Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Sticky Buns


This morning, Amelia woke up at 4:30 a.m, so in between the crying fits, I found time to make Quick Sticky Buns.  I found this recipe a long time ago and it is sooooo good - not too sweet - just quick and perfect!

Makes about 10 buns.

Ingredients:

Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
Unsalted Butter
Dark Brown Sugar
One medium banana
Pecans or Walnuts
Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place small slice of unsalted butter in each muffin tin.

Place slice of banana on top of butter.

Dash cinnamon on top of banana.

Place crumble of dark brown sugar over each banana.

Place your choice of nuts on top of dark brown sugar.

Place one buttermilk biscuit on top of each to cover bun.

Place in oven for approximately 10 minutes (a little longer if using stoneware) - until tops of biscuits are golden brown.

Mmmm......

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Toddler Grazing Trays


One of the newest things that Noah and I have been doing for our morning snack is implementing Grazing Trays.

In reading several articles and research, the blood sugar of a toddler drops significantly around 1030 in the morning and it is important to have healthy options for snack.

Creating a grazing tray of various different items that he can choose at his discretion, gives him options and makes mommy happy that he is eating healthy..... Now we just have to work on not turning the trays over....and keeping the dogs away from them!

This one is simply an ice cube tray and has celery and carrots with ranch dip, cucumbers, apples, pita chips with hummus and bell peppers.




This grazing tray was used with a silicone bread tray and featured apples, walnuts, pita bread and carrots - with a side of watermelon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Betty Crocker Molasses Cookies * GIVEAWAY







Love molasses cookies, but want a quick and easy (and mess-free) way to cook them?


Betty Crocker has come to our rescue and created a very quick and easy way of making delectable molasses cookies - perfect for the fall season!


With a delectably soft and chewy texture, and a great spice cookie taste, new Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie mix combines real molasses flavor with hints of cinnamon and spice for a homemade taste that you will love - as my family did!


Coming this fall, this fantastic mix will be able to be found in your local grocery baking aisle.


In addition, you can click here to download a printable coupon for .75 off the purchase of one (1) Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie mix pouch today!


I made theses cookies while Noah was at preschool - and most of the time was holding the baby!


With only 3 additional ingredients to add, this recipe was super easy and was quick and then delicious too!


Here are some pictures of the prep....














And then some of Noah enjoying the cookie!





I was graced the opportunity to receive not only the Betty Crocker Molasses mix, but also a great nonstick baking sheet, a red Betty Crocker stirring spoon and a great read Betty Crocker apron!  I loved the gift pack almost as much as I loved the taste of the cookie....




Would you like to win a great Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie Set for yourself?


Here's how to enter and win (Click "Read More"):

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daddy Scrubs Review

Several months ago, I attended the DFW Expo at Fair Park and was introduced to many great companies that I was unfamiliar with - or had heard about and was very excited to meet.

One of these companies was DaddyScrubs.com.  I had never heard of the company, but was captivated by their product, as I am one that is very sentimental and it cued into that.

It is far too often that the expectant mother receives all the love and attention as her belly grows and grows....and the Daddy falls in the shadow of the belly that he helped to create.

I was so blessed to work with DaddyScrubs.com and receive a pair of dark blue "I'm the Daddy" scrubs for Jonathan to wear at the arrival of our new baby girl Amelia.



Jonathan was made to wear the "hospital" scrubs while in the operating room, but quickly changed into his Daddy Scrubs as soon as he was able.

Sporting the scrubs around the hospital, we received many comments as to where he had received the scrubs, and we were very likely to oblige!  Jonathan was able to strut his stuff and proclaim "I'M THE DADDY" without literally having to shout it from the rooftops.

Sleek in design, the quality of the scrubs is that of hospital scrubs - strong and durable.

Here's a great video of Amelia's first bath and the Daddy Scrubs in action:


Another great option for these scrubs is the variety of colors - from Navy Seal Blue, to Hunter Green and then Killer Khaki.

In addition to the scrubs, we received a great "I'm the Daddy" white tee that Jonathan has been able to sport around town :)  It looks great on him and he is so proud when he wears it!

The DaddyScrubs.com website is filled with great gifts, outside of the scrubs and tees, including gift sets, hoodies, keepsake books, coffee mugs and more!

Make sure to visit the DaddyScrubs.com website, Fan them on Facebook and follow their Tweets!

I would highly recommend spoiling the Daddy to be in your life with a keepsake that he will adore while he wears and is able to keep for a lifetime!


