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Small Changes by Kee Ka {Review}

Everyone warned me that Juliette would grow out of everything extremely fast and I didn't really believe them much.

*sigh, I was wrong!

Each week I pull out clothes that no longer snap, sleeves that don't reach and pants that are now shorts. The money I am spending on clothing has gone down as I realize how fast she's growing. When I see something I just must have I make sure to buy it for Spring or Summer so she'll get the most use out of it as I know her growth will slow down a bit.

While I'm cutting back for sure I am still trying to find organic and eco-friendly materials for her. I'm a member of a few online baby/kids sale sites and have scored some Kicky Pants Bamboo coveralls for around $10 dollars each (well below their retail price) and scour the used clothing bins for organic onsies. Though I am realizing I need a few new things for her and am not sure I'll be able to wait for sales or dig through the used baby clothes bins. Do my delight I have discovered a relatively affordable organic baby company yesterday! Small Change Organics made by Kee Ka! I love Kee-Ka but find their prices a bit high, so I was positively smitten with Small Changes. The line is full of bright onsies, rompers, bibs, hats and pants. The saturated colors don't scream 'baby' and that makes me happy!

Small Changes is available at Land of Nod online.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! Kiss your loved ones and hug them a little longer than usual. Cozy up to the fire and share cookies over cups of hot cocoa...

Nature makes the most beautiful decoration...

Sexy Metallic Tyvek Tote

Any gal on your holiday list will just adore this metallic reusable bag, she'll use it every day I swear!

Click here to buy!

Dress Your Eco-Baby In Kicky Pants {Review}

When I became pregnant I vowed my baby would wear as much organic and eco clothing as I could afford, look stylish and adorable and never ever sport tacky baby clothes.

I started my research early on and found many brands I fell in love with. One such brand was Kicky Pants. I not only loved their brand name but instantly coveted their clothing. They use bamboo, an amazingly eco fabric! Their prints are exactly what I was looking for. My rule of thumb with most of my daughter's clothing is that if the print is something I'd sport I love it. I don't generally like overly baby baby clothes, leaning more towards darling colors and soft fabrics.

Their designs are drool worthy and patterns to die for! Juliette was brought home from the hospital in Kicky Pants Plum colored bamboo coveralls. Even the nurse at the hospital gushed over our outfit choice. Since then I've bought Juliette 2 more pairs of coveralls and my sister bought her a dress for when she's a little bit older.

I love Kicky Pants because they use sustainable fabrics and because they use beautiful muted colors on their oh so soft clothing. They remain of my favorite baby brands, I look forward to dressing little Juliette up in their many beautiful items. Check out their website for more info and to see more of their offerings.

(Image 1, Image 2)

J'adore Nettleton Hollow + 35% off!

I love decorating with things from nature. I have birch branches & bark in my home as well as antlers and collected shells too. It's fun collecting these things yourself, but when you live in a city it's not always easy. Never fear, Nettleton Hollow is here to help! They sell a beautiful collection of dried flowers, fruits, foliage and branches. They are the leading provider of lasting botanicals. They are based in Brooklyn too, what up!

Just today I received a code for 30% off their lovely branches & botanicals from Daily Candy. What better time! Pick up some stunning and unique gifts this holiday. Here's the code: THANKSDAILYCANDY

(Images-Nettleton Hollow)

Green Giving: Gift Guide Continued...

No matter what you celebrate, gift giving can be stressful, especially as the shopping days are numbered. No need to worry when there's tons of great eco-gifts available. I've done the leg work for you and found some great gift & stocking stuffer ideas!

For Kids & Babies

Kee-Ka organic baby/kids clothes, sheets & towels. I'm loving their Peanut collection, cause I call my little Juliette peanut for short.

Oompa is the place to go for baby/kids toys. They have an organic & eco-friendly section where you can stock up on toys that children love. My picks? The Under The Nile Veggie Crate for $25.99 and the adorable wooden Pull Along Zebra for $19.99

For your Pets
Show your pooch you love them with this recycled doggie bone called RecycleBone. Made from discarded rubber in the making of chew toys this one is a perfect treat!

Going to a holiday party? Treat the hostess!
Stray from the obvious with these brightly colored bowls made from organically grown bamboo and natural lacquer. Made by Bambu.

Impress with reincarnated beer bottles made into tea light holders, they are stunning. From Viva Terra

For your Secret Santa/Gift Exchange

Brighten someone's day with a beautifully packaged organic soap from Nostalgia Organics. Beautiful, organic and under your $10 buck price limit!

Tap into their snack side with Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies made with organic ingredients from One Lucky Duck.

