Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!

Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!I have always loved Alice in Wonderland, both the books and the classic Disney movie. My daughter and I decided it would be a lot of fun to host a Mad Hatter Tea Party for her birthday. It is a lot of fun to create a party from a theme that is not "in" or "popular" or "new." Parties like these make me stretch my creative muscles and I won't [more]

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!New from my favorite yogurt brand are the Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches for the family! Delicious, convenient, and organic goodness for on the go, mess free eating. Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches are available in nine flavors for your YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKids! No worries, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy these but we will get to that later.   My kids love pouches, it's like space man food meets crazy kids [more]

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown Harvest

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown HarvestButternut Squash Soup is something I really enjoy eating. It is not a dish I have ever tried making. When I got my Hometown Harvest bag I found a nice sized organic squash tucked inside. Originally I thought, I will chop this up and sauté it with some olive oil and zucchini. My friend however challenged me to step outside my cooking comfort zone and make a soup using my [more]

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!Easter is almost here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and families are gathering for some good ol' fashioned Easter fun! Make your Easter the best yet with these excellent eggcellent party decorations and crafts from Oriental Trading!  What I love about Oriental Trading is that I can put a party together easily without spending a ton of money.  I hung up the Light Blue and Lilac Paper Lanterns to add a pop [more]

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica   Captain America The Winter Soldier is the number 1 movie in the nation and the film with the largest April box office! And for good reason too. From start to finish Captain America is packed with action, drama, and a little comedic relief.  Chris Evans, Samuel L Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson are exactly what you would expect- awesome. I will admit I wasn't always team Black Widow, especially as a kid, [more]

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories After sharing with you all How to Make the Most of Your Disney World Vacation I wanted to follow that up with a more personal post. Again it took me awhile to sort through the pictures I wanted to use remember I took over 1500 and also to put into words how amazing our trip was. I still don't feel like this post can do it justice, the magic of Disney [more]

Category Archives: Health

Introducing Hometown Harvest!

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means they are compensating me for posts, referrals, and sharing my experience with their services. As all always opinions are my own!

As some of you may have seen on Facebook I was sharing how excited I was to introduce you all to Hometown Harvest. I am excited for a few reasons. One I’m welcoming them as a sponsor for Teachable Mommy! Woo hoo! Two, they are a local business who supports local farmers. Fantastic! And three, Hometown Harvest provides organic, non-gmo produce for the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas! Awesome!!

Hometown Harvest

 

Although we have great grocery stores with a nice selection, I have been wanting to support local farmers for awhile. Unfortunately, finding a CSA type program to meet my needs has not worked out. I’m sporadic, and life is crazy so I needed a program that was as flexible as I needed it to be. After chatting about supporting local farmers and business with other bloggers, I was told about Hometown Harvest from Liza at aMusing Foodie. Once I checked out the website, I was sold. This was a company that I could get behind 100% and I wanted to spread the word!

Signing up doesn’t take long at all and within a few days you receive your delivery schedule. You can choose all veggies, all fruit, a mix of both, other products, and what size bag you want. Customize your bag or let it come as a surprise. We chose the small customizable veggie and fruit bag. Every week I get an email telling me what produce is available to fill my bag with. Then I get to to pick what I want and my delivery is at my front door Wednesday morning. Did you catch that? Hometown Harvest delivers. And all the moms yelled THANK YOU!

Look for delicious new recipes featuring the great produce I find in my bag from Hometown Harvest coming to the blog soon!

I wanted to share some of what I love about Hometown Harvest and why I think you will love them too!

Hometown Harvest

Organically Farmed and Non-GMO!

For the most part, yes. About 95% of everything we offer is organic. There are a few exceptions to this rule. During our local growing season, there are some items that are just not possible to find locally and certified organic. These items include tree fruit and sweet corn, and are usually grown following Integrated Pest Management practices (IPM) that closely mirror organic methods, do not yet have official certification. We always make it clear what items are organic and what items are not on our menu each week.

We exhaustively research where our products come from to ensure that your food is 100% non-GMO, completely pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, and that workers are treated fairly. We demand certified humane, pasture-raised animal products that are minimally processed with no additives or chemical preservatives. With our small carbon footprint from efficient routes and keeping your car out of traffic, you can feel good about ordering from Hometown Harvest.

It’s like a CSA but not exactly.

No, but many of our growers participate in CSAs. Just like a CSA, you are supporting local agriculture with your order, but unlike a CSA, you can complete customize your experience.

Hometown Harvest

Can you say delivery? Yes!

We currently deliver to parts of Maryland, D.C., and Virginia, and we are sprouting new routes all the time. Please check out our “Delivery” page for specific areas.

Hometown Harvest supports local farmers!

Yes—we have a growing list of local farmers that we source from. We always go to our local farmers first. So while we are in season, our menu is 100% local. During the off season (typically Dec-April) we try to include as many local items as we can find, but then we also bring in organic produce from outside of our area—always keeping it with in the U.S., and again as close to home as possible.