Disclaimer:
The sample product(s) reviewed was provided free of charge. Going Green with Noah was under no obligation to review it if we so chose, nor was Going Green with Noah under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of Going Green with Noah , and are completely honest and without influence.Going Green with Noah  has reviewed this product(s) because we like it and think it would benefit our readers. Going Green with Noah will not responsible for prizes that have not been received, but will make every attempt to assist winner(s) in securing them in a timely fashion.  It is the winner’s responsibility to make contact with Going Green with Noah  in a timely manner (within 30 days after the close of the giveaway) to report that a prize(s) has not been received or the prize(s) may be void.  


Monday, September 19, 2011

Starbucks looks to recycle all cups by 2015


By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling

If Starbucks is to achieve its bold goal of ensuring that each and every one of the 4 billion cups its consumers use every year is recyclable or reusable by 2015, it's going to take help from other retailers, including competitors, and especially consumers. That was one of the takeaways from a webinar held last week by the coffee behemoth that shed light on its cup recycling ambitions.
Since 2009, Starbucks has implemented recycling programs in 18 markets, established partnerships with several municipalities and concluded three recycling pilots. The company also wrapped up another project late last year with International Paper that demonstrated that its ubiquitous paper cups can indeed be recycled into new ones.
Last week's webinar, held as part of the company's third "Cup Summit" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, featured a panel that included representatives from all corners of the cup supply chain that highlighted how scale and cooperation will be critical in realizing Starbucks' aspirations.
"Yeah, there's 4 billion Starbucks paper cups out there every year that we generate, but that's not a lot to a paper company, and the desire and need for scale is what we're really talking about is the most important aspect here," said Starbucks Director of Environmental Impact Jim Hanna, who moderated the panel.
Despite the mounds of paper cups Starbucks produces every year, paper company Georgia-Pacific could process all of them in four days at its Green Bay, Wisconsin mill, said Hanna, who also noted that the company has a 100-percent recycling volume target for all its cups by 2015.
To get the needed scale, according to Hanna, Starbucks will need to work with other companies, including competitors such as Canada's ubiquitous coffee-and-donut chain Tim Hortons, which initiated a similar cup recycling project in 2008 in Toronto.
According to Tim Hortons Environmental Affairs Manager Carol Patterson, who was present on the panel, the company worked with other retailers in the area to build the needed volume for their successful cup recycling initiative.
"So if you sort of take that as a microcosm of what could be if we collaborated and ensured that all retailers and all waste industries were taking the materials, [it's] a perfect example of how collaboration could work to build volume and to have a marketable product," she said.
As part of the project, according to Patterson, Tim Hortons actively engaged their employees while making trash and recycling bins easy to use for customers.
Customers, according to members of the panel, will be an important piece of making this all work because if the cups are contaminated they'll be harder to market.
Joe Burke, Action Carting Environmental Services director of sales and panelist, said his company, which provides recycling services to Starbucks, could handle some contamination, but it would best if customers would just get rid of any fluid before recycling the cup.
Peter Senge, a senior lecturer at MIT who appeared on the panel, said that this will require a shift in consumer thinking and added that personalizing each party's role in the project will help make it successful.
"If I know that emptying out my cup — which takes all of one second — will make Joe's business successful, which will make the recycling thing work, then, boom, I'm now paying attention to part of the system that I was ignoring before," said Senge.
However, the big obstacle, said Hanna, is the lack of infrastructure for consumers in some parts of the country to recycle their cups.
"It's a tough goal and we only have a few years left to reach that goal," said Hanna, who remains optimistic.
Other topics discussed by the panel included Starbucks' efforts to encourage customers to bring in their own mugs. Currently, Starbucks will take 10 cents off the price of a beverage served in a mug or tumbler brought in by a customer. However, Hanna noted that this incentive has had limited success. Upping the discount significantly, he said, would quickly turn Starbucks into a nonprofit company.
Also brought up was Starbucks' decision to use No. 5 plastic, polypropelene, for its cold cups over the more commonly recyclable plastics No. 1 and No. 2.
"The reason we did that is we look at the total environmental footprint of our cups from cradle to grave, you know, manufacturing and raw material and disposals and all these things, and what we were discovering was on the manufacturing side, by switching to polypropylene, we significantly reduced the carbon footprint of those cups by over 45 percent from the previous material," he said.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quietude Quilts * Handmade Doll Quilt (GIVEAWAY)


For my most avid followers, many of you know now that our Miss Amelia Grace arrived ..... and at 39 weeks!  We still can't believe she stuck it out so long!
Now our family is complete with a boy and a girl - and it has been quite fun buying for a little girl - even more challenging, because I don't want to bombard the closet with only pink :)
I am excited and looking forward to her growing up and playing dress-up and house.  It will be great fun!
I was thrilled to meet Kelsey over at Quietude Quilts and their beautiful handmade doll quilts and handmade doll beds!  
Not only can I dream about playing dolls with Amelia when she is older with this quilt and pillow set, but because Amelia is so little right now, I was able to also use the quilt on her.
Kelsey sent me an adorable double-sided reversible quilt, featuring strawberries on one side and a great pink graphic pattern on the other.  It reminded me of the days of playing with my Strawberry Shortcake dolls!


