Clementine Art Natural Art Materials 
Please send word along to friends and family. Support Darling Clementine and you support eco minded businesses! Merci. Xx

Here is how you can follow Darling Clementine all over the web

Happy Weekend & Finds From Around The Web

Raw Milk Purveyors arrested in Los Angeles, Bail set, HIGH. Amazingly there are people being kidnapped, murdered, raped and countless other more important problems than THIS. Article by TreeHugger.

If you're in the NYC area, stop by Marlow & Daughters, for well, a bunch of different things! You can grab a coffee and pastry (Juliette and I picked up a 'kitchen sink' cookie yesterday and enjoyed it on the bench outside, soaking up some sunshine and people watching) or pick up your weeks meat needs, their are a full fledged butcher shop, specializing in grass-fed meats (happy me! I live close!). Pick up their darling totes & tees online and in their cute little general store.

Slide to the subway, yes you can! Click here to see this amazing idea come to life.

Watch Whale Wars (if no, well you should be. next week is the finale, I am sure they'll air all episodes leading up, a chance to catch up!), well word on the street is there's another Sea Shepherd show in the works, this one focused on the Seal trade. Keep your ears open for news of the airing of Seal Wars! Oh and pick up this sweet Tee for your little ones along with lots of other great finds at the Sea Shepherd online shop.

A Fishs Eddy Eco Shopping Spree

If you've been or lived in NYC you know about Fishs Eddy. A sweet little kitchen/tableware shop full of treasures. I've filled my cabinets and counters with their goods ever since I moved here over 11 years ago. Pie stands (which I use for plates), glass storage containers, jars we used at our wedding as vases, gifts of juice glasses with cheeky images, tote bags to lug my stuff around town...I could go on...

I discovered this morning that they have an online shop! So all you out of towners can now purchase their goods instead of filling your suitcase with their goods (plus tons of bubble wrap to protect). Rejoice! Here are my picks, through an eco friendly lens of course.

A wood (not plastic) cutting board
Brighten up any day with this reusable tote
The perfect little glass food storage container  comes in a varity of colors/designers 

Make your own dressing! Total Eco DIY

What's in my Medicine Cabinet?

Boiron Homeopathic Products

Their site is super easy to navigate and full of great information. Check out this link to the 'What is Homeopathy' page, which includes a link to a wonderful video explaining the entire process!

We use a wide range of items from French company Boiron, founded in 1932. Including:

Arnicare Gel  to soothe sore muscles and help heal bruises

Calendula Gel to help heal cuts, scraps and burns

Camilia for Juliette, when she's teething. ouch.

Cold Calm to help kick those cold symptoms

Oscillococcinum (which I pronounce 'Oss-a-sill-ium' for some reason, though looking at the word that seems terribly wrong now, woops. ok, must learn the correct pronunciation, click here for the how to!) We use this to help when we are feeling flu like symptoms coming on

Roxalia for sore throats. the worst

Sinusalia when one of us has the dreaded sinus infection

Chestal & Chestal Children's for coughs

What I've Lost & Gained Trying to be an Eco Mama

Having a child changes everything, this I was told before Juliette's arrival September 1, 2009. Boy is it true. 10 pm seems like a perfectly amazing time to lay my head on the pillow whereas 10 was a time I'd be applying mascara to pop out for the night only a few years ago. I've learned to eat with 1 hand only, quickly might I add so I can make sure Juliette is fed and not flinging bowls and plates across the room. Yes everything changes. I've tried to incorporate my eco habits into every aspect of parenting but as anyone with kids knows (or no kids actually) it is hard sometimes. REALLY hard sometimes. Especially when your baby girl is covered in sticky blueberry jam and all you can reach is a few paper towels not the reusable napkins a few rooms away.

When Juliette was born we decided for for financial reasons do use disposable diapers. I would have loved to have use a diaper service and all reusable-cloth diapers. But when we figured out the financials we realized we could not afford to live in Brooklyn, raise a baby, eat and have cloth diapers. Oh ya and we have no washer dryer in our apartment (or building for that matter). So right off the bat we were conceeding our beliefs and it was tough to swallow. I balanced out the diaper decision by buying Seventh Generation wipes in bulk (and have used them ever since), lots (and LOTS) of organic cotton onsies (that I stored for future use too instead of chucking when done).  But I still feel guilty about a choice at least once a day. Here are some things I do and don't do. What do you try and do? How do you make it work and make it eco?

Eco Mama Choices:
*Seventh Generation Baby Wipes
*Many eco brand choices for baby shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, sunscreen etc.
*Lots of mini tupperwares and to go snack containers (instead of baggies)
(I breastfed for 22 months (never buying formula, no container waste etc.) *this was a choice not made for eco reasons, but the eco benefits are always welcome)
*Organic stain remover (use a LOT)
*Natural home cleaners (counter spray, floor cleaner, dish soap etc.)
*Juliette wears hand me downs and we hand down many items to friends (NO clothes have EVER been thrown away, they are saved, sold, given away or donated)
*Mostly organic produce
*I made Juliette's baby food for months and months when she first started solids
*We are a big leftover family, Juliette loves them!
*Try to buy in bulk to cut down on packaging
*Still toting reusable bags with me for errands, a few tucked into my diaper bag even.

