As we embark on Potty Training, I introduce, the Boon Bench.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We recently were lucky enough to receive a Boon Potty Bench. This anit your Momma's potty seat, ladies. Yes, Boon is such an awesome company, it can even make teaching your child to go diaperless stylish, trendy and oh so easy.

This is the best, most versitile potty seat out there. We are maddly in love. I mean, how can I get this excited about a place where my son will be plopping down excrement in a few short weeks? ( We hope?) Well, this potty seat also doubles as a solid, strong step stool. Ha, I said stool, how ironic. Yes, I have a sick mind, but alas, I am whipped today, exhausted by a friend's visit with her two small children, excited about starting potty training, and stil reeling from the announcement my almost non verbal son mustered this evening... " I poo." Music to my ears. A complete phrase! And in true style of his father, it's about a bodily function. I am sure we are on the right path now, both with speech and toilet training.

So let me tell you the features of this potty seat, other than the fact it matches my FrogPod. Ok, so what if I am thinking of painting my bathroom white and green to match my Boon products? Do you think that's a bit overkill? No, but really, this seat is plenty big, made of Boon's usual sturdy high quality plastic, and has sliding storage on either side for things like toilet paper and books. The little "catchers mitt" is soft and easy to install, the drawer is easy to slide in and out, and when its not in use, it is a cool step stool that looks like this:

Groovy right? So, if you have a little one getting ready to learn to use the toilet, This is a great versatile piece that will make any little one a happy camper. Sagan gives it a two thumbs up! Now lets see if he understands what it is for. Check out the Boon Potty Bench at local retailers near you!!! I'll keep you updated.

There are choices out there - why not review some?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hey it's a review site, so, I will take a small break from all the goodies I have to review and tell you my take on some of the best tasting and worst looking GFCF foods I have given Sagan thus far.

Enjoy Life Snicker Doodles - Not the prettiest cookie you will ever see, but nice texture. Sagan loves them. He asked for one tonight actually with a very clear "Cookie, Please". This is the same kid who asked for things in his highchair up till two weeks ago by slamming his head backwards and screaming. I prefer his sweet little polite voice. Wouldn't you?

Thank you Bob, and your Red Mill. I don't know if you paint it red, or, maybe it's just colored red with beet juice and "Annato" like all of Sagan's foods lately, but, I love you and your big honkin' Ernest Hemmingway beard. We eat your pancake mix, your bread flour, ( who knew you could do that with garbanzo beans?) and I even bought that wacky bacterial outter casing stuff called Xanthan gum so my baking didnt have the consistancy of a rock. Thank you Bob for caring about what goes into our mouths. Love your stuff.

The plain ones taste just like Cheetos. These are Sagans favorite snack, but they are seem high in salt, so I limit them. Gluten Free Casein free junk food. He'd eat the whole bag if I let him.

Our favorite entree that we all eat is my Gluten Free chicken tenders. I use egg, gluten free corn meal, and lots of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. The best chicken to use for these is that really tender stuff that comes in the huge packages from Sams Club. I hate how each tender seems to be suspended on a nasty little tendon, but I pull the meat off, roll it in the corn meal mix and then fry it in a light canola oil, and it has the texture and crunch of really good fried clams. The bigger peices I store away for the next day and make organic Chicken Parm with Rice pasta and soy cheese. I have to say I make those chicken tenders three times a week and everyone in the house devours them, even Sophia.

I make slip ups here and again, like I got him Soy pudding thinking I was being all slick and what not, and come to find out it has Wheat Starch in it. Didn't seem to have much effect on him. If I give him bread or pizza, then I was seeing the head banging and "gluten fog" come rolling in for the day. We don't even let him near stuff like that anymore. Eventually I hope to have his diet more fine tuned, but this is the best I can do with only three weeks experience. all I can say is thank Garsh for the internets.

Celebrate Green for guilt free Holidays that are Enviro-friendly!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wondering how to not clog up the environment ( and your lives) with more plastic and clutter around holidays? Well look no further. Celebrate Green is your one stop website for all your green celebration needs. There is something for everyone.

Lynn and Corey are a mother daughter team whose passion is "greening up" celebrations with tips and tricks that are affordable and planet friendly. From reusable gift bags ( a passion of mine!) eco friendly halloween bags and costumes, and even easter baskets, no holiday tip is left unturned.

Now, as well as their extremely easy to use and interesting website, they have a book out called Celebrate Green! It is chock full of eco friendly holiday tips that will quickly become tradition in your household.
Check out Celebrate Green! And learn more about keeping your holidays healthy and eco-savy this season, while making fun your family's number one priority.