Here are some great pictures of Amelia sporting the doll quilt:






And....who says that only girls can play with the quilts?  Noah took the quilt away from me while I was trying to photograph it and made it his own!


This is considered a "whole cloth" quilt, which means it is not pieced but is a whole piece of fabric with a pattern of quilting thread on it. 
The doll quilt measures approximately 18" by 24" with coordinating double fold binding, machine then hand sewn, to strengthen edges. Also included are a coordinating ruffle pillow sham, pillow insert, and throw pillow. Pillow sets are approximately 5" by 8", and throw pillow approximately 5" square. This bedding set will perfectly fit 15" and 18" dolls such as American Girl and Waldorf dolls.
The craftsmanship is impeccable and the memories are sure to be plenty!
Quietude Quilts has such a vast array of different patterned quilts, that there is surely one to match the taste of each person that desires a quilt for their little girl (or boy) and their doll.
Here are some of my other personal favorites from their site, but there are still so many others:



               



Partnering with her husband, this duo not only creates beautiful quilts, but also creates custom doll beds that can be utilized for play or for photography sets as well!  
Their wooden doll bed is the perfect heirloom toy for your favorite child or photography prop for your newborn, and is beautifully finished with all natural, child safe, organic milk paint. Children, doll collectors, and professional photographers alike will adore their handcrafted bed which will become a treasured family keepsake passed down from mother to daughter.

Bed:
Kelsey's husband handcrafts their 1:3 scale beds of 100% FSC certified sustainably harvested solid premium radiata pine wood (this very high quality wood is beautiful unfinished, painted, or stained), and constructs them using traditional skill mortise and tenon joinery which uses no nails or screws, no metal or plastic. They sand the rounded headboards by hand for a soft finish.

Painting:
They use old-fashioned milk paint, produced locally in our area, which is 100% organic and child safe. It is available in 20 traditional historical colors; other color options are shown above. Your bed will be painted to show through some wood grain for a beautiful antique appearance (ask for an "add on" if you would prefer full coverage painting). 

Accessories:
A white muslin-covered high quality foam mattress is included, and nestles snugly into your bed frame. Doll bedding is sold separately. You can ask for an add-on or request for purchase later a removable canopy frame that fits this bed to create a canopy bed.
Sustainable, handcrafted and impecable, the price tag of only $60.00 makes this doll bed a must have!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS?
These quilts are made with care care and love and come in a great variety of patterns and themes!  I really loved the quilt with the pillows - and so did Noah.  What a great heirloom for your family and great gift for a little girl!  
BUY NOW!
Visit Quietude Quilts to view their great array of quilts and beds and buy!  During this giveaway - from Friday, September 16 - Friday, September 30th, receive 15% off any quilt or bedding (excludes doll beds) by using the code: QQWITHNOAH15.  Share with your friends and family! With Christmas only 14 weeks away - why not buy this great gift now!
Make sure to show some love and go and visit Quietude Quilts on Facebook - Let them know I sent you!
  WIN!!!
Two winners will receive their choice of a Quietude Quilts doll quilt

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Carmex Goodies Kit (**GIVEAWAY**)


