Category Archives: Green Parenting

GIVEAWAY: Ergobaby Wrap Carrier

I am very excited to host my biggest giveaway yet! In partnership with my psychotherapy business, Abigail Burd, LCSW, I am raffling off an Ergobaby Wrap. I believe firsthand in the benefit of keeping baby close and wearing a them in a hug.

win an ergobaby wrap

For the parents that already love babywearing, what makes this wrap unique is that it is a hybrid stretchy wrap, half way between a stretchy wrap (like a Moby) and a woven wrap. It is literally made of yoga pants material. So imagine the comfort and gentle compression of your favorite yoga pants. The wrap is perfect for newborns. Since it keeps it’s shape better than other stretchy wraps it will also last you longer and work for bigger babies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those that can’t wait until the end of the contest, or if you don’t win and want to buy a wrap, now is a great time. I have a promo code for 20% off the Ergobaby Wrap and the Ergobaby Swaddler. Enter ocnewborn at checkout.

20% off ergo baby wrap discount code20% off ergobaby swaddler discount code

Green Kid Crafts – Free Trial or 40% Off a Subscription

I first heard about Green Kid Crafts last winter, when Little Bird and I visited Paint the Walls.  Green Kid Crafts is a San Diego based company that makes hands-on and eco-friendly Discovery Boxes, Creativity Kits, and STEM Science Kits (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The subscription delivers a monthly box, perfect for kids ages 3-10 years-old.

green kid crafts

We recently received a free sample box. We thought it was great! Our box contained three different activity kits around one theme (ours was botany and of course our Little Bird was happy to have another excuse to get out into the garden.) Since we really liked Green Kid Crafts, I have signed up as an affiliate –and just in time to forward some special offers.

FREE TRIAL FLASH SALE: JUNE 16 – JUNE 19

For the first time ever Green Kid Crafts is offering a free trial! Enjoy a free sample-size project from one of their most popular Discovery Boxes! You just pay shipping. You will be automatically enrolled in a Green Kid Crafts monthly subscription*, and may cancel at anytime. For a limited time only and while supplies last. Go here to get your free trial:http://www.greenkidcrafts.com/free-trial/

Your free trial includes the Soap Making Kit which includes:

– All the materials to make your own soap
– Supplies for kids to get creative with colors, glitter, embedded treasures, and different mold shapes, including a silicone mold
– Bonus 20-page Kitchen Science digital Green Kid Magazine, filled with fun project ideas and experiments.

*Note: This is a sample kit. This Soap Making Kit is one of 3 projects from the award-winning Kitchen Science Discovery Box. 

FATHER’S DAY SALE — IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN 40% OFF SALE: UNTIL JUNE 15TH 

If you’ve been considering joining Green Kid Crafts, try now! Thanks to Father’s Day, you can get 40% off a new Green Kid Crafts subscription! Use code “HEARTDAD” at checkout to receive 40% off a new subscription. This coupon is valid through June 15, 2014Green Kid Crafts costs $19.95 per month and ships for free. With this coupon, you’ll get your first month for $11.97 – a heck of a deal! Green Kid Crafts is a monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials needed to inspire creative and educational fun. With themes like Music, Ocean, Mad Scientist, Nocturnal Animals and much more, these Discovery Boxes deliver everything needed for unique activities that parents and kids can enjoy together. The box is designed for kids ages 3-10. Green Kid Crafts is a subscription service, but you can cancel at anytime. 

Visit here to sign up to receive a different themed Discovery Box! Each Discovery Box contains at least 3 activity kits with everything needed to complete fun, creative, and science-oriented projects. 

Disclaimer: We received a box for free, but made our own opinions. Links are affiliate links, meaning we will get credit for sales. Thanks for your support!

Summertime Fun at Suzie’s Farm

We had so much fun picking strawberries at Suzie’s Farm this spring. So when the opportunity came up for more kid-friendly activities and lunch at the farm, I cleared out my schedule. The little Birds and I joined a small group of bloggers and were treated to a tour and hanging out with Melissa, the director of education at Suzie’s Farm. “Doctor Carrot,” as she is known there, told us all about their summer camps.

sunflowers at suzie's farm

Ever wonder who the “Suzie” in Suzie’s Farm is? A sweet doggie! Melissa and Abby of Suzie’s Farm told us all about the dog that adopted the founding farmers as they led Little Bird and her new friends in acting like dogs and other animals on the farm. We sang a song about plants, took a tour of the garden and picked leaves for an art project.

stealing strawberriesAs the tour was ending, the unmistakable fragrance of strawberries filled the air. Abby told us we could each pick three, and only three, strawberries to eat on the spot. Little Bird and I had no problem finding sweet, beautiful red strawberries. In fact, we kept finding them. I figured she must have meant three strawberries each per person, not per child, right? Soon we fell behind the tour, unable to stop! I felt a bit like Charlie and his grandpa in the Chocolate Factory as we stole a few more sun-warmed strawberries.

chickens at suzie's farm

After the tour we were treated to lunch by the young and talented chefs of Salt & Cleaver. For a sausage restaurant (“sausage” is in their url), they prepared a surprisingly plant based and delicious meal. Highlights for me included Padron peppers with a beet and goat cheese sauce, finished with orange zest; a zucchini based “mac and cheese’ (no noodles but plenty of cheese); and a watermelon and feta salad with house made pickles. The restaurant is in Hillcrest and looks like a fun night out. Next mamas’ night out??

