Environmentally Conscious Toddler Gift Guide!

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I think we can all agree that things are becoming very materialistic and people are becoming overly greedy. Presents are being bought in excess and the ‘meaning of the season’ has become new toys, electronics and clothes. Supporting huge corporations and adding ever more to the piles of waste. On top of that, most children’s toys these days break within a week and are made by children the same age or younger then the children we are gifting them too, in foreign countries, getting paid .07 cents a day.

And just for you gals and guys, I thought I’d compile a small gift guide of some of my favorite gift ideas for toddlers the holidays this year!!

The best option would be to make things yourselves. However, I know not everyone is artistically inclined or is able to sew/knit/crochet. If you knit or crochet, check out Raverly for tons of free patterns for anything you can think of! Great knit/crochet ideas for toddlers/older babies would be blocks, balls, stuffed animals, mittens, hats or slippers. If you sew check out Pinterest or All Free Sewing for patterns and ideas! I think I’ll be sewing some little stuffed veggies this year for Delilah, and putting them in a little garden basket. I may even make a little garden bed cushion she can ‘plant’ the veggies in and pick them into her basket!

Now, for those of you that can’t, don’t have the time or aren’t able to make all homemade gifts, I’ve found a few super awesome gifts to buy!

Batsiranai Sharing Doll
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Delilah is actually getting one of these from her grandma this year. It’s handmade in Zimbabwe and certified fair trade (meaning it was made by adults who were all fairly compensated!). Besides the fact that it’s adorable and is baby wearing a little baby in a sling (!) whenever you purchase one, they give the same doll to a child in a heavily HIV/AIDS infected infected area! So really, you’re buying your child a doll, then buying one for a less fortunate child who may not even have a toy!

Handmade, personalized blocks

I came across these the other day, and fell in love! You can get any amount of letters you want and you can pick which letters! The whole alphabet, numbers, pictures, your child’s name, blank blocks, shapes. It’s really cool! The awesome thing, is the family who makes them, also uses organic oils and beeswax to coat them using materials they grow themselves on their farm! How cool is that?? They are completely safe an non-toxic so children who are teething can enjoy them as well as older children! PLUS they donate to the Peace Corps with every purchase!

A basket of fresh, farmer’s market veggies

Farmers Market Basket of Veggies

I love this play food! Make a play ‘farmer’s market’ in the house and buy veggies in your basket! You can pick whatever veggies you like for in the basket! Totally homemade by ‘Locally Sewn Produce‘ (see what she did there!!) based out of Iowa. Plus, she has a ton of other options in her shop if you want to add some other veggies.

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These awesome trucks and cars are hand crafted from quality wood and finished with beeswax! This particular link is for a whole collection of trucks, but they can all be purchased individually for those on a budget! I think they are so pretty and we might be getting Delilah one of these from me and her dad this season!

Felted Number Eggs
Needle Felted Eggs with numbers, Made to order

Learns numbers and learn where eggs come from! Put these little guys under a toy chicken and have them count the eggs as they collect them. Perhaps put them with the farmer’s market veggies I mentioned earlier! Or have them pretend with you while you prepare eggs for breakfast. Plus, there is a little bell in each egg! So they can make noise while they play, what’s better then noise??

Do you have a favorite gift idea? Do you make gifts yourself? Do you make gifts and sell them? Feel free to link them in the comments!

I definitely urge you to go at least partially handmade for the holidays this year!

Til next time,

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Celebrating Winter Solstice

This year we have decided to give up Christmas. We have many different reasons for this. I don’t want to delve to deep into  our reasoning, simply because its not incredibly important to this post, but I will give a brief explanation.  I have recently started my journey as a Buddhist, and my husband is an atheist. We found it silly that we were celebrating the birth of a god we don’t believe in or worship. Secondly, it is far too commercial. Starting in October every store you walk into begins throwing Christmas EVERYTHING in your face, and all people care about is money, savings, sales, buying. It’s no longer about love, compassion and giving. So we have decided not to raise our children celebrating Christmas.

So for our winter-time ‘holiday’ we have decided to start celebrating winter solstice. It has been something that has appealed to me in the past so I decided to look further into it.

In short, the winter solstice is a celebration of light, nature, the sun and new beginnings. Solstice occurs on the shortest day of the year, or when the least amount of sunlight reaches the earth (December 21st or 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere). The sun seems to stand still. From this day forward in the year, the days will be longer and more full of light.