For ideas closer to home, check out your local drugstore and pick up nationally available brands such as Eco-Tools, Burt's Bees, Method and Mrs. Meyer's for great ideas for anyone on your gift list.

I Heart Trees

There's nowhere I'd rather be than lying on the grass, gazing up at beautiful trees as the clouds rush by...


Green Giving: Gift Guide

Time to get your shop on! Why not take this opportunity to buy green this holiday season. As more and more companies go green with their wares it's becoming easier and easier to incorporate earth friendly items into your gift list. Here are 20 gift ideas for you!

For Anyone
Flip & Tumble- Take reusable bags to the next level with these colorful and fun bags that roll up into a ball for easy storage. I've had one for a few years and couldn't love mine more! ps. check out the website for a great how to video

Aquaovo- Double walled Thermo-Bottle you can use for hot & cold beverages

Purely Elizabeth- For the foodie in your life, stuff their stocking with these all natural, super healthy & gluten free mixes. My pick? Blueberry Maple Muffins. Yum! Or pick up this book and start a new trend, The Organic Cook's Bible. Order it used on Amazon for additional green points!

For The Boys
For the boys? Weleda Shaving Cream & After Shave- Cause a smooth face can't be beat

For The Ladies
Alex & Ani Cameo Cocktail Ring- Who doesn't love jewelry? *Search Urban Branches for a Alex & Ani review from last year!

Jurlique- Create your own gift set with their delicious and beautiful looking skin/face/body care products. My vote? Rose Body Lotion & Rose Hand Cream

Novella Royale Hudson Studded Clutch- This recycled leather clutch is a must have for any fashionista in your life

For Kids & Babies
Treat your little one to the ultimate crib sheets from Plover. Can I have them for me please?

Keep your kiddies busy with this Guerilla Art Kit

More to come next week...

Seal The Deal: Sign the Petition


(Content from Seal The Deal)

The UN-led Seal the Deal Campaign aims to galvanize political will and public support for reaching a comprehensive global climate agreement in Copenhagen in December.

Climate change affects us all. Nine out of every ten disasters recorded are now climate related. Rising temperatures and more frequent floods, droughts and storms affect millions of people’s lives. This is set against a backdrop of financial and food insecurity.

On December 7, governments will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark to respond to one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. The main question will be how protect the planet and create a green economy that will lead to long-term prosperity
Reaching a deal by the time the meeting ends on December 18 will depend not only on complex political negotiations, but also on public pressure from around the globe.

The United Nations has launched “Seal the Deal” campaign that encourages users to sign an online, global petition which will be presented by civil society to governments of the world.

The petition will serve as a reminder that our leaders must negotiate a fair, balanced and effective agreement in Copenhagen, and that they must seal a deal to power green growth, protect our planet and build a more sustainable, prosperous global economy that will benefit all nations and people



In NYC This Weekend?

If you're in NYC this weekend, here's something you must check out!

South Bronx Food & Film Expo
What: Attend seminars about growing your own food, watch Bronx-made films about urban farming, and devour a vegan lunch.
Why: Locavores unite. (And it’s free, but donations of food and clothing are encouraged.)
When: Sat., noon-5 p.m.
Where: The Point, 940 Garrison Ave., b/t Barretto & Manida Sts., entrance on Manida St., Hunts Point (718-542-4139).

Donate: Cell Phone

Many of you may have a new cell phone on your holiday gift list this year right? Well why not donate your old mobile phone to a good cause. Check out these great ways to donate.

(Content from Planet Green)

1. Help Soldiers Call Home
Cell Phones for Soldiers provides talk time to overseas troops so they can call home. The organization collects old phones, which they send to ReCellular so the used phones can be sold or recycled. Each phone donated buys one hour of talk time for soldiers.

2. Help Victims of Domestic Violence
Two organizations -- the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Shelter Alliance -- collect cell phones to help fund their programs. NCADC works with ReCellular, while Shelter Alliance is a program run by Florida-based GRC Wireless Recycling. You can mail your phone, but check with your local women's shelter to see if you can drop off your cell there.

3. Help Kids Go to Camp
NASCAR's Recycle for Victory cell phone fund benefits the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a NASCAR-themed sleep-away camp for kids with chronic medical conditions or serious illness. Just mail your phone to Recycle for Victory with this pre-paid shipping label.

4. Donate to Your Favorite Charity (Or Plant a Tree)
Flipswap refurbishes and recycles cell phones—and pays you for it or donates the value to your favorite charity. The company also has another program called inStore, which gives credits to people if they trade in their phone when they purchase a new one. And for each phone collected through the inStore service, Flipswap plants a tree.

