Posts tagged green

Boy’s Blue “Green” Train Room

I wanted to share our boy’s new bedroom with everyone.  I am not the best decorator  in the world so I was pretty proud of how this room turned out!   Well, I have to confess, I was not the creator of this decor, only the executer.  I know when I see something I like but if I am given a blank slate, I don’t know where to begin when it comes to decorating.  Thankfully, our wonderful receptionist, Evelyn also has MANY talents!  One of those is decorating!  She enthusiastically helped us create the perfect room for the boys.  I love, love, love how it turned out!  Check out Evelyn’s Blog and Etsy store to see more of her talents!

We wanted to create a room that was all boy, highlighting J’s favorite color, blue (also Granville School colors – blue and white) and favorite interest, trains.  We wanted a room that was clean, simple, somewhat non-traditional, and flexible (easy to update as boys grow).  I did not want a super mainstream look or character theme.

Key decorative aspects of the room: Train mural,crisp, clean white walls, light blue stripe around the room from the color of the train mural sky, navy accent stripe around room, navy dresser, wood bunk beds, blue and white bedding, navy baskets on book shelf (not pictured), vintage toy signs.

On the Green Side

 

So the title of this post is the Boy’s Blue Green Train Room. 
It is more of  a easy, practical green room, not super duper greenified to the max-room.  On the scale of green-ness, I’d give it a 7.

We used Sherwin Williams zero and low VOC paint for all colors (except mural).  There is some  amount of VOC in tinted paint.

The spectacular, detailed and colorful, train mural was painted by my amazingly talented artist-sister, Erica Arndts!  J love’s trains and this was the perfect touch to make the room bigger than life!  Erica spent an entire day painting, while visiting from her home in Atlanta.  Yes, you read that right, only one day to create this masterpiece!  I know, impressive!  By the Way, if you like her work and are interested in a mural or a painting and are in the Atlanta area, contact me and I will put you in touch with her.

Notice the ceiling fan (well, I didn’t quite get it in the photo).  A great Green addition to any room to lower your utility costs.  Set it to counter-clockwise to cool your space in the summer time with a downward air flow.  Set your fan to rotate clockwise in the winter to circulate warm air that otherwise would get trapped near the ceiling. I do want to paint the blades white instead of the rainbow of pastel colors they currently are.

The bunk beds were hand made with love by Daddy!

The Navy dresser was repurposed old dresser from when Greg was a boy.  Greg sanded and painted the dresser following tips form Evelyn.  He finished it off with  new hardware.

The vintage toy signs were a find by my mom.

The white roman blinds were finished off with navy vertical gross-grain ribbon stripes by my mother-in-law, Doris.  Another ingenious idea from Evelyn!  I love how it’s the little touches here and there that make all the difference in pulling everything together in the room (Tutorial here).

The comforters I splurged on from Pottery Barn Kids 2 years ago when Greg made the bed’s.  I consider them a little green contribution because they are reversible, simple and classic pattern and nice quality.  I have high hopes that they will last the boys through high school! The green bedside lantern also came from Pottery Barn Kids.  I couldn’t resist that when I saw it (it spoke to my love for camping and outdoors.  I know, it’s not my room but had to do it).  I thought it was unique as a light fixture and added some character.

Of course the room is outfitted with compact florescent lights (CFL’s)

Finally, a Train Room wouldn’t be complete without a train table!  Our train table is mostly filled with trains and accessories from Whittle Shortline Railroad (made in USA), Plan Toys, BRIO, and Nuchi.

Tell me what you think!  Do you think I should add a rug?  What do you do to create a “green” bedroom?

   
 
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This Green Toy Stack’s Up Quite Nicely

If creativity, learning, and fun are characteristics you look for in a toy, then I have a recommendation for you.  We recently had an opportunity to try out a toy by the Green company, Plan Toys.  We have enjoyed Plan Toys long before this opportunity came about.  I love their durability.  I can tell you Plan toys nicely withstand the wrath of a toddler boy!  We have numerous Melissa and Doug wooden toys that have broken.  I called to get a replacement on one and they said it was on back order and over a year later we have not revived the toy  I was also hassled on the phone while trying to get the replacement for my child being too rough with the toy.  Well my wild and crazy AKA normal 2 year old boy has been equally rough with his Plan Toys and they have withstood the test (with the exception of 1 train connection breaking which was promptly replaced without hassle).

Planing Green

They pride themselves on their green practices.  They use organic rubberwood, no pesticides, non-toxic, non-formaldehyde glue, water based dye without lead or heavy metal, recycled materials, and soy/water based ink for printed materials which is readily biodegradable and easier to recycle than standard chemical ink.   For the past five years, Plan Toys have we replanted over 43,000 trees in 47 acres of a 2,000 acre area that has been devastated by wild fires and deforestation.   I think that gets a special green star from Mom Going Green!  Green efforts are applauded for Plan Toy’s use of renewable energy.  They use solar energy to power kiln-dries wood machines and burn scrap wood from toys as fuel.   They will soon add a biomas steam turbine generator to their repertoire of energy sources.  They also have a program called “Adaptive Toys for Children with Special needs”, where they donate specially created toys for special needs children.

Safety Matters

For parents concerned about safety Plan Toys couldn’t have made it more accessible for you to check the safety record on every toy they make.  If you Click Here, you can select any toy and Plan Toys will email you a detailed safety analysis of that toy.  It can’t get much easier than that!  As a parent who throughly researches toys before purchasing, I can tell you how refreshing it is to not have to dig and dig for hours to find safety data on a company.