For more history on the solstice click here, here or here. (I will share more history with latter posts and ideas!)

Since its creeping up on us, I’d like to share with you our plans, some ideas, recipes and activities between now and then.

For those of you that think quitting Christmas and celebrating solstice is totally crazy, let me tell you our plan for the day-

Sleep in. Cook a nice breakfast. Exchange some gifts (not tons, and mostly homemade). Make bird feeders (as Delilah gets older, we will add more nature friendly activities). Start dinner. Then in the afternoon, about an hour before the sun sets, take a walk and hang our bird feeders in the woods for birds to nibble all winter. Then we will watch the sun set over the river. When we get back, we’ll light candles all over the house and drink wassail, have sun cake and some herbed cookies and enjoy a nice, hearty, dinner!

How could you not want to do that?? Even if you celebrate Christmas, solstice might be something to add into the festivities!!

For this post I’ll detail 3 things we’ll be doing!

Solstice Tree

In similar fashion to Christmas, we plan to have a small evergreen tree in the living room throughout December. But we plan to decorate it with homemade ornaments! Dehydrated orange slices with ground cinnamon and cloves, hung with ribbons and beads. Homemade ginger bread sun, bird and animal ornaments. A homemade tree topper in the shape of a sun. Twinkling lights (I would do traditional candles, but I don’t think our landlord will be OK with the fire hazard!)  Some red winter berries from a local farm and maybe some cranberries!

Very natural and beautiful.

Wassail

Wassail is a traditional cider/drink for solstice/yule. It can be alcoholic, but there are plenty of alcohol free recipes!! Wassailing was an ancient tradition where everyone would enjoy some drink in sing songs. We plan to use this recipe.

Gifts

We plan to give a few simple gifts. I’m making my daughter a teddy bear, we’ll give out homemade cookies to our neighbors, and family will get some knitted items, homemade bath items and foods. We will wrap them either in fabric, or recycled newspapers to help keep waste down and to add to the nature friendly aspect of the holiday.

I hope to add a few more posts throughout December highlighting a few other traditions of solstice and a few more ideas. If your celebrating leave a comment and let us know what your favorite aspect of solstice is!

If your looking for more inspiration for your own solstice celebration, you can follow my Pinterest board for solstice ideas!

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When (and how!) to strip cloth diapers

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As of today (our daughter’s 7 month birthday) we have been cloth diapering for 3 months. And its going great! I love it and don’t plan to quit. But there comes a time when the diapers themselves want to quit. Which is when they need ‘stripped’. Stripping them just means you strip the fabric of all the build up.

There are a few times in a diapers life that it needs stripped and it will indicate to you its time. Cloth diapers have 2 different, distinct smells that indicate stripping is necessary.

The barnyard stink and the ammonia stink. They are both caused by build up in the diaper and are totally normal. So don’t be freaking out if your diapers smell like a farm or ammonia. (Ammonia is in urine, that’s where it comes from). Build up can also be caused from other things like detergents or oils.

Another sign your diapers need stripped is when they start to leak. A lot. The build up makes the diapers less absorbent.  Your actually supposed to strip brand new diapers prior to use to increase the absorbancy.

The last, and worst, sign is if your baby cakes is getting diaper rash that won’t clear up.

So in short, the 5 main times to strip cloth diapers are-

1- When they are brand new
2- When they smell like a farm
3- When they smell like ammonia
4- When they start to slack off in their absorbency
5- Your squish butt is getting extra rashes that won’t clear up

So now you know when, but how?

There are a few different methods, but I’m gonna show you my favorite.

This way is chemical free and works wonderfully. Its time consuming, but worth it.

You will need:

Clean diapers
A stove
Water
A large pot(s)
Vinegar (optional)

Fill the pot(s) most of the way with water and put the over medium heat. Get the water hot, steaming, but not boiling. If your stripping them to remove a stink, you can add a tablespoon or two of vinegar, it removes the smell. If your pots are big enough you might be able to fit up to 4 diapers, mine only fit 2 so I usually have 2 pots going at once to make it faster.

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Leave them in for 20 minutes each, stirring occasionally so nothing gets stuck. Get them out with a pair of tongs and hang them to dry. Voila! Stink free, absorbent diapers!

Go get stripping =)

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Easy hot food? Or cancer-in-a-box?

That is the question.

As far as warming our food goes, we just have a stove/oven combo. And a plain ole toaster.

No microwave.

