Untangled Living

As a new(ish) mom, it’s really hard to know what you’re going to actually need for your kid. And when. And once you figure out that you need something, there’s usually about 15 different versions of that thing, and you don’t know what’s really good until you get the chance to try it out, and then you end up with a bunch of said item that you don’t like and one you do, so the one gets used and the rest get piled somewhere. (Much to the chagrin of my husband.)

So, I’m here to tell you, that here’s one item you will love.

Untangled Living creates stainless steel children’s dishware. They very kindly sent me a set to test way too long ago, ha. But at the time I received it, my kid wasn’t interested in using cups or bowls or plates or utensils; only now at 13 months is she starting to show some indication that she gets the concept that things like food go inside other things like bowls as opposed to just flinging it across the room. Now that she can be trusted within some level of reasonableness to not just tip her cheerios out of the bowl the second I give it to her, we’re able to use it. Hooray!

The set comes with a kid-sized square plate, little bowl, little cup and a knife and fork.  They’re very simply decorated with either a little gecko or a little butterfly (score big points for tasteful kids’ stuff!) and are perfectly sized for little hands. The plate I particularly love, because it isn’t just a flat plate: it has a nice wide lip all around the edge to keep things from falling off (at least, not falling off *easily*). They’re lightweight, dishwasher safe, totally non-breakable (hear that, glass?) and almost 100% perfect. The only downside: when they do hit the floor they’re kind of loud. But my daughter sees that as an upside, actually, so.

The set retails for $44 CDN. You can order the butterfly or the gecko set (or both!) from their online store, or from one of their fantastic retailers.

But you know what? I have one to give you. Aww. Just go to the Untangled Living website and come back here and tell me in the comments what your favourite part of Untangled Living is by Wednesday, August 25. Make sure you leave me an email address (if you put it in the format name AT domain DOT com it can’t be scraped by a spammer) or another way to contact you. Good luck!

Eco Baby Buys: Get ‘em while you can!

Hey, busy parents. Do you despair of finding eco-friendly yet nice and fun items for your baby at a good price? Eco Baby Buys is here to help.

Eco Baby Buys’ purpose in life is to source baby gear that meets their strict criteria – the use of non-toxic materials and dyes; the use of organic and/or recycled textiles and materials; the use of eco-friendly packaging; and a commitment and adherence to the standards of fair-trade – and to bring them to busy moms and dads at wicked prices.

But you have to act fast! Every day at 9 am EST they post a new deal at ecobabybuys.com, and they’re always limited quantities so you can only get them til they sell out. Once you place an order, Ecobabybuys takes over, maintaining the eco-friendliness by using recycled boxes and packaging material; printing only when necessary and using efficient printers and recycled unbleached paper; encouraging people to choose to ship their items with the USPS since postmen already go to your house every day, and more.

And what great items do they feature? They’ve sold great stuff from companies like Go Natural Baby, Kee-Ka, Keptin-Jr and loads more. So make sure you go sign up today so that you don’t miss out!

Kai Kids Shopping days

Just got a note from Kai Kids:

Save the date!

It’s back – our second Kai Kids on Location Shopping Day on the Danforth!

Many of you couldn’t make it to our first sale in July, but we hope you can make it out to our first of two holiday shopping days on Sat. Nov 1, 2008! (the next one will be on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008).

Taking place in a funky retail space on Danforth Avenue near Greenwood, we will have all of our organic, recycled, upcycled, eco-friendly and Fair Trade products on display to help you with your holiday shopping. Plus, for this one day only, we will have special sales on many items, from BornFree glass baby bottles to organic cotton onesies and sleepers to sexy, eco-friendly maternity and nursing wear!

You can place orders in advance for pickup at our one-day location, or shop in person. Come on out and try things on, have a good look at items you might be curious about and take advantage of our special sale prices.

You’ll also get a look at our newest products:

- Stainless Seal non-toxic, non-leaching, recyclable food containers

- Dress Me Up’s charming, handmade organic teething bon bons, soft cloth balls blocks, bibs and burp cloths

- Adorable organic cotton fruit and veggie-printed PJ’s from New Jammies

- Eco-Me’s make your own non-toxic cleaning kits for home and baby

-Unscented, organic, allergy and eczema-friendly Little Twig bodywash/shampoo, bubble bath and lotion.

Tell your friends, bring along your kids (we’ll have some toys and colouring books to keep the wee ones occupied), and mark your calendars! Join us for green parenting tips, conversation and some fantastic holiday shopping!

Saturday Nov. 1, 2006 at 1390 Danforth Avenue (just east of Linsmore Avenue, one-minute from Greenwood subway station) from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, email info@kaikids.com, or visit our blog at http://www.blog.kaikids.com

All the best,

Nancy and Peter

Natural Pod: Heirloom Kids Kitchens

If ecochick was still four years old, she would want one of these. A lot.

Just released: the beautiful heirloom Chef’s Kitchen, Chef’s Kitchen and Hutch and Chef’s Portable Kitchen. The kitchens are designed and built in British Columbia, Canada with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. Made with perfect dimensions for a child’s imagination, these little kitchens encourage roleplay and mimicking, as well as good old fashioned “play”. With all kinds of knobs and compartments, these amazing units will keep your child occupied in imaginative ways for hours – and will last for years, hence the name “heirloom”. These are built to last and to be passed on to the next generation. Ranging from $165 to $395, if these are used as intended (ie. for children across decades of play) they are a bargain. Check them out at Natural Pod and order now in time for Christmas.