Full disclosure, Little Bird and I were treated (and treated well) to lunch, three strawberries and the tour. (Baby Bird stuck to milk.) Regardless of the delicious bribery, I fully recommend exploring past the CSA. You can experience Suzie’s Farms in one of the following ways:

  • Tour the farm, picking your own veggies as you go. Every Tuesday and Saturday, $10/person and $10/bag of organic veggies.
  • Check their calendar for special events, including a party for picking peppers and tomatoes in August (I’ve got your tomato sauce covered here and here and preserving peak tomatoes here and here.)
  • Week long summer camps start June 16th, with options for grades K-5 and grades 5-8. Cost is $285/week with sibling discounts for multiple children. Activities range from learning about farm animals, farm tools, cooking, making art, and survival skills to running a farmer’s market. Can I sign up?
  • My top pick: Coming up in September, the Autumnal Equinox Dinner is a fancy pants, multi-course, wine and dine alfresco affair, catered this year by Whisknladle. Yummmmmm. Tip: tickets sold out last year in July, so buy early!


Click on any of the images below to see more of our day.

Strawberry Picking and Green Strawberry Pickles

Strawberry Picking

Last weekend we celebrated Papa Bird’s birthday with a fun family day at Suzie’s Farm. They held their annual “Strawberry Jam” last Saturday and we all had so much fun, picking strawberries and eating yummy food. Little Bird loved apple picking as a tot and felt right at home with the plants and chickens.

strawberry picking

We started off picking organic strawberries. Every plant was filled with the most perfectly beautiful, sweet and flavorful berries. (At home, Little Bird tends to pick all of our strawberries while they are still green and small.) I did get some temporary hives from stinging nettles, but they went away.

strawberry picking

Next I sampled strawberry chutney, drank a strawberry and basil kombucha, and made green strawberry pickles with Austin from the San Diego Fermenter’s Club. Little Bird loves them. They are mild, slightly crunchy and have a hint of strawberry flavor. You can find the recipe for Green Strawberry Pickles here.

green strawberry pickles

Green Strawberry Pickles Recipe

After all that hard work, I was ready for a grass fed burger made with strawberry jam, and a beet and quinoa salad from Green Truck. The cold and windy weather discouraged our plans for eating ice cream from our friends’ Calexico Creamery, but we took home a pint of (what else?) Fresa and a pint of Mexican Cocoa. Little Bird and I hid out from the wind in a teepee and she gathered twigs and sticks to build a play fire.

organic strawberry jam

Check back tomorrow and I will share the best recipe for strawberry jam! It has hardly any sugar in it and no pectin. The only other ingredient is a lemon…

–> Update: Strawberry Jam now posted HERE.

Probiotic “Green” House Cleaning

You are probably familiar with the idea that eating probiotics, like the ones found in yogurt and other cultured foods, are good for you and help balance out the “bad” bacteria, especially in your digestive track. And you have probably heard about the risks of overusing antibiotic medicine and antibacterial soaps and cleaning products. But did you know that probiotics can be used to clean your home?

Probiotics are microorganisms, usually bacteria, that are all around us… in a “biofilm” in our guts, on our skin, on surfaces in our home and are considered to be beneficial or healthy. For more on this, I loved the article by Michael Pollan, Some of My Best Friends are Germs, that was on the cover of the New York Times Magazine a few months ago. He talks about how we are really “superorganisms,” sharing our body with 100 trillion microbials and of the harm we have unwittingly done in the last decade by using antibiotics.

Probiotic Cleaning

I recently had the opportunity to try out a local San Diego company’s housecleaning services and to speak at length with one of the employees about probiotic cleaning. What interested me in this company, Naked Clean, was their use of special probiotic cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. I have been trying to move away from all antibacterial and bleach-based products in my home. I have been trying to use things like vinegar and baking soda but have still been looking for something better. You can read more about why they use probiotics here.