If you’ve ever eating anything cooked in a microwave you know that it tastes rubbery, soggy, mushy and just generally bad 99% of the time. So why on earth do 90% of American’s have one in their homes?? Because it seems easier (‘seems’ being the key word here). There’s no pre-heating, it take a minute to warm up just about anything and you just pop it in and press a button.

Living in our modern day and age where everything has to be done the easy, fast way, microwaves seem to make sense.

But, (there’s always a but!) do you know anything about your microwave?? I’m sure you know its a box that makes things warm and you can’t put your fork in it. Other then that, what else do you know?

Hold on to your butts cuz I’m gonna tell you all about it.

In order to explain to you how it works, I’m going to copy a section from University Today’s website, since I’m not a scientist and couldn’t word it better or differently-

“Microwaves used for cooking… are electromagnetic waves possessing frequencies around the 2.45 GHz range. Now, electromagnetic waves are waves made up of alternating electric and magnetic fields. For this discussion, we’re more concerned with the alternating electric fields because charged particles readily react when exposed to them. That is, when a positively charged particle is exposed to an electric field, it experiences a force (due to the field) pointing in the direction of the field. By contrast, when a negatively charged particle is exposed to the same field, it experiences a force in the direction opposite to the field. Now, since an electromagnetic wave (like the microwave) is made up of alternating electric fields, a charge exposed to it will experience forces regularly changing in direction. For water molecules, which are dipoles, the net effect would force the molecules into rotation. Again, since the fields are alternating, the rotation will change from clockwise to counterclockwise at regular time intervals. The agitated water molecules would then possess heat energy that can rub off (much like friction) to nearby molecules. If the water molecules are well distributed in the body subjected to the microwave (like food, for example), then the entire body can heat up quickly – not to mention, uniformly. Electromagnetic waves in the microwave range are most suitable for this purpose because the water molecules readily rotate when exposed to such frequencies. Avoid putting in metal into the microwave oven while heating. The reason is because pointed portions of the metal can accumulate high voltages which can cause dielectric breakdown of the air inside the oven. Once this happens, some harmful gases can be produced.”

Hopefully that didn’t thoroughly confuse you, I know it took me a while to fully figure it out. Basically, electro-magnetic waves move really fast and create something similar to friction, which in turn, makes heat, thus heating your food.

You know what else is electro-magnetic waves? Yup, radiation!

Radiation that causes burns, poisoning, death, mutations, debilitating disease and pain. 

(Radiation is spreading energy using electro-magnetic waves.)

Mmmmm, yummy! Radiation in your kitchen pummeling your food. Of course, like many statement the FDA makes, they say, ‘Its OK in small doses.’ Just think about that for a minute. You use your microwave twice a day, everyday for your whole life. Say you live to be 85. 85 years, 365 days a year, twice a day heating for a minute. You’ve microwaved 62,050 minutes in your life. Or 43.09 days worth of microwaving. And that’s only if your using it twice a day for a minute at a time. Most people are using theirs much more then that.

43 days worth of radiation can’t possibly be good for you.

Many studies show how the microwaves used in a microwave can change healthy foods into cancerous foods. For instance, extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens. (source)

Who created microwaves? The Nazis. So they could heat food for lots of people all at once. Some folks over in the Soviet Union got a hold of some microwaves and soon after banned the use of them because they realized they were dangerous. Yet they are still a staple of every American household.

In a report by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell they sum up the research done by Russians on the effects of microwave ovens. A few little tidbits from the report include-

-Ingestion of microwaved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells within the blood serum [cytomas — cell tumors such as sarcoma]

-Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.

-A breakdown of the human “life-energy field” in those who were exposed to microwave ovens while in operation, with side-effects to the human energy field of increasingly longer duration

 

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So now you know a little something about your microwave.

Now, if you do want to rid yourself of your microwave, you may be wondering how on earth you’ll be able to eat anything!

It’s not as hard as you think!! People heated food for thousands of years with just fire. Not even an oven.

So for soups, just put em in a pot and heat them on the stove. Most things can be popped in the stove. Moist things that aren’t quite soupy but will dry out in the oven you can put in a glass or stainless steel bowl inside of a pot of boiling water and stirred until they’re warm (shout out to my mom for figuring that one out!). You can grill, put things in toasters (its surprising how much you can do with an average toaster!), or you can go way back and just use a fire! Things cooked over a fire are quite delicious! (I do realize fire is impractical a lot of the time, but its still fun!)

I don’t miss our microwave one bit!!