A Greener Home - Heating with Pellets is a great Eco-alternative

Today I want to talk to you a little about how Stu and I heat our home in the cold New Jersey Winter months. We moved into the house two years ago, only to find a very nice pellet stove in the basement, stratigically placed in a location that would allow hot air to blast up the stairs of our small, bi level home. Faced with the daunting tasks that came with a pellet stove - buying pellets, lugging them to the garage, and the worst - keeping the stove clean, we weren't even sure at first if we were going to use it. Then we learned of the savings - both to our wallets and the environment. Pellet stoves are a great way to heat your home. They look cool, they are odorless, and our pellet stove saves us a ton of money. I'll explain.

An average 20 to 30 year old home of 1500 to 1800 square feet like ours, will consume approximately one 40 lb bag of pellets within a 24-hour period of time with a 40,000 BTU stove. We have baseboard heaters and they do not even turn on most of the winter months, and it gets down below 15 degrees for many days in the winter.

Pellet fuel is made from the sawdust left over from lumber manufacturing. It is dried, ground up to the consistency of course flour and fed through a mill that compresses it into small cylinders 6 mm in diameter and up to 25 mm in length. The mill puts such pressure on the wood flour that the natural lignin that gave strength to the original tree is reformed to produce a shiny glazing on the surface of each pellet. In fact, pellets are much denser than natural wood. You can test this by dropping a pellet in a glass of water: it sinks!

You can't burn pellets in a regular wood stove; they would just lie there in a smoldering pile. But a pellet stove is smart. A turning auger slowly feeds pellets from a storage hopper to a small pot in the firebox that holds just a handful of fuel. A fan pulls air through the pot to produce a bright and hot, yet clean and controlled fire. The exhaust is then passed through a heat exchanger that transfers the heat into the room. A solid state circuit board controls everything: the auger speed, combustion air fan and heat circulation fan, turning them all on and off at the right times. Once properly set up, a pellet stove is a clean-burning and reliable heater. There is no visible smoke in pellet stove exhaust.

The burning of pellet fuel is such a controlled process that a regular wood stove chimney is unnecessary. Instead, a simple double-wall pellet vent is used to route the exhaust to outside. Under ideal conditions a stove can be vented horizontally through the wall like a clothes dryer, but a rise of at least five feet is usually recommended, so you need to get advice from your dealer.

The environment gains in a couple of ways when wood pellets are used for heating. First, pellets are made from sawdust that would otherwise end up as waste in a landfill where it would decompose and emit carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important greenhouse gases. Rising amounts of the greenhouse gases create the problem of global warming and may also be responsible for the climate changes that have produced extreme weather events in recent years. Although carbon dioxide is also a byproduct of pellet burning, at least homes are heated in the process instead of just letting the sawdust rot in a landfill.

The second environmental benefit is that home heating with pellets almost always displaces the use of fossil fuels like oil and gas. Burning fossil fuels increases greenhouse gases because the million-year-old carbon they are made of is converted to carbon dioxide and sent on a one-way trip into the atmosphere. In contrast, the carbon dioxide from wood pellet combustion is re-absorbed by young trees as they grow, so it is a renewable cycle.

Why is pellet heating such an appealing option? For one thing the 20 kilogram bags of pellets are convenient to use and compact to store. Also, a pellet appliance can run unattended for up to 24 hours on a hopper load of fuel, which is a big advantage for working families. Perhaps a less obvious reward is the knowledge that you are using a renewable fuel that will not contribute to the global warming problem, one that is also a recycled waste product from lumber operations that might otherwise end up in a land fill site.

When you heat your house with a pellet stove, you can feel good about it in more ways than one. Check back with us in a couple years when we hit phase 2 of our "Go Green" house plan...installing soloar panels and buying a hybrid minivan!

Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck is Sensational Children's Music

Friday, October 3, 2008

So I want to talk about our new favorite kid's cd, "Special Kind of Day" by this great kid's group, "Big Truck". I'm sure alot of you moms have heard of Rebecca Frezza and her band Big Truck on XM radio Kids, because that's where my friend and her kids discovered this band, and after looking her up, I was mesmerized. Instantly hooked. Simply put, Rebecca's voice is delicious. These songs are reminiscent of the Laurie Berkner genre, but at the same time, much more folksy and earthy, and you will find yourself listening to "Special Kind of Day" when your kids aren't even in the car. Rebecca's well trained voice and well produced songs are the main ingredients to this fun and lively band's music. I assure you, when your kids are in the car, they will ask for this CD over and over again, like mine do. This woman's voice is captivating!
Below is the video for my FAVORITE Big Truck song, "Carnival Ride". Go check it out:

Like it? Want it? Well, you are in luck, because Rebecca has sent me a copy of this awesome CD for a giveaway! I'm not throwing this one out there for just any comment, oh no. Check out the You Tube video of "Carnival Ride" . Come back and tell me in a comment what color shirt Rebecca has on when she is dancing in front of the Yellow and Green buildings. I'll give you a hint - her pants are orange. Also, check out her band's site "Big Trucks" to see and hear samples of their other great cds. I promise you, you will become an instant fan like we did! Contest Ends October 15th, so good luck!