While its still not clear that pregnant women are more likely to catch the swine flu than non pregnant people, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has today issued a formal recommendation that pregnant women receive the medication Tamiflu - effective if received within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Click here for more on the symptoms, the stats and the scary story of the pregnant women who died (baby was delivered by C-section).
Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category
Happy Birthday Mama Earth! Glow makes a conscious effort to support earth-friendly business practices - from printing our business cards, marketing materials & labels on soy ink, to bottles made from PET ((polyethylene terephthalate). PET is easy and relatively cheap to recycle back into goods we use everyday, like the Glow Mama blankets we sell!
And in case you missed it, read Lucy’s blog post on all the crazy ways bottles can be recycled. Who knew?
Don’t forget to dispose of your Glow Mama bottles into recycling receptacles, please! Or use them creatively around the house
Baby Boot Camp is serious about making families and planet healthier. April 22 is Earth Day and we’re finishing off our Mother Love Fitness Challenge by encouraging students to increase their environmental awareness and engagement through a friendly competition of do-gooding. Find a location near you and join the Challenge!
Keep reading for some great suggestions on how to make a difference. Let us know how many points you rack up!
April Competition for Planet Points
1 point for each environmentally-friendly action.
Examples: Change one light bulb to a CFC bulb = 1 point; Bring reusable bags to grocery store = 1 point; Bring a travel mug to your local coffee shop for your next cup of coffee = 1 point
These steps help reduce our environmental impact by reducing energy, water and fuel usage and they save you money!
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
- Turn off water while you brush your teeth.
- Don’t leave water running while washing dishes.
- Wash clothes in cold or warm water rather than hot.
- Change your air filters regularly to make your AC/furnace more efficient.
- Take your own reusable bags to grocery store.
- Only run dishwasher when it’s full.
- Go paperless—sign-up for online services (banking, billing, etc.)
- Recycle household items — donate to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charity (and get a tax deduction!)
- Sign-up for a Freecycle.org Yahoo group in your area to give away items not accepted by Goodwill.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Recycle waste – If you don’t already, contact your local city or county disposal agency for info. and containers.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
- Buy in bulk, especially snacks, and package in reusable containers. We recommend Snack-Traps or Munchie Mugs for on-the-go use).
- Recycle plastic grocery/dry cleaning bags — most grocery stores have bins at the entrance
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees.
- Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 degrees.
- Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer.
- Leave grass clippings on the yard—they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
- Swap maternity and kids products with friends instead of buying new. The average cost of raising a kid to the age of 2 can top $13,430.
- Make your own coffee or tea at home using organic and/or fair trade coffee — use reusable travel mug.
- Choose tap water — Don’t buy bottled water.
5 points for every healthy family/healthy earth action.
Examples: Walk to the store = 5 points; Plant a tree with your children = 5 points; Purchase free range poultry and eggs, coffee and chocolate that is grown and harvested using sustainable methods, buy local at your farmer’s market = 5 points each
These tips will increase the health and wellbeing of your family AND help to improve our environment.
- Eat vegetarian 2 nights a week (your heart and the ozone will thank you)
- Use natural/household cleaners or better yet, make your own out of vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemon juice, etc. Recipes can be found at: www.HealthyChild.org. Check out the 5 Basic Cleaning Tools in your home.
- Walk to Baby Boot Camp class
- Attend a Baby Boot Camp class — 5 pts for each class. Gyms use a lot of energy and water!
- Generously and regularly apply sunscreen. We recommend KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen because their products are carbon neutral, the packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials and KINeSYS is a proud signer of The Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
- Eat your leftovers (you don’t really need delivery pizza, do you?)
- Plant your own vegetable/herb garden — no matter how small it is!
- Control pests in your home without toxic chemicals.
- Try natural lawn care.
- Kill weeds without herbicides.
- Choose soaps and cleansers that are pure/biodegradable and break down completely. Avoid soaps with synthetic scents or colors.
- Walk/bike to places rather than drive when you can.
- Buy organic. If you’re watching your budget (and who isn’t these days!), choose organic products where your family will see the most health benefits, such as dairy products. Here are 10 Fruits & Vegetables to Buy Organic.
- Improve air quality inside and out – plant draught-resistant trees/plants, get indoor plants
- Buy local products to reduce your carbon footprint — buy produce at farmers’ markets or via cooperatives. Find something near you at LocalHarvest.org.
- Eat low on the food chain (e.g. vegetables, legumes, fungi, etc.)
- Follow daily tips on Healthy Child’s Earth Month calendar (5 pts for each day!).
- Use safe bottles. Many baby and adult water bottles are made from plastic that contains the toxin bisphenol A (BPA). Opt for BPA-free bottles to avoid toxins in the body and in the environment. Read the Beginning of the End for BPA.
