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DIY Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Sewing Project

These are the cutest little trick-or-treat bags and they have so many other uses! You could make a few of them with different fabrics to use throughout the year.

What are your favorite things about fall? Letting go of summer has always been tough for me but I find comfort in the beautiful fall colors, food, gardening, and walks that we take outdoors. I love DIY projects with my little girls this time of year, like our Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Sewing Project. These are the cutest little trick-or-treat bags and they have so many other uses! You could make a few of them with different fabrics to use throughout the year.

This is a simple project that’s great for any level of expertise on the sewing machine, even with little ones by your side. I had to smile because my toddler pressing the pedal on the sewing machine reminded me of my siblings and I trying my mom’s patience while she was trying to sew. I hope you’ll enjoy making memories with your little ones and that you’ll love using your tote bags through out the years! Head on over to Scratch Mommy to see my full tutorial on how to make them.

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Kit Review & Giveaway

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our Natural Earth Paint giveaway! Congratulations to Dawn G., our winner. Please stay tuned for more healthy giveaways in the near future!

I was excited when Natural Earth Paint asked me to review their Wooden Eggs Craft Kit and Natural Egg Dye Kit because I love doing eco-friendly crafts with my daughters. I really wanted to try these paints and dyes since it’s tough to find truly non-toxic art supplies that also work well. Here’s why these natural egg kits turned out to be a huge success for us, and how you can enter to win a Wooden Eggs Craft Kit to try!

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

In this kit we received 6 wooden eggs that are 2″ high, and 6 Children’s Earth Paint colors (blue, green, yellow, white, orange and red.) The high quality eggs are handmade in the Pacific Northwest with sustainable FSC certified wood. The powdered paints are made of natural earth pigments and organic milk protein.

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

We mixed the paint in little ceramic bowls by adding a little bit of water to the powder to reach a creamy consistency. We just mixed a little of each color at a time so we could save them for future painting projects. Each color mixed together very smoothly and easily, unlike some other natural paints we have tried. You can make the paint a thinner consistency for a watercolor effect, but we liked the thicker consistency for the eggs. It covered very nicely and the hues are so vibrant and beautiful!

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

After the paint dried, I used a homemade natural beeswax polish to seal the eggs and prevent the paint from smudging from moisture.

Success! My four year old daughter had so much fun spending hours carefully painting her eggs, and loved the bright colors. From a mama point of view, I love this kit because I have peace of mind knowing my kids are not ingesting anything toxic when they get the paint on their skin or even in their mouths. I LOVE how these eggs can be reused every year at Easter time, and also how we can paint some every year to create little keepsakes for the kids.

Natural Egg Dye Kit

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

In the Natural Egg Dye Kit we received 4 colors of dye (green purple, orange and blue) made from pure fruit and vegetable extracts (spinach, purple carrots, turmeric, beets, red cabbage, and blueberries.)

We filled 4 glasses with a half cup of hot water each, poured in the powdered dye and mixed. We dropped a hard-boiled egg into each and let them sit for 15-20 minutes. We used brown eggs, so they turned out to have a vintage look to them. The earth colors are so beautiful and rich. We preferred these natural colors over the synthetic colors in conventional dye kits.

Natural Earth Paint Wooden Eggs Craft Kit Review & Giveaway @ DailyPea.com

Success! My daughters were excited to see the bright, pretty colors on the eggs when they lifted them out of the glasses. We put rubber bands on some eggs to make stripes, and painted some with the paint left over from the wooden eggs. From a mama point of view, I love that these dyes are 100% pure, natural and non-toxic. I know that most conventional egg dye kits contain some pretty toxic chemicals. Here is a New York Times article that Natural Earth Paint passed along to me, about synthetic dyes: F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings. Natural Earth Paint also mentioned this:

“The “natural dye” currently used for red in most naturally dyed products (lipstick, cherry coke, some natural egg dyes, etc.) is the blood of the cochineal bug, also called carmine. These bugs are farmed and crushed in a very ecologically irresponsible way.”

