Happy Healthy Halloween & Harvest Season

Image by Ashlee Dawn Photography found [here].

For many parents who are aware of all the chemicals and artificial ingredients lurking in Halloween candy this can be a precarious time of year. Likely you love the harvest time, the beautiful leaves, the pumpkins, the fun decorations and how darn cute your kid looks in their costume – but you are dreading all the junk they will be given. Many of us are also concerned about the type of candy we want to give out to other children in our neighbourhoods.

We have been speaking to lots of natural mommies and they have come up with some great ideas for a healthier Halloween for everyone, which we (of course) wanted to share with you. Continue reading

Sunscreen for Your Little Ones

By Breanna Rothe from sustainablemommy.ca, Photo: Tricia Hong

“A consumer advocacy group has a warning for parents who think they‘re protecting  their family with sunscreen: You may be getting burned. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.” (Mercola)

With so many different sunscreens on the Market it is hard to decide which one is  right for your little ones. Beyond deciding on the brand and SPF, there are some other important factors to consider, such as the fact that many new studies such as the one mentioned above, have concluded that most of the ingredients in popular drugstore brands of sunscreen, contain chemicals that can be very harmful to your health, potentially cancer causing, and therefore not something you want to put on a baby or young child. Two main ingredients to avoid when purchasing a sunscreen for your family is anything containing Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. Continue reading

Babies & Kids with Eczema; no fun for anyone!

By: Jessica Carfagnini, ND, tbaynaturopathic.ca

Have you ever parented an itchy, unhappy child with an angry red rash? Perhaps your child had the rash with little bumps weeping fluid, or maybe she had the dry rash that cracked when she scratched it?  Eczema is an increasingly common health issue among babies and children and can be an endless source of frustration. What is eczema anyway? There are two main types.  Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction to laundry soap or another irritant in the environment.  This type of eczema can be usually be “cured” by removing the irritant. The other type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, is an itchy red rash that may be inherited from one or both parents. Allergies and asthma are linked to eczema so you may see any of these conditions occurring in members of the same family. Eczema, asthma and allergies are genetically linked and are all the result of a malfunctioning immune system. For this reason, they are sometimes considered autoimmune conditions. Continue reading

Give Away & Interview with Worts + Cunning Apothecary

WORTS + CUNNING APOTHECARY is a purveyor of quality, handmade herbal products as well as natural products for moms. The Apothecary is currently in Mesa, Arizona and run by owner, founder, and herbologist Alexis J. Chapman.

Alexis chose the name for her apothecary by blending two words: Wort, meaning plant and Cunning meaning artfulness. In other words her focus is on working with plants in new artful ways, while retaining the ancient art of creating herbal remedies for health and healing.

We were so excited when Alexis agreed to offer a give away for our readers! She has chosen her Organic Bundle of Joy Postpartum Kit (featured in picture) which includes Herbal Sitz Bath, Sweet Nectar Milk Tea Blend, Blue Skies Postpartum Courage Blend, Labor & Postpartum Belly Balm and her Sassy Mama Tea Blend.

How does this give-away work? You must nominate a special pregnant woman in your life by sending us an e-mail or facebook message letting us know who you are nominating and why. It is as simple as telling us what you think is special about her and why you want her to win this special postpartum gift-set. We will be selecting our winner on Mother’s Day.

Want to win yourself? Get a friend or family member to nominate you! Once we announce our winner, Alexis will send out this amazing gift direct from Worts + Cunning Apothecary!

We also had the chance to chat with Alexis about her work and love of plants. Please read our amazing interview with her below.

Natural Mommy (NM): Alexis, how did you get started working with plants/herbs and what do you love about it?

Alexis: My story with plants begins with a koala – a real koala that I had the opportunity to hold and have my picture taken with when I was about 5 years old. For the next few years I knew that I was more than just a little girl, I was, in fact, a koala and set about exploring the world as I thought a koala would. I rode my tricycle around the city and in parks, picking leaves off trees and bushes and eating them. I figured out pretty quickly which plants tasted good, others that were not so palatable, and my parents (bless them) realized that they could not stop my koala-ness but began to educate me about poisonous and non-poisonous plants. We would move to a new place and my mom would take me around the yard, showing me what I could and could not eat. So it began, my lifelong journey with plants from koala girl to herbologist (though there is still a bit of koala left in me). Continue reading

The Wooly Owl

The Wooly Owl was created by owner and operator, Alissa Tarita-Havenaar from Muskoka Ontario because she believes that babies, moms and the earth deserve the best. Her company uses sustainable materials, like organic cotton and reclaimed wool fibers to create truly unique items for earth-conscientious families.