My Not so Eco Choices
*Often picking up smoothies in disposable cups/straws instead of remembering to bring my cup
*Sometimes getting a small cup/straw from coffee shops to entice Juliette to drink milk (whatever works!)
*Recently switched to cheaper wipes for quick on the go clean ups (I can't seem to find the eco brands in my local drug stores in the small size)
*We have a bunch of plastic toys, we also have lots of wooden, hand knit and small batch produced toys too, but it's a mixed bag.
*Juliette recently started loving the pouch baby food packets, not eco friendly. Organic ingredients yes, but disposable packaging. Hmmm what to do about this one? I am happy she's eating something on the go but how do I go about recreating these containers myself?
*I don't always find the organic produce I am looking for for Juliette so I sometimes give in and get what is available. This one I know I need to try to stop. For the planet but mainly for Juliette.

It is important that I am aware of these things and that I am trying to make an effort to change them. I want Juliette to grow up learning to recycle, remake and enjoy keeping our planet beautiful. Sometimes parenting is overwhelming and if a plastic cup from the cafe down the street perks Juliette up and convinces her to drink some milk so be it. But I'll make sure I recycle the cup of course.

A Little MIA.

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately. A lot going on. I've been working hard every chance I get on my children's shop Darling Clementine (set to launch this Fall!), there are a million things to do, and only me to do them. I've got a energetic daughter to keep up with and a beautiful husband to spend time with. It's been an eventful few weeks, Kevin and I took our first trip without Juliette, in fact it was my first time away from her overnight (or more than 4 hours for that matter) EVER. It was lovely, we were outside all day long, walked the sweet streets of the Berkshires, enjoying the sunshine, each other's company and some peace and quiet (and a much lighter handbag.) Here are some shots, enjoy.

Rid Those Pesky Bugs, Naturally of Course

So with Summer comes all the lovely sunsets, beach days, in season strawberries and the inevidtable, bugs. Rid them this year the natural way instead of covering your body in chemicals (some of which you spray on so you end up inhaling)

Take a look at Intelligent Nutrients  Bug Repellent Perfume Serum.  This USDA certified organic perfume not only makes you smell just delicious, but repels bugs too, no more pinched noses when you come around...

Pick up the product here, and learn more about what is in and more importantly NOT in this bug repellent (DEET for example)

Weekend Finds + Lovely Things

The lovely folks at Naturopathica recently sent me another goodie to sample and I totally love it! Their Aloe Cleansing Gel  I'm a total face wash snob and only like what I like, so when I tried this I went in with a little attitude, well it melted away, along with the oil and makeup from the day...lovely. refreshing and soothing.

Follow my boards on my newest obsession Pinterest oh it's so good.

The lovely daily happenings and of course, fashion of Miss James @bleubirdvintage and BleuBirdVintage

Sign up for free books for your kiddos, gifted from the lovely Dolly Parton here at her Imagination Library.

Need some inspiration, follow Joy at her lovely site Oh Joy!

Follow me on Twitter @ecomamalindsay + my soon to be children's shop Darling Clementine @drlngclementine

This super cute picnic tote from Branch Home. Oh so sweet. And eco friendly of course.

Swap out paper napkins for these super chic stripped ones from West Elm, in organic cotton.

The hilarious (and totally awesome) list of annoying words not to be used in NY Magazine as posted by Kurt Anderson when he took over at the Mag (Mag, wait is this word on there?). The lovely Joanna Goddard reposted this on her blog A Cup of Jo.

Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

Smiling Planet's Happy Plates + Bowls

Smiling Planet founder Olivia Haviland, who comes from a 150 year heritage of porcelain making creates whimsical, planet friendly, people loving plates + bowls for your little ones. The darling artwork on each plate and bowl are the creation of her husband (so sweet a husband + wife team!). All products are manufactured in the good old United States with safe, sustainable and recycled and/or organic materials. Their plates and bowls are made from sturdy #5 recycled plastic and are bpa free.

My favorite part of their line is the message of their products, which is peace, diversity + respect for the environment. They work with Healthy Child Healthy World to inspire parents to choose chemical free products for their children.

Smiling Planet makes happy bowls and plates, and are a true breath of fresh air!

They sent us the Circle of Life plate which has the sweetest artwork, I want an entire set for the whole family! They are perfect for toting to a picnic too. I also love the sweet heart bowl. So darling. Products are durable, made with love and are totally affordable. Once Darling Clementine is open you can bet I'll be stocking their entire collection! Stay Tuned!

The Hungry Caterpillar says Love Episencial

If you're like me and have a sweet little baby in your care, you slather them with sunscreen every time you step their little toe into the sun. I have a treasure trove of sunscreens for Juliette, 1 in her room, 1 in the diaper bag, 1 in my bag in case I don't use the diaper bag ... get my point. sun protection matters! Using a product you like matters too, not just for vanities sake, but because it really works and makes life easier + healthier. I have had a few sunscreens that go on nice, but end up taking forever to absorb and leave an icky white reside, turning my sweet olive skinned darling into a pale, ghostly version of herself. no thanks.