I’m very happy that there are 100% safe and non-toxic options available! Making your own dyes out of fruit and vegetable pigments at home is also an option, which is a bit more time consuming and messy. I love the Natural Egg Dye kit because it’s so convenient.

GIVEAWAY!

Enter below to win a Wooden Eggs Craft Kit just in time for Easter! Thank you to Natural Earth Paint for sponsoring this giveaway.

About the Natural Earth Paint Company

Leah Fanning Mebane, a professional visual artist, founded Natural Earth Paint with her husband in 2011 with the goal of providing non-toxic paints to artists and health-conscious parents. This quickly growing family business focuses on an eco-friendly business model and holds the Gold Certification from Green America. They currently have about a dozen products sold on their website including Natural Face Paint and Earth Oil Paint, and they’re always working on the development of future products. They use recycled and biodegradable packaging, and use vegetable-based inks for printing.

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How to Have a Clean Christmas {Guest Post by Nourish and Inspire Me}

How to Have a Clean Christmas {Guest Post by Nourish and Inspire Me} - Tips on sticking to healthy eating habits during the holidays. DailyPea.com

Living a whole-food, health conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to stop just because Santa is coming! Being aware of the things to avoid and also the things to include in your holidays is important. I want to share with you today a few tips that can help keep your Christmas clean while still have an amazing holiday!

Exercise – Keep up your exercise routine

Although it may seem that there is less time to exercise around the holidays, maintaining your exercise routine is important. You can make time by adding exercise to your social agenda. Doing something physically active for your catch ups keeps you fit and feeling good over the holidays. Exercise releases feel good endorphins, increases circulation and lymphatic drainage which enhances immune function and increases bone density.

Tip: Instead of going to a bar/cafe, catch up with friends at the park, gym or even go for a bike ride! Take a class together like dancing, yoga, boxing or bootcamp!

Self-love & Relaxation

Giving Christmas presents to all your loved ones is a huge part of Christmas but did you ever think of giving yourself a gift at Christmas? I really do believe that loving yourself is one of the most important parts of healthy living, especially for the mothers out there who often focus so much on their children and forget to love and care for themselves. Treat yourself to a massage, meditation, a relaxing spa or any other way that feels special to you.

Tip: Even just congratulating yourself on all the things you have achieved for the year is an act of self-love and recognition. Express gratitude for all that you have, this brings more things into your life to be grateful for!

Party Time

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Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the “bad food buffet” at parties that are filled with sugar, trans fats and even pesticides or genetically modified food. A trick that I like to use is to eat a little something healthy at home before you go out so you don’t end up eating the “bad” stuff!

Tip: Add some protein like eggs, nuts or free-range meat to your “before party meal”, this will give you longer lasting energy. A green smoothie with Spirulina is a great choice and will also add extra protein and the added benefit of alkalinity and detoxification.

Preserved Meats

Sodium nitrate is used to preserve christmas hams, bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats. Sodium nitrate turns to nitrosamines when charred or burnt and this chemical has been linked with cancer. Vegetables such as kale and celery actually contain natural nitrates and some companies use celery juice/powder, instead of sodium nitrate (which is made in a science lab), to preserve their meats. These may be a better alternative for your christmas ham this year. However, over consumption of processed meats, no matter what kind of nitrates they contain, I don’t believe is beneficial for your health. I generally avoid processed meats all together and choose fresh organic meats instead.

Note: If using meat preserved with celery powder/juice ensure you cook your meat thoroughly.

Tip: If consuming processed meats ensure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables high in Vitamin C to potentially protect against the effects of nitrates/nitrosamines. Eg Broccoli, lemons, leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach, tomatoes, asparagus and avocados.

Use Fresh raw vegetables like carrots, celery or cucumber with your dips to increase the raw, enzyme rich food you consume over the holidays.