5. Help A Local Organization
American Cell Phone Drive helps you find local organizations that either refurbish or recycle cell phones to raise funds. Just head to, type in your zip code, and you'll get a list of organizations and drop-off locations. And if there isn't a collection site in your area, you can print off a shipping label to send three or more phones directly to their headquarters.


Green Tuesday Deals From Ideal Bite!

Cut and Pasted for my readers from my daily Ideal Bite email. Lots and Lots of discount codes for amazing eco-friendly items! Enjoy

* Alex and Ani - recycled accessories and jewelry. Enter the code GoGreen09 during checkout to get 20% off.

* Beekman 1802 - goat milk soaps. Enter the code Bitten during checkout to get 20% off.

* Big Dipper Wax Works - beeswax candles. Enter the code GREENTUESDAY during checkout to get 20% off.

* Blooming Lotus - organic body care products. Enter the code BitersRock during checkout to get 20% off on any order over $40.

* Brilliant Earth - fair-trade gold and diamond jewelry. Enter the code IDEALBITE during checkout to get 20% off its Choco pendant.

* BTC Elements - clothing and things for decking out your home. Enter the code bite09 during checkout to get 25% off plus free shipping.

* Greenloop - eco-fashion. Enter the code Idealbite25 during checkout to get 25% off.

* Greensender - reusable water bottles and commuter coffee mugs that you can personalize. Enter the code GREATBOTTLE during checkout to get 20% off.

* HER Design - eco-friendly handbags. Enter the code IDEAL25 during checkout to get 25% off.

* Laundress - clothing care products. Enter the code idealbite1 during checkout to get 20% off.

* Nau - eco-apparel. Enter the code IDEALBITE during checkout to get 20% off all regularly priced items.

* One Language Label - reusable canvas bags. Enter the code 20green to get 20% off.

* Organic Pharmacy - homeopathics. Enter the code IDEALB to get 20% off.

* Organic Wine Company - organic wine. Enter the code IDEAL during checkout to get 20% off.

* Pact Underwear - organic cotton underwear. Enter the code ib20 during checkout to get 20% off.

* Pangea Organics - organic body care. Enter the code IdealBite09 during checkout to get 30% off.

* Peacock Republic - gifts for snazzing up your bath and home. Enter the code idealbite25 during checkout to get 25% off plus free shipping.

* Seven Planet - eco-boutique with a grab bag of products. Enter the code Idealbite25 during checkout to get 25% off.

* Sust - organic cotton clothing. Enter the code GREEN40 during checkout to get 40% off.

* VivaTerra - home gifts. Enter the code ID09 during checkout to get 20% off.

* Weleda - organic skincare. Enter the code IDEALBITE1 during checkout to get 20% off.

* West Paw Design - pet beds, clothes, and toys. Enter the code ideal2009green during checkout to get 20% off.


I apologize for not adding links, I wanted to get these codes out to you as soon as possible!

All Wrapped up with a Green Bow

It's the time of year where we give give give, and often that means the earth suffers. There are many ways to enjoy the most cozy time of year while keeping up with your earth friendly habits. Here are some ways to get you started...

*Turn your old incandescent light bulbs into tree ornaments by painting them and stringing them up with lovely colored ribbon.

*Wrap presents in old maps, newspaper, last years calender pics, craft paper you've spruced up with hand stamps or simply use large cloth pieces that can be saved for next year

*Decorate with nature, use berries, twigs, branches, potted plants and pine cones to spruce up your home this season

*Make your own cards with recycled cardboard boxes, cut into shapes or punch holes to hang from gift bags with twine

*Create a wish list and share it with friends & family, hint at items you truly need so you get what you want this year

*Give the gift of food, literally! Give boxes of cookies, jars of jam or hard to find gourmet items that will be a welcome addition to their kitchen

*Give gift cards for things like gas, groceries or other everyday items that you know will be used

More holiday earth friendly tips to come...

Also coming up on Urban Branches, a Kicky Pants baby/kids clothes review, My favorite eco shopping sites and lots more!

Ideas to Reduce Your Trash

I'm always looking for ways to reduce my trash volume, and now with a baby I am produce a whole lot more! Here are some of the ways I try to cut down:

*Use rechargeable batteries
*Reuse my hot coffee holders
*Recycle as much as possible, including taking #5's to my local Whole Foods to be recycled properly
*Saving old jars for candle holders, storage, wine glasses and future baby food containers
*Almost never accept a bag at any store, always bring my own reusable bag
*Bring home trash to recycle instead of tossing (paper receipts, to go containers etc.)
*Never wrap veggies in the bags at the grocery store
*Use cloth napkins and kitchen towels to avoid tossing paper towels & napkins
*Buy in bulk when possible
*Having my junk mail reduced (Check out Precycle)
*Have a leftover night to reduce food waste
*Accept & give baby clothes hand-me-downs
*Trade/Sell or donate

Those are just a few of the ways I make my trash a little smaller in volume...