Alissa Tarita-Havenaar’s company was created from her own personal desire to live from the land and to offer reusable, biodegradable alternatives to many of the items used by moms, such as nursing pads. Her goals include keeping materials as local as possible. In her quest to be sustainable, Alissa uses 100% wool materials and organic cotton knits, organic flax seed, and biodegradable materials. She also uses recycled (aka upcycled materials) like vintage buttons. Materials, like vintage buttons add to the uniqueness of her pieces.

Alissa’s business is a one-woman enterprise and out of her creativity is born one-of-a-kind items, made by her, for moms and babies. Her business represents her commitment to the planet and helping others to live a chemical-free life. We just had to talk to Alissa about her business, her values and her future goals.

NaturalMommy: Alissa, what are some of the reasons why you use local materials in the products you create?

Alissa: There are a few reasons. First, it keeps the cost of materials low. I purchase all of my wools from local second-hand stores. Convenient since at present I can walk to the store, (saving gas money from my pocket and from added carbon emissions into the air,) and second, all donations to the stores will usually be made by the local people in the community. Thus, the materials in their own way are from the community made back into items for the community. I was purchasing organic cotton form the United States, but have since decided to go strictly with recycled materials over organic. Although there is a huge market right now for things strictly certified organic, I feel that buying used over newly organic is genuinely a greener choice. The material is already there and does not require raw materials to be processed weather organically or not. Continue reading

Growing Up Wild with Kelly Engel

Kelly Engel is a busy mom, to say the least! She is the owner, creator and mom behind Growing Up Wild, an eco-friendly baby clothing company. Kelly is truly a marvel since in addition to being a mommy, running her amazing business, she also makes pottery and worked as an elementary school teacher. We had to talk to Kelly about her biz and being a mom. We just loved what she had to say, so we are sharing it with you!

Growing Up Wild can be found [here].

(NM): What is it like for you to balance being a mom and a business owner? What are some of the challenges that you face and how do you balance your time?

(Kelly): Being a mom is the most rewarding experience that has happened to me. I am enjoying every minute (even the new found temper tantrums) of my 19-month old Jonathan’s life. Running my own business out of my home has allowed me to be there for life’s simpler moments. I try to work solely during his naps or after he is in bed at night. During peak times I fill in the gaps when my husband is home with my son in the evenings or on weekends. So far we are able to make it work but I would be lying if I said that it was easy. I am not very good at carving any time out for myself and this has led to a few tears when I go beyond my max. Fortunately my husband has learned to see this coming and insists that I take a bath, a hike or sit for a quiet cup of coffee before that happens.

What are some of the benefits to buying items directly from those who make it?

I love supporting the homemade movement whenever possible. In particular I seek out fellow work at home moms or dads when I can. I have found that buying directly from the person that creates an item has an entirely different feeling. I am not just supporting a factory oversees. I am directly putting food on a family table, sending a child to dance class, paying for doctors bills or helping someone to purchase their first home. Many of these purchases have led to rewarding friendships. In my experience the items have all been extremely high quality and you can feel the love and attention to detail put into each piece. Continue reading

Mod Mum – Organic Baby Sling

Lisa Kalberer is a mommy from Austin Texas. She started Mod Mum, a baby sling company for modern moms. Her product line has expanded to include maternity gowns, newborn pillow support and baby slings for dads.

“I have designed our baby slings for optimum comfort, while our designer fabrics help every mom to feel hip and chic as she carries her baby. I want all Moms to experience a convenient and comfortable way to have their baby close, yet still have the ability to get things done.”

We just love her organic baby slings, featured in image. Check out her etsy show found [here] for information on ordering her wonderful products.

Way to go Lisa!

Are you a mom who makes a natural product for other moms or for babies? Let us know about you! info@naturalmommy.ca

Make Your Own Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer

Recipe for an organic, non-toxic hand sanitizer that is made with water, veggie glycerin and vodka (option to eliminate vodka when making it for kids). It is safe, anti-bacterial and affordable! This is a healthier alternative to commercial hand-sanitizers that are often full of all sorts of harsh chemicals that we don’t want in our kid’s mouths!