To read more on this:

http://www.naturalnews.com/007024.html

http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2012/09/nitrates-the-good-the-bad-the-truth/

http://www.naturalnews.com/039241_processed_meat_toxins_food-borne_illness.html

Checking Labels

Look for and avoid MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colours, trans-fats, vegetable-oils, hydrogenated oils, food colourings and preservatives. Some stuffings contain MSG, which is bad news! It causes damage to the nervous system, including killing brain cells. MSG is a flavour enhancer found in things like noodles, coffee, soda and meat.

Tip: hidden MSG on labels: natural flavour, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and yeast extract.

Alcohol:

drink

Be conscious about your alcohol consumption and also your choice of alcohol. Stick to lighter coloured spirits like vodka and mix with mineral water and fresh lemon/lime. Organic and preservative free red wine is rich in antioxidants and also a good choice. Also consider things like Mocktails made with cold-pressed juice, fresh fruit, sparkling mineral water and mint or spices. They are so satisfying and refreshing! Limit your alcohol to 1-2 glasses and drink plenty of filtered water through the day and in between drinks.

Note: It might be also wise to increase your probiotic intake over the Christmas period as toxins like alcohol can kill the good bacteria in your gut which are the foundation of your immune system. Fermented foods like cabbage, kimchi, low sugar kombucha drinks, plain yoghurts, homemade rejuvelac or a good probiotic supplement will all benefit your gut flora.

Tip: everyday drink roasted dandelion root tea or take St Mary’s/Milk thistle to detoxify and protect your liver from alcohol.

Sauces & Salad Dressings:

Cranberries9-2text

Some pre-made sauces/dressings can contain large amounts of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils and preservatives. These sugars may be lurking in many different products that you might not expect eg. Breads, yoghurts, salad dressing and sauces. Christmas favourites like apple sauce and cranberry sauce are really easy to make at home without the nasties. Your local Natural Health food store may have some healthier pre-made alternatives too, but be sure to inspect labels.

Make your own salad dressings using healthy ingredients like cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, organic dijon mustard, herbs, tahini, plain yoghurt and sea salt.

Tip: Use organic apples when making apple sauce as apples are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Green apples also have less sugar so are also a good option.

Here is a link to a delicious cranberry sauce:

http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/spiced-orange-cranberry-sauce/

Desserts & Sweets:

jonsson_brooke_20131214_0432

I always think it’s best to make your own sweets at home. That way you can avoid the bad stuff. Choose fats like coconut oil or organic butter (if you eat dairy). When you’re adding sweeteners to foods stick to whole-food sugars like dates, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia or raw honey. These options still have beneficial nutrients such as minerals or fibre to keep blood sugar levels under control.

My Christmas Cookbook has a variety of Christmas favourites like Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread and an Egg Nog recipe which I am going to share with you today. All my recipes are are all dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and soy-free. There are some really simple recipes in the ebook that you could cook with your kids. Educating your kids on cooking real whole-foods I think is important, so you might like to get the kids involved in making things like the chocolate Truffles this christmas?

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Free Recipe from our Christmas Cookbook – available through this link for $4.99 http://nourishandinspireme.com/christmas-cookbook/

Stay tuned…Daily Pea will be hosting a giveaway of this beautiful Christmas Cookbook very soon!

MINI “EGG NOG” SMOOTHIE

jonsson_brooke_20131124_0021 (1)

This is my raw version of an egg nog, obviously minus the sugar, cream and complicated mess! I love recipes that are quick and easy to make but satisfy your taste buds! All though it may not seem like the “real thing”, this smoothie take on egg nog will not disappoint. I have used fresh, whole foods to create a creamy smoothie with festive spices. These mini smoothies will get you in the festive mood without feeling like you have over indulged. Serve in mini cold glasses as a treat for your guests to enjoy on arrival or after their meal.

Dairy-free / Gluten-free / Sugar-free / Raw / Serves 2 small sizes

INGREDIENTS

1 frozen banana

1 egg

1 tsp mixed spice

1⁄4 tsp vanilla pwd

Handful of cashews

1⁄2 cup coconut milk

3 tsp coconut whipped cream for extra creaminess or just the thick/solid part of the coconut cream.