How do you reduce your trash?

Blog Crush: Poppy Talk

I've got a slew of design & fashion blogs I hit up weekly in addition to my favorite eco-living's one of my favorites Poppy Talk. And here's some inspiration from their site...

Live in NYC? Here's how to spend a Saturday

Courtesy of my daily Daily Candy email...

Help Feed New York’s Needy
What: Buy a bag of fresh produce and leave it with us to donate to local charities and missions in need. Can’t make it? Help raise money for the Food Bank for New York City.
Why: No one should go hungry.
When: Sat., 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Where: Greenpoint Farmers Market, McCarren Park, Driggs Ave., b/t N. 12th St. & Union Ave.

Eco Mama: The Philosophies & Views Behind My Eco Lifestyle Choices

I want to shed some light on the reasons and philosophies behind my choices and views on eco living. I was raised with a very “back to the land” kind of attitude by my parents, who had met on a biodynamic farm in PA in the 1970’s. Their opinions and choices throughout my childhood have greatly influenced me, and I find myself thinking similar things as they did, with a modern approach. I grew up in rural Maine with a garden, a compost bin, natural fibers such as wool, cotton and silk, and free range to run and play. Any comparison to other friends who claim they had a “hippy-ish” upbringing and I always have come out the victor on that topic. Hey what can I say, I loved being barefoot every summer!
When I discovered I was pregnant, I found myself wanting to pursue a more natural path. I want to support the earth’s natural resources without causing harm to something or somebody. If I wish to change the course of my existence from a major carbon footprint to a semi smallish one, I asked myself where I could truly start. What are the things I am passionate about, and what is easily incorporated into my life? I think those are the first, most important steps; along with education; reading literature supporting new ideas and inspirational ones too. I found that my ideas and philosophies are closely aligned with the ideas of Permaculture. The importance of using and being aware of what the earth’s natural ecosystem provides, and can offer, and the simplicity and awareness it brings to one’s life. “Permaculture blends the concepts of self-sufficiency and living a natural lifestyle. To practice permaculture is to live within the natural bounds of an ecosystem. It is the study of nature and using what is learned to design, build and maintain natural systems that provide life's necessities.” (source)
This is not a trend or phase in my life. It’s a lifestyle I live. I feel enriched and happy because of these choices, and the joy it brings me by sharing them with my fast growing daughter is amazing.

I decided the list is divided into my dreams and what I currently choose to do.
One of my dreams is to have a home built to incorporate the landscape and utilize the outside environment to cool and heat the house. I dream to have a garden to provide me with 75% of my veg/fruits…and flowers to make me happy.
I’ve made the choices to:
- use biodegradable diapers, (Nature Babycare, read the article I wrote
- Natural plant based (no synthetics/chemical components) body products for my daughter (Weleda,(read my Weleda article) and Avalon, Burt’s Bees, Dr. Hauschka and Weleda for myself.
- I use homeopathic remedies before resorting to conventional medicine.
- I use an amber necklace on Siena for teething. It helps release warming calming powers and also is handy for her to bite on.
- I shop at used clothing stores and do a lot of buy-sell-trade with both my clothing and Siena’s. Also by joining a local parent community forum where swapping baby items becomes a breeze…
- I buy 90% organic foods and 100% organic milk,
- I try not to keep packaged items in their excess packing. Translation: when they arrive in my home I immediately remove the packaging and properly recycle it and place the item in a Mason jar or ceramic container I use for storage of most everything. (all bulk foods, tea, coffee etc) But for the most part I re-use my own plastic bags and purchase foods from bulk bins. I recycle the box an item came in immediately. (Like the juicer, the Cuisinart, the blender, coffee maker...You will never use that box again!)
- If I do have to purchase a plastic item I make sure it is BPA free.
- I drop off all my #5 recycles to be turned into toothbrushes and razor handles.
- I say no to plastic bags at the grocery store. And all other stores in fact. Believe me I still get weird looks. Like I need to feel ok walking out of a store with a purchase in a logo bag…what’s the deal with that?!
(*The list doesn’t stop there.)
I do have to admit, I feel overwhelmed by products, packaging and errand-running! I have to make a really strong effort to avoid those things. I constantly ask myself, how am I being an eco person if I …x, y and z.
These are some of the things I follow, along with my opinion and standpoint on medicine (holistic, homeopathic) and child-raising (along the lines of attachment parenting), I find that I am following a very au natural path, one that is less about commodities and more about where I am; my mind and where my energy is flowing to/from, and what directs and/or inhibits it. Am I aware of my daughter’s needs? Movements? Am I attending to her in the cleanest, healthiest, most natural way that I can?
I thank my daughter for coming along and getting me to apply these ideas to life for real and to protect her and myself from synthetics, chemicals and other un-necessary pollutants.
See below for a link to my favorite newsletter.
As always, keep in touch, and do good work,
You NYC Eco mama