I have collaborated with A Nation of Moms, where they are giving away a fantastic Carmex Goodies Gift Set after I reviewed the product! It was a good time and a great product!  See below for the Rafflecopter Entry form and don't forget to go and visit A Nation of Moms - a great site for Moms!
There are only a couple of names that come to my mind when people ask if your lips are dry. One of the most prominent names in the lip moisture industry is Carmex, and I must say that I was extremely excited when I was introduced to their two new flavors of lip balm – Carmex Lime Twist and Carmex Vanilla click sticks.
One great feature of these “click sticks” is truly in the name of the product.  Instead of turning the dial and the entire tube jutting out and causing you to have to retract a portion of what you turned, the click stick allows you to truly hear and control the amount of product that you choose to use!
I recently gave birth to our second child and between the delivery, the hospital stay and the 60 plus days of 100+ degree temperatures in the Dallas heat, chapstick and lip balm were a must have.  These two click sticks were a great resource in a great time of need, as my lips were parched!  Not only do the Carmex click sticks refresh dry lips, but they also provide much needed SPF 15 to prevent the blazing sun from burning my lips.
Carmex provided a .15oz tube of each of their new flavors to me to try! Fun!
The lime twist was not my favorite, but it was still moisturizing and refreshing on my lips.  It brought me back to a time when I was on the beach – not that it was too long ago – but lime, in general, is not my favorite flavor.  The vanilla twist was definitely my favorite of the two, as it too had the intense rehydration that I needed, but also had the right amount of vanilla to be enjoyable.
Ultimately, though, my favorite product that I received to test was Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm. It has a sleek design, featuring a stainless steel tube and mimics that of a thin lipstick tube.  It, too, has SPF 15, but also has aloe and Vitamin E infused into it.  Carmex boasts many shades within this line, but the one that I tested, the clear, was my favorite, as I could wear it over my lipstick to create a healthy lip and smile!
I am pretty particular about which products I use in general, so it is nice to know that the Carmex brand click sticks have the same effective ingredients found in their standard line, including beeswax, salicylic acid and methol, but also incorporate three additional moisturizers not found in the original line.  In addition,Carmex is going green, which makes me extremely happy! The product and the amount are the same but we are eliminating 20% of the plastic from the jar bottom. This will save 35 tons of plastic from being wasted and from being shipped so less fuel will be used.
The Carmex click sticks are great to have in the blistering sun, but also in that “change of air” fall temperatures – easy, fun and fresh, I loved the Carmex click sticks!
Carmex is the go-to brand when I am looking for a new tube of chapstick, and with great new products coming down the pipeline, such as these, it makes me extremely excited to see the future!  As a mom, I’m always looking for a great product in a convenient location and these great new Carmex products can be found at Walgreens, Walmart and CVS!
If you’d like to check out the new Carmex Lime Twist and Vanilla click sticks, they are available at your local Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS. Make sure you head over to the Carmex Facebook page and also, make sure to visit them on Twitter and enter the Carmex Lip Balm Twitter giveaway!
  WIN!!!
Carmex Goodies Kit consisting of the following:
  • 1 Carmex Lime Twist click stick
  • 1 Carmex Vanilla click stick
  • 1 Awesome Picnic blanket
  • 1 Carmex Moisture Plus® clear satin gloss finish

THIRSTIES Duo Diaper (**GIVEAWAY**)


I have collaborated with A Nation of Moms, where they are giving away a Thirsties brand Duo Diaper after I reviewed the product! It was a good time and a great product!  See below for the Rafflecopter Entry form and don't forget to go and visit A Nation of Moms - a great site for Moms!
We only went green in our lives after we found out that we were pregnant with Noah.
Even then, it is hard to say that you do everything right and have exonerated everything in your life that qualifies as harmful. So, we simply do what we can, within means, to make our lives healthier while helping the environment as well.
When Noah was about 3 months old, I began the adventure of cloth diapering.  We still do not cloth diaper100%, but still, a significant amount of our diapering is.
I love experimenting with new diapers that I have yet to try yet, so when I recently had the opportunity to receive and review the Thirsties Duo Diaper, I jumped at the opportunity.
Free of VOC’s, PVC phthalates, lead and latex, in conjunction with a hemp/cotton/polyester blend, I felt extremely comfortable using this diaper on Noah’s sensitive bottom.
The design of the diaper alone is so cute, and this is only one of several options of prints that are available in the Duo Diaper.  In addition to being cute, the outer shell is completely waterproof.
Economical, as well, the diaper retails for $19.50 each for prints, yet these diapers only have 2 stages from birth to potty training, so it is easy on your wallet as well.
The microfiber fleece insert for the diaper, after washing a couple of times prior to use, was extremely absorbent and we had no issues with leaking.  It was definitely different than my other inserts as it is a pocket insert that can be inserted on either side of the diaper.  Very cool.
One great feature that is unique to the Thirsties brand diaper is that the insert does not need to be removed prior to washing.  The agitation from the washer will pull the insert out relieving you of getting urine or poop on your hands!
The Thirsties diaper, while on, handled the rough and tumble activity of a nearly 2 year old quite well, with elastic measures that prevented leaking!

THE THIRSTIES WEBSITE
Not only are the products great, but Thirsties brand diapers also has an amazing website that provides product information and warranty guarantees.  It also doubles as a blog, filled with information articles on cloth diaper care, giveaways and more!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS?
I love cloth diapers!  Even more so, I love cloth diapers that are of quality materials, easy to use, easy to clean, affordable and absorbent.  The Thirsties Duo Diaper provided us with all of these features!
I think the only thing that I would like to see as an option, and as previously mentioned, is the option of snaps rather than a velcro closure, as I find that they last longer through the wears and washes.  Snaps, also, are harder for toddlers to undo.
BUY NOW!
Thirsties not only manufactures the Duo Diaper line, but also a wide array of other cloth diapers such as theDuo Wrap, the Duo Fab FittedHemp Prefolds and standard diaper covers for the prefolds.