Rawganique: Products for a Fragile Planet

Another Google find: Rawganique. Rawganique makes sweatshop-free organic hemp clothing products in the USA, Canada, & Europe. They also throw organic cotton and linen into the mix to create a wide range of beautiful clothes as well as home products. It’s only when you start clicking around their website that you realize the extent of their product collection: menswear, Ladies’ wear, cool Kids’ stuff.. tons. But check this out: there’s even hemp wedding gear, a massive Home colection including a wide range of bedding, blankets, comforters, pillows – even mattresses!

Rawganique isn’t just a manufacturer: They live, breathe and believe everything they do. Shopping Rawganique is a full, robust experience – check them out.

Nayla Natural Care: ecofriendly right from the start

A big ecochick welcome to a new entry in the ecofriendly Mama and Baby scene: Nayla Natural Care. This Ottawa-based online shop carries excellent natural products for maternity, breastfeeding, feeding, bath and body, and outdoors. The team tests every product they feature on the website, so you know that you’re getting the real scoop (they even rejected a few items they didn’t like!)

Nayla carries products from 20 different natural lines including All Things Jill, Fresh Baby, Kiddopotamus, Three Lollies and a whole whack more. Their site allows you to create or view a gift registry, and you can also buy gift certificates if you’re unsure of what to get. And you can always check out their blog to see what’s new and exciting.

Nayla Natural Care ships across Canada, so check them out!

Maggie’s Functional Organics: Fun, Functional Clothing

Spotted at Arbour Environmental Shoppe: Maggie’s Functional Organics. Maggie’s line runs from baby gear to yoga-style loungewear to fun, stylish tops and even a fun, wide range of socks. And who doesn’t want organic feet, I ask you?

Maggie’s Functional Organics strives to “provide a direct and vital link between the organic, sustainable agricultural community and the end user of these products. This connection should serve to educate and enlighten each player in the production chain of the interdependence we share in serving and promoting the health and general welfare of the planet upon which we live and the people who inhabit it.” The ethos is working: people are saying great things about Maggie’s stuff – perhaps you will too!

Maggie’s Functional Organics are available on their website or at eco-shops across Canada.

Sweetpea Baby Food: This is no jarred food, baby!

Every mom starts out with big ambitions: you’re going to hand-blend your baby food, you’re going to use all healthy, local, fresh organics, and you’re going to freeze it in batches, all ready for when baby starts eating solids. Then the reality of having an infant sets in and you’re lucky if you get your teeth brushed in the morning, let along creating hand-blended organic frozen cubes of baby food.

That’s why Sweetpea Baby Food does the job for you. Another baby business born out of need, as one of the founding moms was experimenting with healthy food blends for her own child and voila! a business was born. Sweetpea foods use all organic, natural ingredients, and everything is wheat and soy free with no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. They have foods suitable for 6+ month and 8+month babies, ranging from yummy Banana Blueberry to Sweet Potato, Veggies and Chicken, and more. They come in individual cubes to suit babies with all appetites, and the website even has great ideas to mix and match the flavours in plenty of different recipes to expand your baby’s food repertoire.

Sweetpea Baby Food is available across Canada as listed on their website.

ecomama.ca

Natalie Carrière McGowan had a challenge. She had triplets on the way and wanted to find natural, environmentally friendly products to use when they arrived. She found lots of great products online, but thought, you know, that would have been a lot easier had there just been one site where I could have found it all.

So after she gave birth to her triplets, she gave birth to ecomama.ca, where tons of great environmentally friendly products are available in one online location. ecomama.ca carries great lines like Druide, BornFree baby bottles, Imagiplay toys and much more. Located in ecochick’s local burb of Ottawa, ecomama.ca ships across Canada. They also recently opened a kiosk for those of you who prefer to shop in person.

ecomama.ca also has a blog where she tells you about store news and cool initiatives like Goods4Girls which is helping to provide reusable sanitary products to women in Africa.

You can find and buy all her great products at ecomama.ca!

Natural Pod


One area where the green initiative has been thoroughly embraced is the market for baby and children’s products. Parents are naturally more worried about what toxic products might do to their children and therefore give the items their children wear, use, and play with far higher scrutiny. Many parents have taken it upon themselves not only to find these items, but to help others find them too. Fantastic baby and kids’ stores featuring natural, ecofriendly products are popping up all over.

One such store is Natural Pod. Natural Pod was created from a desire to find innovative, natural products and bring them to parents and their kids. Natural Pod carries a wide range of very cool products, from PaperPod rockets featured on ecochick, to squishy soft baby toys to these exquisite, handmade to order quilts. Many items are organic in whole or in part, are fair-trade sourced, made from recycled or recyclable materials, or in other ways are more sustainable for your child and for the planet.

On their website the categories are arranged thoughtfully, giving you options for age range (toddler or baby?), type of play (imaginative play? House play?), or toy type (dolls, bath toys, arts and crafts, and plenty more).

Natural Pod is an online store, but they’re located in Vancouver (so Canadian prices and shipping costs – yay!) If you prefer to see before you buy, and if you live in the Vancouver area, you can visit one of their store events. They’ll bring their wares to a central location so that you can check them all out – what a great idea! The schedule is posted here.For the rest of us, we’ll have to content ourselves with the online experience, but don’t worry, they ship across Canada and the U.S.

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