Your Baby Boot Camp owner/instructor will choose an event (e.g. 5K run, trash pickup, Earth Day Event, etc.) to celebrate your achievements during Baby Boot Camp’s Mother Love Fitness Challenge. You can claim 25 Planet Points if you participate!
Donation Planet Points: 2 ways to make a difference
1. Make a donation to nationally-beneficial 501(c)(3) nonprofit: Healthy Child: Healthy World (www.healthychild.org/). Support Healthy Child Healthy World’s work to protect children’s health, environmental sustainability and healthy communities. Once you donate online, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes your tax-deductible receipt. Get your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors to donate and claim those points too! You’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you raise/donate.
2. Purchase a Healthy Child ‘Naturally Healthy’ onesie and/or swaddle blanket and help create a healthier world for children. Enviro-friendly retailer Maple Grace, will donate 100% of all proceeds from every butterfly onesie and swaddle blanket set purchase to Healthy Child Healthy World. Both the onesie and swaddle blankets are made of 100% organic cotton. The onesie features eco-friendly, non-toxic silk screening and the swaddle blankets are colored with low impact dyes free of PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) and heavy metals.
Claim the points equal to purchase price of onesie/blanket (ranges from $15 to $42 — so if you buy a $15 onesie you earn 15 Donation Planet Points).
Need some more encouragement to get moving during these cold months? Other than the $300 worth of Glow Mama No Butts About it goodies we are giving away next week? How about the Baby Boot Camp’s Mother Love Fitness Challenge? What better way to stay on top of that new exercise promise than meeting a regular group of gals, workout with a nationally certified fitness expert… and have your baby there along for the ride?
February is their cardiovascular endurance… or Cardio Love! (which sounds much better)… so jump on board, find out more details… and see you there. Yes Glow Mama is one of the sponsors! Nothing like a bit of exercise to build up a thirst!
If you use cloth diapers, you know that having an ample supply of diaper covers is a BIG part of making it work. They can be expensive though, especially the nice ones! My friend Suzanne gave me a great tip: buy them second hand!!
I did a search on my local craigslist and got a huge list of used diaper covers for sale. Suzanne said she also finds them at her local baby store - they have an Eco-Boutique within the store selling second hand baby items - what a great idea!
I don’t know about you, but my long list of excuses and “buts” is growing as fast as my butt is this winter. Too much holiday candy, turkey and hot chocolate and not enough exercise. Between the dark, short, cold days… the rain/snow, and the colds, we all need a little motivation to get moving again, stay healthy and keep glowing. How about over $300 worth of inspiration to get you motivated with the New Years Resolutions?
First up is this amazing Bootcamp for Butts box from Mama Mio. The tagline is “a butt lift in a box - a complete skincare and exercise system to lift your butt in 30 days”!! Doesn’t that sound great?! Now considering we’ll be drawing this Jan 31st and they’ll ship it directly to you.. that means you could be buttless by mid March! All three of the yummy creams - the body buff, the shrink to fit, and the tummy toner are “for today’s supermama”.. so yes they’re perfect for new and expecting moms. My favorite part? They smell great and have the words “zap cellulite” and “zap crepey skin” right on the funky bottles! Value = $160
Next, for all the exercising you’re going to be doing, don’t you need some new styly work out clothes? Thanks to Jakfish, you could be wearing this fantastic new innovative hoody. Not only does it have all the necessary bits and pieces - four way stretch, wind-resistant, Polartec keep-your-skin-dry-fabric… but get this… it has side zips for when the belly expands. It comes in snazzy blue or black and you get to pick your size from the kind folks at Jakfish. Value = $90
So, now for the actual exercise bit? Can’t decide whether to try yoga or pilates as your New Years Resolution? How about both. We’re also giving away the Stott Pilates Prenatal and Post-Natal Pilates DVDs (Value = $30) and the Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga (and Short Forms) DVDs from Jennifer Wolfe (Value = $32).
How do you enter to win? Leave us a comment here with your favorite tip for making and keeping New Years Resolutions - especially those that are health and wellness focused (aren’t they all?). We’ll let the lucky winner know shortly after Jan 31st (open to US residents only).
Like to increase your odds of winning? Please follow us on twitter, tweet about the contest, blog about the contest, or just make us laugh.
I look forward to the moment I’ve purchased that last holiday gift of the season - typically someone from my husband’s office that he “forgot” to tell me about! What comes next is something I actually look forward to, though that’s because I’m a first-born, Type A, self-described organization freak. After my toddler is tucked in for the night, I pull out all the gifts from the closet and spread them out in all their glory. With a festive holiday movie in the background and a glass of cocoa, I get set for an evening of wrapping all the gifts for friends & family. This year, though, inspired by Lucy’s eco-friendly birthday party challenge, I wanted to look for eco-friendly alternatives to the traditional wrapping, bows, tissue paper and gift bags.