HOW TO MAKE

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and pour into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with mixed spice and garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired. Merry Christmas!

Short Bio

SUZIE-46 (1)

Nourish & Inspire Me was created from across the globe between me and my sister Brooke. I live in Melbourne, Australia and Brooke is currently living in Austin, Texas in the USA. We’ve always been interested in health and wellness and love to create health conscious meals based around whole organic food. I have done a Diploma in Remedial massage and i am also a singer/songwriter. Brooke has degree in International Business and Marketing and is responsible for most of our website design, photography and food styling. With our website we hope to inspire others to do what they love, eat well and connect to their true selves. I truly believe that to create positive change you must, “Be the change, you wish to see in the world”. I hope that our website can help improve your life in some way no matter how big or small.

YOU CAN FIND LINKS TO OUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES BELOW:

Nourish and Inspire Me

Nourish and Inspire Me Pinterest

Nourish and Inspire Me Facebook

Nourish and Inspire Me Instagram

Nourish and Inspire Me Google+

Last Minute Gift Guide {Healthy, Eco-Friendly, Natural}

Last Minute Gift Guide - Healthy, Eco-Friendly, Natural @DailyPea.com

It’s extra special to give gifts that you know are healthy for your loved ones and the environment. Sometimes it’s tricky to find affordable gifts that fall into the healthy, eco-friendly and natural categories, so I wanted to put together a guide to help inspire you during the busy last minute part of the holidays…or any time of the year. The DIY gifts are my favorite, and the ones on this list are easy and quick projects!

Natural Beauty

  • Scratch Mommy Skincare is an awesome line of organic, non-toxic, healthy products created by a mama who blogs about real food and non-toxic household solutions. Her products include body butters, lip lotions, deodorants, tooshie salves for babies, sunscreens, bug spray and body lotion. All ingredients are certified organic, raw, unrefined, 100% pure, sustainably sourced and GMO-Free.
  • 100% pure goat milk soap by Red Clay Soap – I LOVE this soap.

DIY Gifts

Essential Oils

For the Gardener

Kitchen

Laundry

  • I have to include my favorite wool dryer balls – we LOVE these and I swear I’ll never use dryer sheets again. Here’s my post about them here.

For the Little Ones

Organic Clothing

What healthy, eco-friendly and natural gifts have you given in the past? Please add to our gift idea list!

Simple DIY Holiday Project: Burlap Door Hanger

DIY Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

You know the big bright garden flags at the home improvement stores that are on display for each of the seasons and holidays? Every time we walk by, my 3 year old daughter loves to look at them and asks if we can bring one (or 5) home. I’ll admit that I gave in and bought a Halloween one. I loved to see the excitement on her face when she saw it outside our front window every day. But, I thought there must be a less expensive DIY alternative for future holidays that we can match to our style.

I had lots of burlap left over from another project, so I thought maybe I could make a door hanger out of it. It turned out to be really pretty, and the nice thing is you can be creative with the shape, size and colors. I made mine double-sided so I can either hang it on the door or hang it as a garden flag. It costs maybe $12 at the most to make. This is a very simple project; I am far from a pro on the sewing machine and it was something I could quickly make while my little ones helped.

You’ll Need:

  • A sewing machine, pins and sharp fabric scissors
  • 1 yard of burlap*
  • 1 yard of outdoor canvas* (if you would like to waterproof your flag, here’s a natural option)
  • Outdoor craft paint and brushes
  • A wooden dowel
  • Jute twine

* This is how much fabric you’ll need to make a 22″ by 30″ finished door hanger/flag. You’ll have a little bit of burlap left over.

How to Make a Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

Check out your local fabric store for burlap and outdoor canvas…I had a 50% off coupon when I bought mine. To get started, measure and cut 2 pieces of canvas. Don’t forget to allow 1 extra inch horizontally for 1/2″ seams, and an extra 2 1/2″ vertically for 1/2″ seams and the 1 1/2″ hanging edge. The finished size of my door hanger is 22″ by 30″.