My favorite daily readings include:Mamabite Newsletter

In this photo I am wearing a Loomstate for Target organic Cotton T-shirt, and Siena is wearing a Hanna Andersson organic cotton sun hat and Hanna Andersson organic cotton wiggle pants. Certified organic by Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which Pottery Barn is now using for all their organic products.

DIY Beauty: Beet Lip Balm

Straight from my email to you -> NYC Bite daily email sent me a lovely DIY recipe for Beet Lip Balm. I've gotta try this! If it works out I may gift this for the holidays...

Beet Lip Gloss
10 minutes; makes 1/2 ounce

What You Need:
(local and organic whenever possible)

* 1 beet (light-colored red beets yield a red shade; darker ones get you a merlot color)
* 3 drops olive oil
* 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
* 1 capsule of vitamin E oil
* Repurposed lip gloss container or pillbox


1. Remove beet from stem, wash, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

2. Place chopped beet in microwave-safe container and heat on high for 1 minute until it releases juice.

3. Pour beet juice and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly (add sugar by the teaspoon until it reaches your desired thickness).

4. Empty the finished blend into a small jar, preferably a repurposed lip gloss container. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 hours to thicken, then apply as you like. It'll keep for 6-8 months.


An End to Whaling?

The Japanese government is looking to cut spending, and one of the ways they may save millions is by ending the 'Research' Whaling. If you watched Whale Wars on Discovery you know that the term research is used very lightly. The whales fetch quit a large amount of money, in the millions. Finally lack of funds can do something WONDERFUL!

Check out the rest of the article here. Let's hope this happens!

(Image: from article link)

Farm Sanctuary Asks Obama a Question

Farm Sanctuary, one of my favorite organizations is petitioning for the famous pardoned Turkeys be send to Farm Sanctuary to live their life out in comfort instead of being send to Disney where the birds haven't been thriving over the last 4 years. Click the link to sign, it only takes a second!

Here's a cut & paste directly from Farm Sanctuary's site:

Every year at Thanksgiving, the president of the U.S. “pardons” two turkeys, sparing them from a grisly slaughterhouse death. Unfortunately, these turkeys have, for the last four years, been sent to a Disney theme park – either Walt Disney World or Disneyland – where at least half of them have died within one year. Because modern commercially-bred turkeys have been genetically manipulated for decades, they are prone to serious health issues that require specialized care. Disney’s track record shows that it simply is not able to provide the level of care necessary to keep these birds healthy, happy and comfortable for years.

Of course, we at Farm Sanctuary think all turkeys should be pardoned, and since 1986 our Adopt-A-Turkey Project has saved the lives of countless turkeys and encouraged millions of people to participate in a new compassionate Thanksgiving tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one. We believe that if President Barack Obama wishes to make a show of magnanimity by sparing two turkeys, those turkeys should be given real refuge and not be shuttled to an amusement park to be displayed as attractions while they await premature death.

By sending the pardoned turkeys to Farm Sanctuary’s shelter in Watkins Glen, New York, President Obama can send a clear message that farm animals are not merely props for a photo op but sentient creatures who deserve to be treated with kindness and dignity. Please sign our petition today, and help bring this year’s “pardoned” turkeys to the “happiest place on earth” for farm animals.

We must submit our petition by November 20 to be heard in time, so please sign now and ask all your friends, family and co-workers to do the same!

(Image: Farm Sanctuary)

Eco-Mama: The Simple Life {Review}

I picked up these sweet pair of shoes for Siena this past weekend. Simple shoes, recycled, vegan and washable! all with elastic laces and non-marking, non-skid soles. And the biggest bonus, she LOVES them!