Naked Clean Green House Cleaning

I first heard about Naked Clean on SanDiegoBargainMama.com and thought it sounded pretty cool. I’m normally sensitive to artificial scents, but pregnant I’m even more so. So when the opportunity to review them came up, I jumped. Full disclosure: I received a free demonstration of their house cleaning (2 housekeepers for 1.5 hours) and a sample of Naked Clean’s probiotic cleanser. The opinions expressed are entirely my own, based on their sample cleaning and my own use of their cleaner, primarily in my kitchen. I am also human and any errors or inaccuracies are unintentional and will gladly be corrected.

What most impressed me from their sample cleaning was the white kitchen sink and sparkling, spotless stainless faucet, even brighter than when it has been bleached. At first I thought I might be imagining it, but not only did my sink get as bright white as when it has been bleached, but it actually seemed to STAY white for days, even after dumping coffee grounds in the sink.

When I told Dave, the in-home estimator at Naked Clean, how the sparkling white kitchen sink impressed me, he explained a little more about how it worked. He said that bleach appears to whiten the sink or tile grout because it actually eats away a thin layer of the enamel or porcelain each time it is used. With time, it makes the sink more porous so that it will actually stain more quickly in the future. Their probiotic cleaner, on the other hand, contains a natural cleanser, or surfactant, as well as the probiotics. The surfactant does basic cleaning and the probiotics work on the layer of microscopic biofilm that can contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. Coli. What’s more, he explained, the probiotics stay alive for three days. So even after a surface has been cleaned, they continue to protect, without you having to do anything. This immediately piqued my interest. I have always had a phobia of the cooties from raw chicken and, ever since my husband and I suffered Montezuma’s revenge for weeks from campylobacter, I have wanted everything STERILE!


I can imagine the skeptics doubting the claim “clean once and it stays protected for three days.” Well, there is some good evidence to back it up! This study, conducted in Europe, compared cleaning a hospital with probiotics instead of antibacterial disinfectants. With the rise in MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant infections, hospitals have an interest in a disinfectant that can protect vulnerable patients without causing more super-germs. On the other hand, harmful bacteria do need to be managed. The results showed that, not surprisingly, traditional antibiotic disinfectants killed all kinds of bacteria (good and bad) quickly. However, by wiping out both harmful and beneficial bacteria, they created a blank canvas in which the harmful bacteria quickly repopulate. The probiotic cleaner on the other hand, reduced the harmful bacteria and maintained the healthy balance for three days. The study explains:

The idea behind COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION is that during the cleaning procedure a layer of probiotic bacteria is placed on the treated surface, therefore, immediately occupying the ‘field’, the area treated, with beneficial (good) bacteria. These probiotic bacteria act like allied “solders” that overwhelm the area and that will consume all of the available food sources (including dead organic matter by means of necrotrophy), leaving nothing behind for potential pathogenic invaders requiring space and food. The probiotic bacteria are formulated to be extremely efficient and outdo all other (pathogenic) bacteria. Additional to competitive exclusion, also, most important, QUORUM SENSING between pathogenic bacteria is influenced. This is an extremely fast way of communication between bacteria, making use of signal molecules. When the probiotic bacteria are applied to a surface, this immediately results in the fact that pathogenic bacteria, by means of quorum sensing, are communicated about this unfavorable condition, causing them to go into an inactive metabolic state.

This info-graphic summarizes how this works:

Probiotic Cleaning

Naked Clean’s Green House Cleaning Service

I have been a fan of getting a little “help” around the house for years. Even back in the days when I was a graduate student, working for free in this lovely system called “interning,” the little bit of money I could devote to a bimonthly professional cleaning was well worth the time and agony it saved me. Let’s just say that I like a clean and sanitary home more than I like actually cleaning. Once I moved in with Papa Bird, who likes things even neater than me, having regular professional help cleaning the house prevented a lot of fights. Once every two weeks we don’t have to worry about who is going to do the dishes or finish the laundry. A colleague of mine who is a Marriage and Family Therapist once said that paying a housekeeper was money better spent than on couple’s therapy.

Scheduling with Naked Clean was pretty simple. I was given a one hour window of when they would arrive. The house cleaners usually work in teams of two. One nice touch I appreciated: I received an email confirmation the day before. Overall, the cleaning they did was thorough and professional and I love that there was no chemical smell from the products. When I used the probiotic cleaner afterwards, I thought it had a light, fresh scent, but apparently it contains no fragrance at all. I used to hate the idea of giving Little Bird a bath in a tub that had been cleaned with bleach and other chemicals and I’m so happy to have found a natural alternative.

You would think that green cleaning services would be expensive, especially since all of the products and supplies are provided by them. They advertise prices that are a little more than hiring someone off the street, but less than most cleaning companies, and I find that to be true. For example, they start at $65 for 5 rooms.

I’m also happy to extend a special offer to my readers: $40 off your first cleaning when you mention the Baby Bird’s Farm blog! Contact them here. I hope you do and let us know what you think!