How to Make a Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

Create 1/2″ seams on all 4 sides of each piece of canvas by pinning and then sewing them.

How to Make a Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

Decide how much of a canvas border you would like and then cut your 2 pieces of burlap. I chose to have 3″ of canvas around my burlap design so my pieces are 16″ by 24″. Remember to allow a little extra on all sides for fraying. Paint your design on both pieces of burlap (it helps to use a stencil…I cut mine out of newspaper.)

How to Make a Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

Center each burlap piece, designs facing up, on top of each canvas piece and sew them together one at a time so you end up with 2 separate sides for your hanger/flag.

How to Make a Burlap Door Hanger - DailyPea.com

Sew both of the sides together, designs facing up. Then fold the top edge over 1 1/2″ and sew it down. Slide the wooden dowel through the top and tie jute twine to each edge of the dowel to hang. It’s nice to have 4 layers of fabric because the heaviness helps it to hang flat, and it’s more versatile for hanging since it has 2 design sides.

Easy Homemade Eggnog

Easy Homemade Eggnog - DailyPea.com - This is a cooked recipe using raw honey instead of refined sugar.

Unless it’s organic, store-bought eggnog can contain some nasty ingredients like artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and preservatives. That fact started my quest for an easy homemade eggnog recipe. My husband loves eggnog and buys it many times during the holiday season. He decides to not buy the organic kind because it’s expensive and he’s the only one in our family who drinks it. For some reason, I’ve never been a fan of eggnog. I would rather have a nice bowl of ice cream. Anyway, I see my husband drinking the stuff with the nasty ingredients and I keep saying that I’ll try and make some from scratch. I finally did this year, and he thinks it tastes much better than his store-bought kind. It’s also much less expensive to make it from scratch with organic ingredients we almost always have in the kitchen.

I’m definitely not reinventing the wheel here. There are tons of eggnog recipes online. I scoured through many and sort of combined bits and pieces. I wanted an easy cooked recipe (some recipes out there are super complicated) without refined sugar. My husband doesn’t want to drink raw eggnog, which is fine. He’s the only one drinking it at our house so I made it the way he prefers it. Here it is! Hope you enjoy it as much as he does. The recipe is pretty simple, so you can doctor it to fit your taste preference. Note: you must be really patient and keep on stirring while the eggnog slowly cooks. It also can’t cook to a temperature over 160 degrees F, or the eggs will overcook and make the eggnog chunky. Trust me, it’s gross. It happened to me the first time I made it. Grab your candy thermometer.

Easy Homemade Eggnog

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Easy Homemade Eggnog

Ingredients

  • 4 organic pastured eggs
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of organic ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together eggs and honey. Add the nutmeg and a dash of salt.
  2. Stir in half of the milk, setting the other half aside.
  3. Stir in the cream.
  4. Turn the heat on and set to medium-low. CONSTANTLY stir while the mixture SLOWLY cooks...this is important! If the eggs overcook, your eggnog will become chunky.
  5. As soon as the mixture reaches 160 degrees F, remove from heat and pour into a separate cool pan. (It only took about 10-15 minutes of cooking to reach 160 degrees for me. I used a candy thermometer in the pan to monitor the temperature.)
  6. Stir in the remaining cold milk.
  7. Stir in vanilla.
  8. Chill in refrigerator before serving if desired. When poured into a glass, sprinkle the top with plenty of cinnamon.
  9. Very pretty served in a Ball vintage blue mason jar!
http://www.dailypea.com/easy-homemade-eggnog

Thanksgiving Side Dishes Recipe Roundup

Real Food Thanksgiving Side Dishes (Recipe Roundup) @ DailyPea.com

Is Thanksgiving really next week already? It sneaks up so quickly every year. If you’ve ever cooked for Thanksgiving, you know that side dishes can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the menu planning. So much focus goes into the main dishes that the sides may become an afterthought. Or basically, you’re so tired after thinking about the main dishes that you don’t have the energy to agonize over the sides. If you’re still contemplating which sides to serve on Thanksgiving, this post is for you! To help inspire you (or ease your mind if you’re slightly panicking at the last minute) I put together a short list of delicious, real food recipes from a few of my favorite blogger friends. Each recipe is creative and unique (even an edible centerpiece!) They’re also pretty simple to make. There’s a very good chance that you’ll find something that everyone on your guest list will enjoy!