The lovely folks at Episencial sent me their sunscreen kit to try out and just in time too cause I was getting low on my diaper bag tube! I've used the Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35 twice already and have really liked it, it's thin enough to rub in quickly, doesn't have any scent and rubs in without too much of a white reside, plus it doesn't have the Oxybenzone sunscreen ingredient we've all heard so much about (and if not please take a moment and Google the ingredient and see for yourself.) Sunny Sunscreen is full of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as your sweeties sun fighting power! What more, it's SPF 35 and has nourishing organic sesame, safflower and avocado oils to help keep the skin supple and soft. And while we know water resistant creams are best for our wee ones (as they run in and out of sprinklers, pools and sweat up a storm) we don't need the chemicals that provide that bonus do we? Instead Sunny Sunscreen uses beeswax and organic shea butter to help increase the natural water resistance. Like magic right.

Their founder, Kim Walls created an entire product line including this awesome sunscreen all with the sweet illustrations from Eric Carle. You're sweetie will perk up at the sight of their darling bottles + tubes. Products include balms, bubble baths, foaming wash + soothing cream.

Products are sold at Target last I checked, but I am sure you can find out more right here. I think I'll be picking up some Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath next time I run to Target. Juliette doesn't know yet, but a fun, soothing and sweet bath is on it's way...

Give Heart this Mother's Day

Pick out your card, write a sweet note, but save the cash on mom this year, and spread the love to mother's in need around the world. She'll be proud trust me. The International Rescue Committee has made it easier than pie to help. Check out the details straight from the site:

  1. Choose a lifesaving gift for a refugee.
  2. If you wish, dedicate the gift to someone special and personalize a card to let them know.
  3. We can take care of sending the card.
  4. Your gift will be used where most needed in the world to provide lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

You can choose a variety of gifts including a safe birthing kit for only $24 or a prenatal package for $52. Think of what you are giving with this gift. It's heartbreaking, in the best way possible. 

They've got a printable card and an ecard you can include with details as to the gift you've given in the name of your mama (or anyone!). You can also include a gift of children's clothing, school supplies or cozy blankets. 

Here's the link directly to their site, check it out, share this post, buy the gifts and keep good going! 

DIY Spring Cleaning + Easy as Pie Recipes

It's that time again, time to get into all those nooks and crannies that dust bunnies just love to hide out in. If you're seeking new products look no further than your kitchen cabinets for some quick and easy DIY chemical free remedies to the dirt, grim and dust bunnies in your home. Use some old containers (jars, yogurt cups, etc.) to store your new cleaning products in and you're ready to go!

Floors scuffed? Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the spots, then wipe excess oil up with a cloth, after that rub in distilled vinegar. Poof. Scuffs gone.

Gum stuck to something? Orange Oil is spectacular at removing this. Apply with cotton ball then toss item in the laundry (if it is a cloth item that is)

Floors dirty? Mop with this solution:
1/4 liquid Castile soap (I like Dr.Bronner's) and 2 gallons of warm water. If they are greasy just add about 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar to the bucket.

Use that same Castile soap  to clean stovetops + vents. Simply squirt a few squirts into 2 cups of hot water. Then you swipe up the grease that's gathered on your burners, stovetop and hood. Lovely.

Stainless-Steel counter tops/surfaces? Buff with a few drops of olive oil. yes olive oil. trust me.

Permanent marker stains (aka do you have children?) on your wood floors or countertops? Use rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball to remove.

Have an extra lemon lying around? Brighten whites by adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle. Or...use that same lemon and combat lime scale, rub lemon juice on spot, let sit overnight and wipe with a wet cloth in the morning. Easy as pie.

Got any DIY cleaning tips? Do tell....


Love Your Skin with Naturopathica

I can't count how many body lotions I've bought and used in my lifetime, really it's a lot. But the ones I find I go back to are the natural ones. The products full of real ingredients, not tons of chemical and that fake "lotiony" smell, you know the one I am talking about...

Naturopathica has been around for 15 years, working to create natural solutions that connect ancient traditions with the latest and greatest science breakthroughs. They have an entire line of face and body care to fawn over, I started with their Bourbon Vanilla Body Lotion lovingly gifted to me by the company! 

Here's the lowdown on the body lotion:

Ingredients include Bourbon Vanilla of course, which is deep, rich and oh so lovely (sourced from the Bourbon region of Madagascar), Massoia Bark Extract which helps improve circulation and Litsea Cubeba Fruit, an oil with an intense, fresh and sweet aroma which helps to tone and clarify your skin. Hm. Lovely. 

One week out, my skin is softer, the tone more even and the smell is making me happy every time I catch a wiff. :)

You must check out their product line up, you can search by skin type, product or classification to find exactly what you need + want. 

Ok, on my shopping list are the following to try next...Espresso Mud Body Scrub, Pear Fig Polishing Enzyme Peel and their lovely Soothing Shave Cream for Kevin!