Until next time!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

 

Foraging Series: Part 2- Queen Anne’s Lace

(Side note- This was called Just Like The Cavemen Did! But I decided to change it to be more simple).

Read part 1 about Staghorn Sumac here!

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First off, don’t forget the 4 main rules for foraging-

1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over your yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!

Queen Anne’s Lace (aka) Wild Carrot!

You’ve probably seen this delicate flower along side of roads or in fields and you’ve possibly even picked it! It really is a beautiful flower and very common. It’s not something you’d look at and think, ‘Hmmm, I bet that would help prevent cancer, detox my body, taste delicious, help pass kidney stones, work as a diuretic and look pretty in a bouquet!’ But it does all that, and more! It seems more like a magic plant from an enchanted forest then a weed!

So, how do you identify it?

First off, there are large, white flowers on tall, green, hairy stems. The leaves are very feathery and whispy. In the center of each flower you will generally find a small, purple flower bud. This is know as ‘Queen Anne.’ Way back when women of high class would wear large, white, lacey collars, which is where the flower got its name. Queen Anne wearing her lace collar. They generally grow by the side of the road or in large, sunny fields. Somewhere there is poor soil.

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

How it looks when its growing

How it looks when its growing

The one poisonous look alike to Queen Anne’s lace is poison hemlock. And it is DEADLY! So make 100% certain you are picking Wild carrots and NOT Poison Hemlock. Its smaller and bushier and it looks a little different. The flowers are similar however, so make sure you can easily identify both before you accidentally pick some.

It you want to make a detox tea and fritters, all you need are the flowers and leaves. So you can just cut the, off. If you want to make root tea, you (obviously) need the roots. I suggest harvesting the roots after a rain so the ground will be softer and it will be easier to pull them out of the ground. I just picked the entire plant and brought it all home with me since I’m using all of the parts.

Fried Flowers-

These are SO GOOD!! They are light and fluffy but satisying and very flavorful, they smell like popcorn when they’re frying. It tastes like your eating something that costs 50 bucks a plate. They are m favorite food. Plus, pollen is a super food!!

You will need-

Organic flour
Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Eggs from pastured chickens
Sea salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Coconut oil for frying

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and lightly whisk the eggs in another. Dip the flowers first in the eggs then into the dry mix. (I used the butt where the flower hatched to the stem as a handle to dip and put in the oil.) Place in a skillet with an inch deep of oil over high heat. (Don’t start cooking until the oil is sizzling). Fry them up flower side down, stem side up for 30 seconds to a minute, or once they become crispy and golden brown Eat while they are warm and crispy!

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Don't they look decadent and delicious!!

Don’t they look decadent and delicious!!

Yummmmmyy!!

Root Tea-

The roots are known commonly as wild carrots. When you pick them they smell just like carrots. This post would end up pages long if I delved deep into all the medicinal benefits reaped from the roots of this plant, so I will stick to a few and if you’d like to read a more detailed list, click here. There are studies showing it has anticancer activities as well as being useful in treating HIV, infertility, diabetes, Leukemia, migraines, Spina Bifida and even all the way down to treating the common cold. Its very versatile.

In order to make root tea there are a few steps.

The roots

The roots

First, wash off the roots and remove all the dirt. Chop them up as small as you can. This may prove to be more difficult then it sounds. I suggest garden shears. Get them fairly small. Wash them again and spread them evenly on a baking sheet or pan and bake in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Let them cool and add a tablespoon to a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey/mint or anything you prefer.

Cleaned off

Cleaned off

Leaf tea-

Leaf tea can be used as a diuretic (helps you pee), to cleanse/detox your body and to prevent kidney stones and shrink the ones already built up. However, use caution when drinking leaf tea/eating the seeds as it can do more harm then good when your pregnant. They have been used as the morning after pill of ancient times. There are really no other contraindications.

In order to make leaf tea, dry the leaves in whatever method you like best. You can use the lowest setting on a dehydrator, or go the old fashioned way and tie them upside down to dry. I like the latter because it looks pretty in your kitchen. Once they are dry just use as a tea and let the leaves steep for 20 minutes before drinking.

My leaves drying

My leaves drying

Happy picking!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or a professional. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor or other health professional. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you. These statements are my own and medicinal plants are not generally FDA approved.*

This post was shared on Thank Your Body Thursday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesdays and Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

Foraging Series: Part 1- Staghorn Sumac

Over the summer I’d like to share with you a 5 part mini series on foraging!