* The Toddler's Doodle is a washable earth friendly suede shoe. The suede is from an eco-certified tannery (BLC/ISO 14001)
* Soft and fuzzy certified organic cotton fleece lining. Organic cotton comes from non-genetically modified seeds and is grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides
* The soles are made of natural, non marking rubber
* Only the finest sustainable shoes for the little one in your life
* Washable!! Whoohoo
* Recycled PET and natural latex elastic laces with user friendly pull toggle. PET is made of recycled soda bottles
* The foot form inserts are made of post consumer recycled paper
* Even our boxes are environmentally friendly – made of post-consumer recycled paper, soy based printing ink, natural latex and starch based glue
* Each size has a different animal on the box. Collect them all! Woof woof
* Contains natural latex. Latex is tapped from a tree like maple syrup..."
(info directly sourced from the simple shoes website)

"Experts in color theory say that purple nurtures the development of the imagination, which would be of great value to you as you tone and firm your devotional impulses.."

(source: Rob Brezny's Astrology Newletter for this week Pisces, Image)

My Eco-Lifestyle Boutique To Be

As many of you may know it has been a dream of mine to open a eco-lifestyle boutique! While the plan is to open a physical space in Brooklyn, I plan on opening up shop online first. Having Juliette has made me realize I've gotta take baby steps.

I am reaching out to my lovely readers to find out what YOU would like to see for sale, what would you buy?

I am planning on having household items, cleaners, candles, decor and such along with baby, skin & body care, literature and hopefully some men's and women's items. Please send me your thoughts, you're favorite brands, they can be eco-friendly, a small company you'd love to share with me, local to the NY area or simply a favorite product from a company that gives back to the community.

I am so excited to get this underway, it's going to be overwhelming, exciting and a dream come true!


I Heart Little Twig {Review}

When I was pregnant I sought out only the best baby products for my little Juliette. And now that she's here and I've tried out many different things on her I've been able to pick a few of my favorites. Little Twig is among my favorites.

They not only have the cutest packaging of any baby line I've seen, they give back to their community and participate in environmental efforts such as reducing waste. If you return 4 full sized empty containers they'll take off 30% off your next online order. Pretty cool eh.

Each year they choose a charitable organization to work with. This year they've chosen Everychild Foundation. Litte Twig donates their time, marketing efforts as well as marketing efforts to spotlight the foundation.

The generous folks at Little Twig sent me a few products to try out on my cutiepie and I've loved each one.

Their diaper cream is super mild and unscented of course! It has helped clear up a little diaper rash and keeps her sensitive skin in tip top shape. We've given Juliette a little twig bath too, using the Baby Wash, we chose the unscented one this time but I can't wait to use their lavender, lemon & tea tree scented version soon! One product of theirs I can't live without is their baby powder, it's a mainstay on our diaper changing table and goes with us everywhere.

Their product line includes lovely gift sets all including the sweetest wash clothes or wash mitts. Kids and adults will fall in love with their gifts sets trust me, I'd love one! That brings me to my next point, if you're an adult with sensitive skin or just want a cute bottle to look at in the shower, pick up some Little Twig body wash & lotion.


DIY Beauty

If you've been reading Urban Branches for a while you know I just love DIY beauty. There's nothing more satisfying than whipping up your own batch of face masks, skin toners and lip balms. Check out this link from LIME for some great ideas. I've done the dirty work and cut & pasted below as well...

Apple Skin Toner, from Guide to Day Spas and Stay Spas

This toner is intended for slightly oily skin. Witch hazel is a gentle astringent, apple cider vinegar will help restore your skin's natural pH balance, and lavender soothes sensitive skin.

2/3 cup witch hazel
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
A few drops of lavender or essential oil of your choice

Mix and pour into a clean bottle. Shake bottle well before using, dampen a cotton or ball or pad with toner, and swab over face.

Aloe Vera Toner

As basic as can be and a good choice for skin that needs a little soothing. Simply combine equal amounts of distilled water and aloe vera gel or juice. Pour into jar and refrigerate. Shake vigorously before applying.

Zingy Lemon Astringent

Another simple, basic recipe-this one will definitely give your skin a zingy feeling. Don't use if your skin is irritated in any way.

1/2 cup witch hazel
Juice from 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 TB.), strained
Combine ingredients in bottle. Shake well to blend. Store in refrigerator for a refreshing iciness when applied, or at room temperature (if stored at room temperature, discard after a week or two.)

Watermelon Toner (from Spa Index)

Watermelon juice is full of antioxidant vitamins and is noted as helpful for removing blemishes.

2 TB. fresh watermelon juice
1 TB. vodka
2 TB. witch hazel
2 TB. distilled water
Strain watermelon to get rid of seeds and fruit pieces. Combine all ingredients in small bowl and stir well. Pour into clean bottle.