Hometown Harvest

 

If you’re planning to sign up, be sure to mention my name on the form. I’d love for Hometown Harvest to know you heard about them from me!

Organic Shopping on A Budget by Ashleigh Evans

Organic Shopping on a Budget

Hi everyone!  My name is Ashleigh and my blog is Being Cheap is Easy.  I love to share recipes and money saving tips.  I met Ashley at Bloggy Con last year and I am so honored to be guest posting here.  I am still a “going green” newbie and I learn so many tips from Ashley.

In the past few years, our family has tried to buy more organic food.  Since we have a tight grocery budget, it’s essential to save whenever we can.  I have found when I use coupons, combined with sales, organic products are almost the same price as regular!

Here are some of my favorite sources for organic coupons:

  • Mambo Sprouts.  They send out a monthly email with coupons included.  I find great, high values in this one.
  • Stonyfield.  I find their yogurt on markdown a lot and make sure to stock up with coupons.  Our favorite flavor: Banilla (banana + vanilla)
  • Silk Almond milk.  “Like” their FB page for $1 off coupons!  I’ve found the best deal on Silk at Target! The double packs are super cheap.
  • Earthbound Farm Organics.  They have weekly coupons available.
  • Laura’s Lean Beef
  • Whole Foods.

If I find a brand I really love, it never hurts to send an email with some compliments.  They tend to send some great coupons your way!  Also, as with any product, “like” Facebook pages for coupons.

 Organic Shopping on a Budget

Of all stores I buy organic foods at, Costco is the top of my list.  They have amazing prices on items such as Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, Wholesome Sweetners organic sugar and Agave, Earthbound Farms spinach and many other foods at rock bottom prices.  You can get healthy cooking items like flax seed and coconut oil for a fraction of the price of chain grocery stores.

We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in our area (so, so, sad!), but when we lived by one they also have amazing prices.  I love their enchilada sauce and couscous.

While not all of my produce is organic, I try to buy local when I can.  Using the great app Fresh Food, you can find a local market by you.  I like to go near the end of the day for markdowns…most farmers would prefer to sell their goods, so they might be willing to bargain.  I also ask about bruised fruits or veggies.  Not so pretty patches on tomatoes, eggplant or soft melons can be cut away.  I like to freeze as much as I can.

Final tip: don’t forget about frozen!  All frozen foods are a bargain, but especially organic.  Wait for sales and stock up!  Cascadian Farms is my favorite frozen brand.

What are your favorite ways to save on organic foods?

You Won’t Find GMOs in Stonyfield Yogurt!

Stonyfield Greek Yogurt, Organic, NonGMOs

“Not all yogurt cups are created equal. Stonyfield is obsessively organic when it comes to the way we’ve made our yogurt for the past 30 years.” -Stonyfield Co-Founder & Chairman Gary Hirshberg.

Not All Yogurt Cups Are Created Equal

Stonyfield makes its certified organic and authentically strained Greek yogurt without the use of GMOs, toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics. Yogurts and other products labeled “Natural” are not what you think. There is no legal, definitive requirements for a product to carry the label “natural.” Only the USDA Certified Organic label is a guarantee that the food within is made without all the junk consumers want to avoid.

According to a survey commissioned by Just Label It, 92% of Americans want to label genetically engineered foods (also called GMOs or genetically modified organisms). Currently, GMOs are not required to be labeled in the U.S. Thankfully, individual states and companies are rallying to push for labels! Until labeling is passed, the best ways for American consumers to avoid foods made with GMOs is to eat items that carry the USDA Certified Organic seal or products that are verified through the Non-GMO Project.

The response to Stonyfield’s Yogurt Trade Up was amazing. Although the giveaway is over you can still coupons for Stonyfield yogurt just by signing up on  www.stonyfield.com!

About Stonyfield
Stonyfield, celebrating its 30th year, is the world’s leading organic yogurt company. Its certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 200,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, drinking water and food. To help reduce climate change, Stonyfield offsets all of the CO2 emissions generated from its facility energy use. Stonyfield also donates $2 million of its yearly profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth. For more information about Stonyfield, its products and initiatives, visit www.stonyfield.com or follow Stonyfield on Twitter @Stonyfield and on Facebook www.facebook.com/StonyfieldFarm.

Make the switch to Stonyfield’s organic yogurt today, you won’t be disappointed!

**Proud to be a YoGetter and share my love of Stonyfield with you**

Natural Allergy Remedies!

Natural Allergy Remedies, Allergy Relief - Teachable Mommy

I live in an area where allergies are bad. The pollen count is off the charts daily and people walk around in a haze of over the counter medicines that just do not seem to help. When we began living a more green and clean life I wanted to find ways to help relieve common allergy symptoms. This list of natural allergy remedies come from the heart of dealing with family who suffer from seasonal and year-long allergies.