Salads

Breads/Stuffing

Potatoes

Fruits/Veggies

An Eco-Friendly First Birthday Party

Eco-Friendly First Birthday Party Ideas @ DailyPea.com

My baby girl’s first birthday was last weekend and it’s still very surreal to me that she’s already one. It seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital for her to be born 25 minutes after we arrived there! The past twelve months have flown by faster than any other time in my life; even more quickly than my three-year-old’s first year. The main thing I’ve learned is to just soak up every moment. Even when things get tough I tell myself that it’ll soon pass, but to be thankful for every moment because I’ll never get that time back with my babies. They grow up so fast.

About the birthday celebration! It was nice to take a day to relax since we’re in the midst of packing for our big move to South Carolina coming up in a couple of weeks. Things are a little chaotic right now, so I didn’t have much extra time or a large budget to have a big party. We had a small gathering with our family on that beautiful summer day, and it was just perfect! I wanted to share my eco-friendly, time-saving and money-saving party ideas with you since they would work for any size and any theme.

Birthday Banner

How to Make an Eco-Friendly Birthday Banner @ DailyPea.com

I made this birthday banner from burlap, eco-felt, paint and used jute twine to hang it. Personalized banners like this one are pricey to buy online, but I made my own for just about $15! (See how to make it here.) It was easy to make in just 4 steps, and will last beautifully for years. I made letters for both of my girls’ names so I can use the banner for each of their birthdays.

Mason Jar Flowers

Mason Jar Flowers @ DailyPea.com

There’s nothing prettier in the summertime than fresh flowers from the farmer’s market. I reused large canning jars as vases; filling them with the colorful flowers. They look just as vibrant almost a week later!

Wooden Keepsake Party Favors

Wooden Keepsake Boxes as Party Favors @ DailyPea.com

There are tons ideas out there for birthday party favors, like the little plastic toys you can find at the dollar store. Although they’re cute and fun, I wanted to come up with an equally affordable, yet meaningful alternative. I found these 4″ x 4″ wooden star boxes (find them here) store and painted them with water colors. They turned out to be cute little keepsake boxes. We incorporated stars into our theme since Hazel was born around the 4th of July.

Organic Cupcakes

Organic Cupcakes by The Cupcake Shoppe in Grand Rapids, MI

I just didn’t have the time to bake a cake from scratch and all of my kitchen supplies are packed away for our move. Thank goodness I found Jessica at The Cupcake Shoppe. She did such a beautiful job creating these delicious 100% organic cupcakes. She made the frosting coloring with beet powder, and the cupcake liners were chlorine-free, eco-friendly baking papers. Hazel even had her own adorable mini cake to smash! I love the organic star sugar cookies that tied into our theme. Jessica’s works of art were almost too beautiful to eat, so I must have taken a hundred pictures before we dug in!

Waldorf Baby Doll

Waldorf Baby Doll

I bought Hazel her first soft baby doll for her first birthday, just like I did for her big sister’s first birthday. Her Waldorf Cuddle doll is perfect for her to carry around and snuggle. It’s about 11″ tall so she can hold her and drag her around everywhere. Right now she’s teething so she chews on the soft arms. I bought it from Bella Luna Toys, which is a great website to shop at because they offer lots of fair trade, earth friendly, creative options that are safe and affordable.