Buy any of these great Thirsties products at a local retailer, which can be found by clicking here.
Make sure to show some love and go and visit Thirsties Diapers on Facebook and on Twitter!
  WIN!!!
It’s winner’s choice of color and size of a Thirsties Duo Diaper!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

BLOGMANIA SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Heirloom Wooden Toys (**EXTRA BONUS ENTRIES**)


**** HEIRLOOM WOODEN TOYS****

I am the mother of a little boy who is just now learning to use his imagination.  Noah is little boy with lots of energy, an inquisitive mind and soul full of life and passion.  With the temperatures in Dallas soaring well over 100 degrees for nearly 40 days straight ~ and no rain in sight ~ the opportunity to play outdoors has been extremely limited.
Luckily, we had the great opportunity of receiving a fantastic historical, and eco-friendly, fort from Heirloom Wooden Toys that is perfect for indoor play. Manufactured by MyFortBox.com, the Tower of London measures about 48″ x 45″ x 56″ tall. It is a good size, so make sure you have a nice place to construct it!
The fort was quite easy to setup, but I think that a couple of diagrams would have helped quite significantly with a 20 month old running around you anxious to see it completed!  We hoped to construct it while he was asleep, but I tend to get exhausted by the end of the night being 9 months pregnant!
Constructed completely out of a thin cardboard, this Tower of London is completely recyclable, making it green and mama very happy.

Upon building the castle, Noah went ballistic! Running around and screaming with excitement, he crawled in and out of the fort multiple times and had a great time peeking his head through the windows and drawbridges.
My husband and I would alternate who would hide inside the fort with him, while the other snuck around and surprised Noah as to which window we would pop our head through. The squeals just made me laugh and is a memory that we will never forget.
The fort sits in our unfurnished dining room, the perfect set for such a structure. It’s quite funny to watch Noah finish his breakfast or dinner and then ask to be let down so that he can quickly run and play in the fort once again!
Even this morning, while 9 months pregnant and with an aching back, he runs to the fort, runs back to me, and then stands in the hallway pointing back to his Tower of London and says “mama” ~ No rest for the weary ~ Yet a great hit with our little man!
          

In addition to the great fun that he has had inside the fort, the Tower of London also comes with 5 washable markers so that your child can color it as he or she pleases. You can see the lovely self-portrait of “mama” in the tower window and the great time that Noah had drawing on it himself. Unfortunately, he didn’t know when or where to stop and had to be put in time-out after coloring all over our walls. Good thing those markers were washable!
Here is a video of Noah and Daddy coloring on the fort and having a great time:
For the older child, the fort also comes with a real quill feather and instructions on how to create and use invisible ink! I would have LOVED this when I was a child!
Finally, to make the fort your child’s own, a deed is provided to bequeath ownership! How fun!
We had (and still do) a great time playing with the Tower of London castle!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS?
First and foremost, I love that Heirloom Wooden Toys is not only a family-owned business, but also makes a concerted effort to provide earth-friendly toys that promote creative play, both indoors and out, while teaching a bit of history!
I loved the Tower of London fort. I think that it would be more apt to provide crayons rather than markers…as well as some diagrams for construction, but other than that, the fort was extremely easy to setup and Noah has had such a wonderful time playing with his new historical fort.
MY HUSBAND’S FINAL THOUGHTS?
He, too, had fun roaming around with Noah, but he did worry about Noah paper-cutting his little fingers on the holes within the cardboard that are used to pull the windows and doors closed.
Otherwise, he said that he would have loved to have one as a kid ~ and being made out of cardboard ~ and easily able to setup and breakdown was perfect for the home!
Although Heirloom Wooden Toys only has this one fort available on their site, they do have a plethora of other great eco-friendly toys and products, to encourage and promote your child’s imagination! Put down the handheld games, turn off the TV and peruse the wonders that we all had when we were a child!
                               
                                      
Buy the MyFortBox Cardboard Tower of London now for $39.99 with only $5 shipping or Free Shipping on orders over $99!
OR **WIN** one during BlogMania!
From today until the event in October, A Nation of Moms is offering **extra bonus entries** into the event by doing any of the extra optional follows at the end of each of these BlogMania Sponsor Spotlights.