Local Raw Buckwheat Honey

Why local? Your local bees are making honey with the same pollen you are allergic to. Overtime your body will begin to develop an immunity to the pollen, much like mini allergy shots without all the unpleasantness. Just know that this honey is not super sweet like the kind in the teddy bear. It is more molassesy, so I would suggest adding it small amounts to your food until you get use to the taste. Remember: no honey for babies under a year old

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

We try to use this daily to combat allergy symptoms before they can start. Also, I know others who have pet dander allergies that swear by this drink. It keeps them from having allergic reactions to animals.

  • 1 tbsp local honey (doesn’t have to be buckwheat, you get the sweeter kind for this!)
  • 1tbsp unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar (acts as an anti-histamine)
  • Place the honey and vinegar in the glass of your choice and mix with warm water. Stir until it all dissolves together nicely and enjoy.

Buried Treasure Aller-Ease

What do you do when you are in full blown allergy attack and absolutely miserable? I grab my Aller-Ease, 2 tbsp of this and within a few minutes I am good to go. It tastes like V8 juice so if that’s a little too strong for you, they recommend mixing it into your juice. Aller-Ease reduces nasal congestion, inhibits the release of histamines, and protects sensitive nasal tissues.

Saline Spray

The often forgotten allergy remedy. Saline Spray cleans out the sinuses, getting out any trapped allergens. My husbands ENT doctor told him to stop taking allergy medicine and just use a simple saline spray (the doctor admitted the medicines are useless). I can tell you he breathes better and no longer snores at night!

Essential Oils

You have probably heard of essential oils, they are gaining ground lately and with good reason. Oils are all around health remedies but these are specific to allergies.

  • Diffusers:
    • Peppermint, lavender, and lemon can be used in a diffuser. They will help reduce pollen and allergens.
  • Decongestants:
    • Peppermint, lavender, and lemon will also work as decongestants when ingested. Place 1 drop in your mouth (mix with water if too strong), swish for 15 seconds then swallow.
  • Rashes:
    • Lavender and chamomile when applied to the affected area will provide relief of rash symptoms. (Also raw honey will work too)

My hope is that these remedies will provide you some relief during those days when the pollen count is code stay inside and lock your doors! Leave me a comment and let me know how these have helped you or any natural tricks you have up your sleeves.

Please note: I am not a doctor, I am just someone who occasionally suffers from allergy attacks and who has family and friends who suffer from severe allergies. I can only tell you what has worked from them and for myself. If you suffer from food allergies you might want to consult a doctor or do extra research into if any of these remedies (especially the oils) might trigger an allergic response.

How Safe is Your Sunscreen?

How Safe is Your Sunscreen? I TeachableMommy.com

 

It is almost summer. Pools are opening, schools are closing, beaches are calling, and the smell of sunscreen seems to float on the breeze…

I am a pale skinned, freckled face redhead. Which basically means the sun and I are not on good terms. Even going outside for 10 minutes will equal big burns for me, which makes me well versed in the art of sunscreen. In the past I have used the brand names, the ones you and I grew up with. Last year, in an effort to start being more natural and organic not only in food but life I searched for a natural sunscreen. I came across the Environmental Working Group’s posts about sunscreen and I was shocked. Like most people, I wear sunblock to prevent burns and skin cancer. But certain common sunscreen ingredients actually contribute to skin cancer. Seriously? After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately threw away the old sunscreen and haven’t looked back.

How do you stay safe while enjoying all that summer has to offer? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and most health officials agree the best sun protection is to stay in the shade and cover up. But that is hard to do in a lot of outdoor activities so sunscreen is a must. Here are my tips to keep in mind when shopping for sunscreen.

What you should avoid:

1.  Oxybenzone - linked to hormone disruption, allergic reactions, and potential cell damage that could lead to skin cancer.

2. Vitamin A (look for “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” on the label)- Studies have found that, while used on sun exposed skin, this particular type of Vitamin A can increase your risk of developing melanoma.

3. Sprays- Knowing how unsafe sunscreen can be on your skin, imagine what it can do to your lungs. If you see someone spraying down at the beach this summer, turn away and cover your nose. (Organic sprays are the exception)

Chemical Sunscreens

• Ultraviolet blocking chemicals absorb and disperse UV rays in the body
• Chemical ingredients have been linked to hormone disruption, allergies, and cell damage
• Chemicals may break down over time into free radicals (carcinogens)
• Absorbs into the skin and disperses throughout the body
• Takes 20-30 minutes before it becomes affective

Benefits of Natural Sunscreen:
•  Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide are minerals that naturally occur in the Earth
• The Minerals act as a physical block bouncing ultraviolet rays off skin
• Completely stable with a 2 year shelf-life
• Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection
• Mineral based sunscreens are effective immediately, no need to wait!

I encourage you to read The Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Guide to Safe Sunscreens features ratings for 1,800 sunscreens, lip balms, moisturizers and also cosmetics. You can see where your favorite brands lie (pun intended) and also get recommendations for safe brands. I recently reviewed one brand Goddess Garden’s Adult and Child organic sunscreen that met EWG criteria for a safe product.

What brand do you use? Are you planning to change if it doesn’t meet up to EWG standards?

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