Foraging is an ancient form of gathering food. Ever since people came to be on earth, they have had to eat! Foraging is one of the many ways people got food. Now, in the 21st century, you almost never hear of anyone foraging for anything (unless they lost there iPhone in their purse and are foraging through credit cards to find it!). I really would like to know why we ever stopped foraging?? It helps you to be closed to nature, get outside, get active plus you feel fulfilled after a day of working and picking outdoors by getting to eat what you found!

So in each part, I will share with you a plant that can be used medicinally, can be found easily (in the central and Eastern states at least), is edible and a recipe for it! But through the whole series, I’d really like you to keep in mind that you have to treat the earth with respect in order to continue receiving such awesome things from her!

First off, the 4 main rules for foraging-

1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over you yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!

So for Part 1 I bring you:

Staghorn Sumac


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Staghorn Sumac is a tall bush, or small tree, with long green spikey leaves and big fuzzy clusters of bright red berries.They are ripe from June-September, you can tell they’re ripe because the berries will be red and fuzzy, like the ones pictured below.  You’ve probably seen them around, but most people have no idea they’re edible or that they hold medicinal properties! Its probably one of the most easily recognizable plants around. The only poisonous look-a-like it has is poison sumac, which has white, smooth berries. So if you color blind take someone with you to make sure you pick the right ones! They are ripe from June-September, you can tell they’re ripe because the berries will be red and fuzzy, like the ones pictured below.

The berry clusters should look like this-

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Look familiar??

And the leaves will look like this

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image source

What the whole bush/tree will look like^^ I forgot to get a picture of the actual tree (I’d forget my feet if they weren’t attached) so I borrowed the picture from over here- image source

Traditionally, the berries are used for cough syrup, made into a super delicious lemonade type tea, to slow excessive bleeding and the leaves are used for sore throats. Today, I’m going to show you how to make the lemonade berry drink (I’ve dubbed this ‘Sumac-ade, since its made with Sumac, but more along the lines of lemonade) and how to use it to help sore throats.

For the ‘Sumac-ade’ you’ll need:

A few clusters of berries (4-6 per half gallon)

2 bowls

Lukewarm water (room temperature works fine)

A strainer

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1. Take your berry clusters and make sure there are no bugs or rotten spots. Be sure you pick them during a dry spell, or a few days after rain. If you pick them immediately following a rain, the rain will have washed off the acidity and the flavor will not be as strong.

2. Pull the berries off of the twig. Pull as many as you can off and leave the branch as bare as you can. Slightly bruise the berries as you take them off.

3. Put them in the lukewarm/room temp. water and let them soak for 25 minutes. The reason you don’t use boiling water is because it releases an acid that will make your tea very bitter. It won’t hurt you, it just won’t taste good.

4. Strain out the berries.

5. Strain again through a cheesecloth to catch all of the little hairs from the berries.

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This ‘Sumac-ade’ is super high in vitamin C!! So drink up! I sweetened mine a little with some mint simple syrup, but it doesn’t have to be sweetened at all. I’m just obsessed with mint.

Lastly, dry the leaves. You can either tie them and hang them upside down til the are dried up, or put them in a dehydrator. I’m doing both methods, but have most of mine in the dehydrator, simply to save time. Remove the leaves from the stems and put them in on the lowest setting (around 95 degrees) and let them dry for around 12 hours. Or until they are fully dried. Steep it just like you would any tea and gargle or drink to soothe a sore throat! The ‘Sumac-ade’ can also be used to soothe sore throats and help colds. The high vitamin C content helps your body fight back against colds.

Enjoy the delicious flavor of ‘Sumac-ade’ and have a wonderful time foraging!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Meal Fridays, Weekend Whatever Link-Up and Natural Living Monday!

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you.*

‘I Love’ Tuesdays!

Local.

Raw.

Honey.

The honey I use. source

The honey I use, wildflower is my favorite! source

If you haven’t heard of the benefits of local, raw honey, let me enlighten you!

First off ‘raw’ honey, is honey straight from the bees in its pure, natural state. It was never heated, cleaned or processed, the pollen is still inside and sometimes even have bits of honey comb in it. It varies in taste at different times of the year, based on what the bees have been pollinating. ‘Local’ honey is just that- local.