Heirloom Wooden Blocks

Uncle Goose Heirloom Wooden Blocks

Hazel’s other heirloom first birthday present is a set of Uncle Goose alphabet blocks (you can find them here.) I gave Sadie a set of uppercase letter blocks for her first birthday, and a lowercase set for Hazel. These gorgeous blocks are hand crafted in Grand Rapids, Michigan and are made from sustainable Michigan basswood embossed and printed with non-toxic inks. I just love old-fashioned, classic wooden toys that can be passed down from generation to generation, and it’s so great to see a local company hand manufacturing them.

After each birthday party that I’ve planned so far for my kids, I’ve picked up a few more tips on how to make parties eco-friendly and affordable. It’s fun to plan parties and discover new ways to be healthy at the same time!

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner in 4 Easy Steps

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner @ DailyPea.com

For my daughter’s upcoming first birthday, I wanted to make an eco-friendly party banner that we’ll be able to reuse throughout the years. There are beautiful cloth banners that you can purchase online, but they’re quite expensive. I figured out how to make one with eco-felt, burlap, paint and jute twine for just about 15 dollars. I made letters for both of our girls’ names so we can switch them out for each of their birthdays. This banner will last much longer than the paper one that I made a couple of years ago for my oldest daughter’s first birthday. The paper one was super cute, but it tore and bent and fell apart after using it a couple of times.

I’ll show you how you can make your own eco-friendly party banner in 4 easy steps. I made 23 letters total and have lots of fabric left with the measurements and quantities below. Eco-felt is awesome because there are infinite ways to creatively use leftover scraps such as making puppets, ornaments, doll clothes, and more.

You’ll need:

  • A sewing machine
  • Sharp scissors
  • 1 yard of natural burlap (can be found at stores such as Joann Fabrics)
  • 1/2 yard each of 3 colors of eco-felt, or any number of colors you wish (can be found at stores such as Joann Fabrics)
  • Eco-friendly, non-toxic acrylic paint (check out Nature of Art for Kids)
  • Craft paint brushes
  • Letter stencils
  • Natural jute twine (can be found at the hardware store)

Step 1: Cut out your fabric pieces. I made a template for each size from newspaper and pinned it the fabric, then cut around the template. My felt pieces are 6″ x 8″ and the burlap pieces are 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ square.

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner @ DailyPea.com

Step 2: Paint your letters onto the burlap squares using the stencils, or sponging the paint on works as well.

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner @ DailyPea.com

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner @ DailyPea.com

Step 3: Pin your burlap pieces to the felt pieces. Fold the top of each felt piece over about 1 1/2″ inches to the back; this is where you’ll thread your jute twine through when you hang your banner. Sew the burlap and felt pieces together, leaving around a 1/4″ to 1/2″ allowance around all edges of the burlap when you sew; the fabric will fray a bit.

Step 4: Thread the jute twine through the tops of each sewn piece to hang your banner. I tied an end of the twine to a pencil to help thread it through. The twine has a rough texture, so the felt sort of sticks to it and the pieces won’t slide while your banner is hanging.

Make an Eco-Friendly Party Banner @ DailyPea.com

Have fun making your beautiful Earth-friendly banner, and enjoy reusing it for years to come! To store it, just remove the jute twine and stack the letters on top of each other.

Savory-Sweet Apple Salad

Savory-Sweet Apple Salad @ DailyPea.com

The combination of savory and sweet flavors in this organic apple salad are a tasty alternative to the usual apples and dip. It’s a refreshing, light side that goes well with just about anything. I make it during the week for lunches, and also make it for gatherings. We served it at Sadie’s 3rd birthday party because it’s a favorite for both kids and adults.

Savory-Sweet Apple Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 8

Savory-Sweet Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic whole fat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup organic raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic paprika
  • 1 tablespoon organic spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup organic orange juice
  • 3 stalks organic celery, thinly sliced
  • 5 large organic apples, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

  1. To make the yogurt mixture, combine the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss the apples with the orange juice.
  3. Add apples and celery to the yogurt mixture, coating well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.
  5. Serve chilled.
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