Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Future Midwife?

"Listening" to her baby brother

Palpating my uterus!

She is very focused while she works. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Giveaway: Mix & Match Organic Soap Set from Poppy Soap Co. - $30 ARV {11.25; US/Can}

This is a joint giveaway between Natural Parents Network and many other natural parenting sites. You may enter for all of the giveaways at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

Natural Parents Network, Fine and Fair, and 24 other natural parenting bloggers are giving away 89 items perfect for gifting for the holidays as part of the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide. The combined total value of all of the items is $2,550. Have you finished your holiday shopping? The NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to complete your gift-giving purchases for family and friends, while supporting many naturally-minded small businesses. The companies who have provided items for giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families. Please stop back to enter the giveaway. The Rafflecopter entry system will be live November 1 on this post (and on every post participating in the Gift Guide). Please visit some of the other review posts listed below and read about the fabulous companies offering giveaways in the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide.
Please continue reading to learn more about Poppy Soap Co., which is offering three of our readers a giveaway of a Mix & Match Organic Soap Set, a value of $30.

About Poppy Soap Company

Photo Credit:
Poppy Soap Co.

Poppy Soap Co. is a mother-owned, eco-conscious company making specialty handmade organic soaps for every skin type. Face and Body soaps are made in small batches using high-quality, certified organic ingredients and therapeutic essential oils. They contain no sulfates or detergents, no synthetic ingredients, no artificial fragrances or dyes, no petroleum, no pthalates, no GMOs, and no animal products. Poppy Soap Co. suggests the best soaps for you based on your unique skin type, and each bar contains unique, beautiful details that set it apart from the rest.

I have noticed that these days, high quality organic soaps are a dime a dozen, but there is something special about Poppy Soap Co. that caught my eye. With the Bar for Bar program, for every bar of soap you purchase, a bar is donated to your local women's shelter. Poppy Soap Company helps you give back to your community while you pamper and nourish your skin. You can nominate your local shelter without even making a purchase! In the spirit of the holidays, you can help Poppy Soap Co. support women's shelters by participating in the Letters of Light campaign, kicking off November 1st!

Photo Credit: Poppy Soap Co.

About Mix & Match Organic Soap Set

 For this review, I received a Mix & Match Organic Soap Set to try. The three soaps I selected for my set were Lavender Lemongrass "Calm" Face & Body soap, Orange Patchouli Walnut "Exfoliate" Body soap, and Rosewood "Nurture" Face & Body soap.

When my package first arrived, I was immediately drawn in by the medley of scents drifting from it. The soaps are somehow scented in such a way that they are intoxicating without being overpowering. The attractive burlap packaging with a decorative ribbon this gift set arrives in is perfect for gift-giving, no additional wrapping required, and I love packaging that can be reused. I was impressed to find that there was no plastic packaging what-so-ever! Each beautifully detailed bar of soap came in its own reusable bag along with a card listing its ingredients.

With how beautiful these bars looked and smelled, I simultaneously wanted to save them forever and wanted to use each one immediately. The first bar I tried was the Orange Patchouli Walnut "Exfoliate" Body Bar. This bar gently exfoliated my skin and left it feeling smooth and soft. I have a mild case of Keratosis Pilaris on my upper arms, and the appearance was noticeably reduced after just one use of this exfoliating soap. Several hours after my shower, I was pleasantly surprised to notice the orange patchouli fragrance still gently scenting my bathroom!

The second bar I tried was the Rosewood "Nurture" Bar, a perfect choice for every day use. I was nervous to try bar soap on my face, but this bar was so gentle and moisturizing that I didn't even feel like I needed to use moisturizer after washing with it. The Lavender Lemongrass "Calm" Bar has become my evening bath time favorite. The calming scent of this moisturizing bar truly helps me relax and unwind after a long day.

The quality of Poppy Soap Company's soap bars is top of the line. From the aesthetic beauty of each bar; to the heavenly scents; to the cleansing, moisturizing, and nurturing properties; they simply cannot be beat. After years of using natural and organic soaps (and having hard water), I have come to not expect much in terms of lather. I found each of Poppy Soap Company's bars to have an impressive amount of clean-rinsing lather. Between the soaps themselves and the company's commitment to sustainability, carbon-neutral practices, and advocacy for women, I can't find a single drawback to Poppy Soap Company or their products.


You can purchase your own Mix & Match Organic Soap Set at Poppy Soap Co for $30, or purchase individual bars for $12 each. And just for Natural Parents Network and Fine and Fair readers, Poppy Soap Co. is offering a $10 Gift Certificate on all orders from now through November 25, 2012! Enter code delilah during the ordering process to receive $10 off your order.


For your own chance to win one of three Mix & Match Organic Soap Set from Poppy Soap Co., enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below. (Rafflecopter will be live November 1-25). Three winners will each receive one Mix & Match Organic Soap Set with three bars of soap of their choice. Contest is open to the US and CANADA. Our Rafflecopter entry system opens November 1.
MANDATORY ENTRY: In the box provided in the first Rafflecopter entry, tell us where you would have your prize shipped if you are one of the winners. You must enter your name and email address while leaving a comment in the Rafflecopter system for your entry to count.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. This is part of a larger giveaway hosted by Natural Parents Network. You may enter the whole giveaway at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy all of the participating sites! Please note that each entrant can win only one prize, and NPN will be randomly assigning prizes to the winners. One of the giveaway questions asks which are your top five prizes so we can try to match winners to their preferences. BONUS ENTRIES: See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email sponsorship {at} or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Falling Off and Getting Back On: A Self-Taught Life Lesson

Dear Delilah,

For your first birthday, Grandma Bev and Grandpa Rudy gave you a ride-on toy, a Wheely Bug Bee. It wasn't until after your second birthday that you were actually big enough to finally ride it, and in the past year, you've become a pro at zooming around the house on it, without incident.