To use: pour a small amount on clean cotton pad and apply to face. Store toner in your fridge between uses to retain freshness. It will keep for approximately one week.

Time To Bake

It's time to bust out the oven mitts boys & girls! There's nothing that makes you feel more connected to the earth than baking with all natural ingredients and local fresh fruit!

I am baking some homemade banana bread in a few minutes and I plan on baking a pie soon! This one pictured above makes me swoon.

I'll be posting recipes here soon, but please send me yours!

Tip: Always use organic & local ingredients in your recipes!

(Image: Redbook)

Zoe&Zac @ Payless

Low on funds, ya we all are! Need new kicks? Pick up a pair of the eco-friendly line at Payless. I'm loving their Daisy Frayed Skimmer, very parisian! Se Magnifique!

Here are some of the ways they stay green:

*Organic Cotton
*Recycled Rubber
*Faux leather & suede
*Elastic from recycled plastic bottles

Pssst...some are on sale too! Click here to be taken straight to the site.

(Image: Payless)

Mrs. Meyer's To The Rescue {review}

The lovely folks at Mrs.Meyer's recently sent me a few products to try out, what they didn't realize is that I am already a loyal fan! Surprisingly I hadn't tried the products they sent so it was a great way to introduce myself to some of their scents I hadn't yet discovered, specifically the Basil line.

Mrs.Meyer's if you don't already know makes lovely and effective home cleaning products as well as candles, diffusers & skincare. Here's their philosophy:

"Our philosophy is to make straightforward, honest cleaners that smell good and work like the dickens on dirt. They are also aromatherapeutic, which is another fancy word for healthy and good."

The Basil line includes top notes of apricot leaves, eucalyptus, parsley and of course, basil. Basil is known for helping ease nerves and "perk up the senses", as a new mom who wants her home to be clean as ever easing my nerves is just lovely.

I know many are skeptical about eco-cleaning products not really "cleaning" but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Mrs. Meyer's counter top spray & surface scrub cleaned my kitchen and bathroom like never before. I might just need to indulge in a soak in the tub tonight. Since I sued the mind soothing Geranium line in the tub my soak will give me the "ahhhh" I've been needing.

I find their prices pretty decent too considering the products are not only eco-friendly but clean amazingly and have delicious natural scents. Up next, I am anxious to try their baby line!

And yes there really is a Mrs.Meyer's (and not my mama!), her name is Thelma!

Green Cookware

I drool over Le Creuset as many of us do but they are all so damn expensive! We do have a gorgeous grey Le Creuset pot that I adore but I'd love to have more beautiful cookware like it. Enter Green Cooking Pots!

The line is completely chemical free and comes in rich colors like red, green, blue and yellow. What better time to pick up a few new pieces to get your cook on this Winter, Thanksgiving is coming!

I'd love a new sauce pot in red please...

Check out their site and stock up!

Yes it's True!

Japan's Nippon airlines is asking passengers to "lighten their loads" before boarding to lesson the overall weight of the plane, therefor lessening the amount of fuel needed to get from point A to B. I love the idea personally, I never thought about it before but if everyone "just tried" one more time before think of all the weight we'd save!

Ha ha, yes it's true, click here for the article on TreeHugger

Eco Decor on the Cheap

So you're trying to save money, who isn't. But we still want gorgeous, innovative and lovely decor don't we! (resounding YES!)

Here are my tips for eco-decor that almost anyone can do...

1. Save your jars, fill them with cheap white candles (think tea lights!) and line them up along the windowsill. Or fill them with household items like clothes pins, match books, spools of thread or your collection of shells.

2. If you have a huge vase, fill with nicely shaped sticks from the garden or park

3. Pick up a few pieces of beautiful wrapping paper and frame them. I've got a $7 dollar map of Paris that's been framed on our wall for years, nobody believes it's wrapping paper from a fancy stationary store!

4. Plants, pop over to a friends house and take a clipping. I'm going to work on a whole new slew of cuttings myself for display. Helps add oxygen to your home as well

What else? Oh I am sure I'll think of something...

Urban Branches in the Top 100!

Urban Branches was picked to be one of the Top 100 Sustainability Blogs! I am so honored! I know it's been a while since I've posted, I promise to pick up my eco hat again and get back to posting. For now, I will be basking in the glory...

Check out the Daily Reviewer site for more info and to see yours truly...

Eco Things That Make Me Happy

I've been paying extra attention lately to the eco-choices I see around me and I am happy to report there are many. Here are some of the ways those around me are making changes:

*My bank, Chase no longer uses deposit slips or envelopes! Checks can be deposited directly into the ATM eliminating all that paper waste not to mention time!