So raw honey has tons of benefits. It has been shown to help with

  • Improving immune system
  • Calming nerves
  • Indigestion
  • Colds/Sore throats
  • Relieving pain
  • Clearing skin (used externally)

When you add local into the mix, it becomes an alley to removing seasonal allergy ailments!! Since its local, the same pollens that are causing you to have allergic reactions, are the same that the bees are pollinating. So if you eat local, raw honey, you get small amounts of the same allergens through the honey. This acts as an immune booster and can help relieve your allergies! I works in the same way receiving allergy shots over a long period of time does. You receive a small, much more manageable, dose of the allergen over a long time, keeping your body from over dosing when your exposed outside. Its pretty awesome, actually!

Mass produced ‘honey’ from the grocery store, is really not the same thing. Studies have shown that most of the honey in grocery stores has had the pollen removed! On top of that, a lot of big bee keeping companies will force feed their bees high fructose corn syrup. Which contributes to 2/3 of their production. Thus making only 1/3 of the honey, real, pure honey, and causing your ‘honey’ to contain HFCS. Not cool.

So if your still eating  mass produced ‘honey’ from the grocery store, STOP!!

Get some good quality, local, raw honey and indulge in its yummy, local flavor!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on Tuned in Tuesdays!

Why I’m Choosing to Cloth Diaper

I’m super amped about my switch from ‘sposies’ to cloth diapers. I’ve been blabbering like an idiot every chance I get to anyone who will listen about how exciting it is and how cute Delilah looks in her fluffy butt diapers.

But, why is it so important to me??

I have a few different reasons and angles.

I have the vanity angle.

Which is the least logical of all of them. Basically, cloth diapers are a million times cuter then disposable. They come in all different colors, styles and patterns. And the little, tiny, baby butts, become big, huge, puffy butts. Which, the disproportion of it all is too cute for my cuteness receptors to handle.

I have the environmentally friendly angle.

Which is, obviously, much more logical then the vanity angle.

A baby will use about 6,000 diapers in the first 2 years of life. Most babies now a days are in diapers til 3 or 4.

And where do those diapers go? Into landfills.

It is estimated that over 92% of disposables end up there. Its also estimated that it takes 250-500 years for them to decompose (1). So, by time the 6,000+ diapers you used on your baby are out of landfills you, your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren, your great great grandchildren and your great great great grandchildren will be dead. And there diapers will be the one clogging the landfills.

Every year approximately 20 BILLION  disposable diapers are dumped into landfills, which equals to 3.5 MILLION pounds of waste (2).

Cloth diapers can be used hundreds of times each. And once they aren’t good enough to use for diapers, they can be recycled into rags/burp cloths etc. And even if you do throw them out, they decompose in 1 year. My diapers are organic, so they help out even more by not adding to the chemicals already out there for growing the cotton.

So by cloth diapering I am keeping a bare minimum of 8,000 diapers per child out of landfills.

I have the health angle.

Whats in a disposable diaper?

Chlorine (eye, skin, airway irritation, very dangerous at higher volumes/prolonged exposure), dyes- yellow 3, orange 3, blue 124 and 106 (cause rashes and repeated exposure can cause allergies), low levels of dioxins (carcinogen and affects reproductive and immune systems). (3)

That’s only 3 of a diapers many, many ingredients and chemicals. And it varies diaper brand to diaper brand.

So you have an unimaginable concoction of different chemicals and toxins smashed up against the most sensitive area of your baby’s body 24/7.

I felt horrible every time I bought a pack of disposable diapers. I do so much to give her a chemical free, healthy lifestyle, yet I was still buying those diapers. They are so bad for anyone’s body, especially such a tiny, susceptible body.

I have the money angle.

Last, but not least, money. Money affects everything we do. From eating, to having a roof over our heads, to driving.

I did the math to figure out how much disposables cost us and how much cloth would cost us.

Sposies-

We spent $26.99 for 180 diapers. 180 diapers is how many we used monthly. So $26.99 a month, $323.88 a year, $1295.52 per child until they are potty trained.

Cloth-

$143.00 for start up costs. $7.00 per year in laundry soap. Up to $16.00 a month on washer/dryer costs. If I use the washing machine and dryer at my apartment building, which I don’t always have too.

Which means we will save $129.00 per year (excluding start-up costs) per child. Which ends up being over $2,000 once we factor in all our children.

In conclusion, I am choosing to cloth diaper because its cheaper, better for the environment, healthier for the baby, and adorable!!

Now ya know why I switched!

Happy cloth diapered baby!

Happy cloth diapered baby!

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~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Sources- One Two Three