Until yesterday.

You had just finished lunch, and it was getting to be nap time, but you were burning off that last burst of energy, riding around your bee. A book caught your eye, and as you moved to quickly dismount your bee and grab the book, the bee slipped out from under you and you fell down, bumping your head in the process. It wasn't a particularly bad or far fall, nor was it a very hard bump, but it startled and upset you, as can be expected when one falls without warning.

After you were sufficiently comforted and calmed down, we headed up to read that book in preparation for nap time. You woke up in good spirits and we headed down stairs where the snack plate I'd prepared awaited you. Before you even noticed the snack, you looked at the Bee, still sitting right where the fall took place. You looked at, then looked at me, and said "Mama, I fell down." I nodded in agreement, and before I could say anything, you climbed back on and announced "I try again."

Off you went, as my heart swelled with pride at your courage and wisdom. Without any prompting from me, and without fear or reservation, you fell off and you got right back on. Hold on to that self-taught lesson, dear daughter, for life will be filled with many unexpected falls, and many opportunities to try again.



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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Latest Family Portrait

Family of Four on a Piano Bench!
I love this photo of our family that my Mother-in-Law captured while we banged away on her piano over the weekend!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

LGBTQ Pride: Child-friendly and Age Appropriate?

We recently attended our local annual LGBTQ Pride event, as we do nearly every year. This was Delilah's second year joining us at Pride, but the first year when I was asked by several people whether such an even was appropriate for children. My answer was, of course, a resounding "yes", as I wouldn't be bringing her to an event that I thought wasn't appropriate for children.

Delilah enjoying the bounce house in the
children's area at Pride.
Her rainbow dress was a big hit!
Our local Pride event includes some children's activities, a play area for children, and plenty of family-friendly entertainment. Most of the more adult-themed entertainment starts at Delilah's bed time. I've never even questioned it as a family-friendly event until people questioned me on it. I made it my mission to determine just what might be so controversial about bringing a child to Pride and to approach it with an open mind.

As we made our way toward the gate, I noted the protesters that show up every year and wondered to myself if exposure to their judgement and condemnation of a celebration of love could be considered inappropriate for children. I saw it more as an opportunity to affirm our own values and beliefs on such matters, should such questions arise.

As we entered the event, a young man, emboldened by the protesters, had approached the gate and referred to some of the women working the entrance as "dykes". Perhaps such offensive language was inappropriate for Delilah to hear, but then she got to hear one of those women calmly and rationally defend herself and explain why the word was offensive, and hear the man apologize and then say she seemed like "a very kind lesbian" after engaging in a conversation of whether or not she was "born gay" (verdict: she was).

Once we passed through the gate and were received by the smiling faces and friendly greetings of various vendors and information booth attendants, I figured we were in the clear. Delilah was fascinated with some of the colorful and creative costumes in the crowd, and basked in the attention and compliments she got on her rainbow dress. She enjoyed the activities in the children's area and was particularly drawn to the live music performances.

At one point, we made our way toward the main stage and I noticed that a performance by drag kings was taking place. When Delilah pointed at a woman in drag and announced to me "Boy", it occurred to me that perhaps this blurring of gender lines might be seen as inappropriate to some. For me, it presented a teaching moment, an opportunity to keep an open dialog about gender roles and expectations, and to affirm my acceptance and celebration of individuals everywhere on the spectrum of gender identity and presentation.

Perhaps to some, children seeing two men or two women embracing as they swayed to music together, or holding hands as they made their way through the festival, or kissing or otherwise showing affection for each other is not age-appropriate. Delilah didn't question it, and I didn't draw attention to it. If she had asked why those two men or those two women were kissing, I'd answer simply and honestly "they love each other like mommy and daddy do."

In the end, I left feeling affirmed in my position that Pride events are family friendly and appropriate for children, assuming their parents are willing to offer guidance and answer any questions that might come up. We will continue to make our local Pride festival an annual family tradition to celebrate diversity in general, and the LGBTQ community specifically.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Meatless Monday: Spinach & Tofu Lasagna

When the chilly fall weather starts coming around, I love baking things like lasagna to warm up the kitchen and fill up the belly with hearty goodness. This lasagna features spinach, silken tofu, and plenty of cheese. It was such a big hit, my husband had three pieces! Thankfully there is still plenty left over, as I've always thought lasagna tastes even better the next day. This recipe makes about 12 servings (unless you, too eat 3 pieces in one sitting!). It takes about 30 minutes to prepare plus 50 minutes of baking time.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 Package Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 Jar Pasta Sauce (or equivalent of home made sauce)
  • About 6 Cups fresh spinach
  • 1 12-oz package of extra firm silken tofu
  • 1 Tbsp each Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey
  • 2 cups each of shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheeses
  • 2 Eggs
  • Italian Seasoning or Bragg Sprinkle, garlic powder, salt and pepper
What You'll Do:
  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • While lasagna noodles are cooking: in a medium bowl, mash tofu with a fork. Add vinegar and honey and mix well. Add two eggs, mix well. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste, then mix in one cup each of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.
  • Prepare a 13X9 pan by spreading just enough sauce to cover the bottom.
  • Drain and rinse lasagna noodles then lay on wax paper to avoid sticking.
  • In the prepared pan, layer as follows: noodles, sauce, 1/3 tofu/cheese mixture, 2 cups spinach, repeat 2 times. End with a layer of noodles, then spread remaining sauce on top. Top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, then sprinkle generously with Italian Seasoning or Bragg Sprinkle.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  • Enjoy!

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