Creative Tips for Wrapping up those holiday gifts eco-style!
- Mailing Tubes - Use the tubes you have hidden away in the back of the closet “just in case” - they add a great eye-catching shape under the tree and rolled clothing (t-shirts, socks, pj’s) work especially well in the tube. Then put your child’s creativity to work decorating the tube.
- Use the Gift to Wrap - Someone on your list getting tube socks and a gift card? Use the socks to hold the gift card and tie with a festive ribbon. This works great for oversize items as well.
- Tin Foil - Leftover tin foil isn’t hard to come by (at least at my house) and kids especially love its shiny tint - easy to wrap books or square object with instant glamour
- Re-gift. In this case, its A-OK to re-use an item you have on hand. Try a paperclip tin to house apiece of jewelry or a canning jar for a colorful tie.
Parenting is a full-time job that requires, time, energy, effort, and of course, lots of love. Setting a proper example for children can help to ensure that they grow up to be socially conscious, environmentally aware adults. The world we live in is going to require a lot of effort from our children if they want to live in a sustainable world that will last more than the next couple of generations.
Many people already know the importance of setting the proper example for the children of today. Here are a few ways you can make sure that you can pass along the “green gene” to your children so that they will continue to help change the face of our planet for the future.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but doing everything you can to make sure that you recycle all recyclable goods used by you and your family is a habit that will stick for life. Separating your trash from recyclables is a duty that everyone should take seriously. Many cities are thinking of cutting recycling programs because they have poor participation, which makes the effort not very cost-effective. Other cities and smaller towns still don’t have a recycling program in place. Making recycling part of your every day life can help change this.
Support Companies That Support Sustainability
Children pick up most of their lifelong habits from their parents, including what businesses they choose to patronize. Make sure that you support companies and businesses that actually care about the future of the planet and explain why you support these companies to your children. Let them know which companies care about their future and they will learn to spread the word as they grow older
Organic Foods and Products
Try your best to consume as much organic food and use as many organic goods as possible. Doing this will ensure that your children ingest less harmful chemicals from pesticides to fertilizers. Additionally, organically grown fruits and vegetables help promote environmentally sustainable growing practices that are catching on and have little negative impact on the planet, if any.
Of course, getting your community involved or belonging to a community group that holds environmental issues close to heart can be a great way for you and your family to meet others with similar beliefs. Being part of a community and doing your part for the environment can be another great way to help pass along the green gene to future generations.
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of online vocational schools She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.
Thanks so much Kelly for contributing to the Glow Mama Blog - would you like to contribute too? Email us at info @ glowbeverages dot com for more details.
Given that all our contest prizes this month are made from recycled drink bottles… we thought we’d feature some other pretty cool products (gifts perhaps?) made from bottles like Glow Mama.
Lamps… This awesome piece takes 150-200 plastic drink bottles, costs only $599 and is available from the great Etsy store of THISgallery (and yes, it comes with an eco-friendly fluorescent bulb).
School uniforms… These are in the UK, but still, it would be a pretty good feeling to send Johnny off to school with pants and a fleece (they do skirts too) made out of recycled bottles don’t you think?. Go Marks & Spencers!
If you haven’t entered into our draw to win the tote/diaper bag, umbrella, tableware, hat, scarf and blanket ALL made out of recycled plastic bottles yet… what are you waiting for?
While not 100% eco, we were pleased with the overall effect of the little guy’s “garbage truck” party last weekend. Here are our top eco efforts…
1) Recycline plates, cups and tableware from Preserve - made from 100% recycled plastic & diswasher safe. We also used old jars for cold drinks and mugs for coffee.
2) Favors were customized seed packets and recycled crayons inside miniature garbage bins.
3) No plastic decorations - material remnant for tablecloth & paper hats for the kiddies.
4) Locally sourced, organic & homegrown/made food.
5) Evite instead of paper invitations.
6) Guests were requested to be creative with wrapping - no gift wrap.
Obviously the green food coloring wasn’t natural… but really, who wants an avocado-cream garbage truck cake?
Want to win enough Preserve Tableware to host your own party? You’re in luck - we’re giving it away!
Using eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning solutions in the home is a priority for many these days, and probably even more so for parents of teething toddlers who put absolutely everything in their mouths (can you tell I’m speaking from first-hand experience here?). While a little dirt never hurt, some of the cleaners you have in that cupboard might! Some of the cleaning products we use every day contain many more toxins than the dirt.