*People all around me using their reusable bags and refusing plastic grocery bags!

*Huggies making an organic cotton diaper! While there are of course great eco brands of diapers and cloth options, it's important for large companies to have eco choices because of their wide spread availability.

*Costco selling more and more organic options, we must vote with our wallets and let them know we want to see more and more eco and organic products

What about you, are you seeing anything that's make your eco-happy?

Juliette Rae

Juliette Rae has arrived! Born September 1st at a healthy 10lbs 8 oz. Don't worry I will be blogging again soon, as for now I am spending my time holding, gazing at and adoring Juliette.

Fruits & Vegetables Decoded

Shopping for fruits and vegetables has never been so confusing! From genetically modified to organic to conventional. The list goes on...

Here's a simple method for distinguising those pesky labels when they aren't so clear:

Look for the PLU codes on the labels stuck on your fruits and veggies.

* A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown.
* A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.
* A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified.

Voila, that should be easy enough. Print out and stick it in your wallet, easy enough.


Green Dream: Outdoor Shower

Shower by the light of the sun in a stunning outdoor shower!!! Oh what a lovely dream of mine....I imagine a big block of soap and a natural bristle brush just like the one pictured.

(Image: Absolutely Beautiful Things)

Fit for Kings & Queens

So I popped into a Duane Reade this past week in New York. Now, if you live here you know they are the "on every corner" drug store, nothing special, and trust me if you live outside the city, nothing like the huge amazing, product filled drugstores that have me drooling.

I love me a drug store. And since organic and natural health & body care has become more commonplace, the neighborhood drugstore has become a great source to pick up all you may need for a much smaller price tag than boutique.

I discovered a line called For Kings & Queens, made by non other than Korres, the Greek line full of deliciously scented natural products for hair, face & body. I picked out a Vanilla & Pear body scrub to try, while lingering over their delicious shower gel scents...I will be back.

Scents include:
Lemon Flower
Vanilla Pear
Cinnamon Orange

The line can be found at which makes it easy for all to enjoy!


Daily Eco: A Cleaner Mani/Pedi

Pamper yourself with an eco friendly mani-pedi! If you're local spot doesn't treat customers to chemical free products, bring your own and ask them to use them.

I am treating my pregnant toes to a pedicure today, mainly because I can't reach them but also so that when I do go into labor which could be any day now, I can relish in the fact that my feet look spotless! I am toting my Butter nail polish and Peacekeeper nail polish remover with me. Peacekeeper also makes nail polish in a few shades and has a mission statement to impress:

"PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics is the first cosmetics company to give all of its after-tax, distributable profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues."

See you can pamper yourself and help others all at the same time!

psst...Butter nail polish is available at!



OMG! It takes a lot to have my jaw drop these days but low and behold while perusing my favorite blogs this afternoon I discovered hanging upside down planters on Poppy Talk! Amazing. I want, badly....

Can by purchased here!

(Image: rockettstgeorge)

Yard Sale Lovin'

Daily Candy just shared a pretty amazing tool in their daily email. What an amazing idea!!!

Yard Sale Maps, haven't you ever wished you didn't need to spend ages walking the city trying to find a nearby yard sale (or stoop sale as we call them here in yardless land), well now you don't have to. Check it out here!



Regarding animals and how they make it through climate change or don't:

"As the environment changes, individuals that can't change are lopped off" -Holzapfel, Time Magazine July 20,2009

Eco-Baby Buys

It's T-23 days until due date and I am deep in nesting mode. I've spent the last 9 months gathering my baby's first clothes, natural skin care and all the stylish baby gear I can get my hands on. I wanted to highlight what I am most excited to use and see our little one in! I'll be sure to post real life reviews once I am using these products but for now, I can dream...

I snagged a Kee Ka Honey Bunny organic onsie at Still Hip in Brooklyn. It's organic and I bought it used, talk about eco-friendly!

In addition to Kee Ka finds, I've scoured and found a few super cheap Kate Quinn Organic items as well. Organic for the first few months is our goal, and finding gently worn organic basics are the way to go! It's all about finding the sales, accepting those hand me downs and buying used!

What's cuter than baby skin care? Little Twig couldn't be a sweeter brand of baby care, they make bath care to sun care. We're dividing our needs between Weleda, Little Twig and Method Baby. Little Twig takes the cake by far when it comes to packaging and cuteness factor! See for yourself...

And while these aren't made from organic cotton (they are available in organic now though, in a variety of beautiful designs) I still can't wait to wrap my little bundle up in these...

(Images: Kee Ka , Kate Quinn Organics, Aden & Anais