A round-up of our favorites for cleaning your home:
Method Home - Great price point and widely accessible at big box stores such as Target and Costco (buy in bulk and get double green points!). They are also local to the Bay Area and we hear they are a great company to work for. Just getting started? Watch their top ten ways to detox.
Seventh Generation - The savings ticker calculates trees and gallons of petroleum saved based on your purchases, every little bit does make a difference! Check out the 20/20 by 2010 initiative to reduce carbon output and increase renewables.
Too busy to think about all this, forget the actual hours of cleaning? We hear you! There’s also a whole industry that will come in and clean top to bottom for you using natural products. Try a search for ‘natural home cleaning’ in your area and leave the toxins at the door.
Could it be to save money? Who doesn’t want to help the budget these days by changing lightbulbs, making the home more energy efficient and using public transport (or even better, biking) instead of running the SUV.
Could it be to be healthier? Buying locally grown, organic fruits & veggies and wooden toys reduces the risk of exposure to harmful pesticides, chemicals and plastics.
Could it be to teach lessons of responsibility to our kids? Recycling, growing our own veggies and borrowing books from the library are not only fun but educational.
Could it be to ensure there’s a planet around for this next generation we’re creating? Eating only sustainable fish, preserving the equitorial rainforests and protecting the world’s fresh water supply really will make a difference in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Or maybe it’s just trendy?
What do you think?
Just because the purse is empty and the budget is super tight this holiday season it does not mean we have an excuse to stop giving. Glow Mama went in search of things we could give that did not involve our moola/cash/dough/money.
Time - yes that’s an easy one. Volunteering at the local Feeding America Foodbank to hand out Thanksgiving dinners, or at the Habitat for Humanity group near you won’t cost a thing (except maybe blisters and sore feet). Both sites have a locator on their website so you can enter you zip code and start giving.
Gently used items - Didn’t you want to clean out the wardrobe to start the new year afresh anyway? Now’s a good time to donate your pre-loved clothes to Goodwill (you can arrange a pickup if you’d like to save on gas too) or a local woman’s shelter like the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, your un-used cellphones to the Washington Area Womens Foundation (who will send you a postage paid envelope) and even your old glasses to New Eyes for the Needy.
Your breastmilk - Not suitable for everyone, but for those of us with unused pumped milk in the freezer, don’t throw it out when you need room for the turkey leftovers… give it to either the Breast Milk Project for the babies in Africa, or Mother’s Milk Bank for needy babies closer to home.
Any other suggestions for dollar-free giving?
Have you entered our Thanks Giving Away?
1. Enforce screen breaks. By making sure our fingers, eyeballs and mouse hand are not the only parts of our body that move for hours, we’ll help our circulation, muscles, eye-sight, nervous and digestive systems… not to mention our creativity. Remember when the movie theatres had intermissions? What about a blogging-break (sans the skittles and popcorn)? Check the mail, grab a drink, throw in another load of laundry?
2. Stretch. How about moving the printer and phone to the other side of the room or at least a good obliques stretch away from the computer? Two minutes of stretching our backs, arms, neck and shoulders every half hour is really the least we can do for our bodies.
3. No online eating. In the same way that eating in front of the TV makes us eat more and feel less full, so must snacking in front of Twitter surely? And besides, there’s the whole crumbs in the keyboard, grease on the mouse issues to deal with too.
Any other suggestions? Spread the word on twitter to help fight Twitter-tummy.
Are you staring down the barrel of the impending holiday season as a non-drinking, exhausted new mom or mom-to-be? Are you dreading the parties, schmoozing and office party shenanigans now that you’re off the booze and supposedly a responsible adult? Here’s a couple of survival tips for the holiday parties from those of us who’ve been there..
1) Look glamorous and you’ll feel better. If the budget can stretch to one of the new gorgeous dresses for the big of bellied (or nursing mamas) then yippee. If not, how about mulit-tasking a rejuvinateing face mask while you map-quest the directions, trying a new cute up-do (or for the super-exhuasted… a hat), or digging out the sparkly eyeshadow, the old favorite perfume and earrings. Not only will you look hot, but feel a bit sexier too… its probably the look that got you into this motherhood prediciment in the first place though so be careful.
2) Do some smart substitution. Yes we’re afraid it’s time to start switching mocktails for cocktails, flats for heels and the route to the hospital for the directions to the after-hours club. You might also need to readjust your cellphone these holidays… time to replace the drunk-dialing speeddial spots with your mother’s, your OB-GYN’s and your Pediatrican’s.
3) Be prepared. This holiday season you have a new list of things to look forward to… waking up without a hangover, showing friends/co-workers the embarrassing drunken photos you took of them, and not finding a photocopy of your butt pinned to the office supply room wall. And while you may also need to be prepared to leave the party early this year… the bump/baby may just be the excuse you’ve been longing for.