Stacking up Fun

The toy we recently tested was Tower Stacking.  Jack loves to stack so this toy was great for him.  It has 5 plates each with a number on one side and a color on the other side.  Green is 5 and there are 5 green stacking blocks, red is 4 and there are 4 red stacking blocks, and so on.  The stacking blocks are all different shapes.  Some have angles so that brings another dimension to the stacking challenge.   When I first opened the toy I wasn’t sure where to begin.  I guess as an adult I was looking for directions but Jack just dove in to experimenting with the different shapes and colors.  I did find on Plan’s website Play ideas.

What I like most about this toy is that it covers many areas with different colors, shapes, sizes and numbers and that it is simple which allows for a lot of creativity and exploration by little hands and minds.   Jack had a little bit of a challenge with stacking some of the more narrow pieces.  He tried to stack each color, but the Tower Stacking toy is recommended for 3 and above and Jack just turned 2.  I think this shows that it is a toy that can grow with your child.  Jack had fun picking out the colored blocks and counting them, pointing out the different colors and experimenting with the stacking.  As he grows I’m sure he will explore the variety of different stacking options even more.


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Recipe: Leeks and Greens Soup

 

Welcome to Healthy Home, an enlightening weekly series on Mom Going Green.  Healthy Home focuses on natural health topics for the whole family.  The goal of this series is to provide moms (and dads too), with information on how to achieve optimal health for the entire household naturally.   The series will include the latest in natural health news, wholesome health tips, yummy recipes, and natural health remedies that have worked for healthy homes in years past.

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This tasty green soup will keep you warm and healthy this winter.  Homemade soups are a stable in our house in the winter.   Soup is fun because you can get creative with it.  I like to make soups with seasonal foods when possible.     Eating warm foods can also make you feel more full faster than eating colder foods.

3 Tbs Butter

1-2 Garlic cloves

1 Onion

1 Leek

8 oz Brussels sprouts (i used frozen to keep the cost down)

4.5 oz green beans

5 Cups organic vegetable stock

1 Cup frozen peas

1 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp coriander

4 Tbs organic heavy whipping cream

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and saute over low heat until soft.  Slice the white part of the leek thinly and set aside.  Slice the remaining leek, the brussels sprouts and beans.  Add all 3 to the saucepan along with the vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the peas, seasoning and lemon juice, simmer 10-15 minutes.   Let the soup cool then process in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour back into the sauce pan and add the reserved leek, boil for 5 minutes, until the leeks are soft.  Adjust the seasoning if needed, add the cream and heat gently.  Serve and enjoy!  Servings:  6, Total time:  1 hourI sometimes top with mozzarella cheese.  I like to make a double batch and freeze some for later.

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Homemade Green & Organic Play Dough

Growing Up Green!Welcome to the weekly series, Growing up Green.  This will be your eco-friendly stop for green, all-natural, toxin and chemical free tips for your family.   Learn simple and meaningful ways to make your children’s environment a little safer for their health and the earth.

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Jack 20 months Halloween 013Thursdays we have fun with art in our house and recently Jack and I created our own Green play dough.  The great think about homemade play dough is that you know and have control of every ingredient in it.  There was nothing toxic about our play dough.  I’t may not have tasted great if Jack put it in his mouth but it was safe without toxic chemical ingredients and dyes (see recipe below).  Once made, Jack enjoyed squishing and patting the play dough.  He also had fun guessing what animal, but or vehicle I was making.  Jack really wanted to drive the play dough car we made around the table but it wasn’t so hardy!  We enjoyed our art day with play dough.

 Green & Organic Play Dough:

–          1 cup Organic Flour

–          1 cup Warm Water

–          2/3 cup Sea Salt

–          2 tsp Cream of Tarter

–          1 tsp vegetable oil

–          Juice from ¼ Beet for red/pink color (*for blue try blueberry juice and for yellow try turmeric spice or curry powder.  Mix the above primary colors for additional colors.)

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a pot over medium heat.  Add in natural coloring.  Stir and heat until think.  Remove from heat and kneed until smooth.  Let cool then dig in!  Store play dough in an air tight container in your refrigerator.  Play dough will keep for quite a while.

** I have yet to try the blue or yellow yet.  If you have tried them or have another idea for all natural colors I’d love to hear about it!

Jack 20 months Halloween 010

Jack 20 months Halloween 011

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Greener Future Fridays: Composting 101

GlobeguyCompostingThere are a number of ways to compost at home.  There is worm composting, composte bins and what I all bare bones composting which I will explain today.

Why Compost

Really we should ask:  Why purchase chemical laden fertilizer when you can make your own 100% natural version?  Composting is great to supplement your garden naturally while reducing landfill waste.  About 20%-30% of householdcompost dirt waste can be compost.  Compost returns organic matter to the soil.  This will provide helpful microorganisms to aerate the soil, provide essential nutrients, loosen clay soils, help sandy soils hold moisture, and enhance root penetration.  You will have healthier plants and therefore cleaner air!

 What can be composted

  • Kitchen Scraps – fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, corn cobs, coffee grind
  • Yard Trimmings – leaves, grass clippings, twigs, shrub trimmings, hay, straw
  • Use Sparingly – sawdust and ashes – they are very high in carbon
  • Avoid – meet, bones, dairy, cooking oil, and diseased or pesticide coated plants. compost items

 How to get started:

  • Start your compost on the bare earth to help the materials decompose.  I recommend doing this in the back of your yard.  You can put a fence or covering around the area to keep animals out if you like. 
  • An area of 3-5 cubic feet is best – smaller will not stay warm enough in the winter and larger will not allow enough air in.
  • First lay down twigs and/or straw, which will help water drain and air filter through the pile. 
  • Next layer your food scraps, and continues alternating twigs/leaves/ashes (brown materials) with fruit, veggie, and other food scraps (green materials).  This will help maintain the critical carbon/nitrogen ratio.  Compost should consist of mostly carbon, about 2/3 carbon, 1/3 nitrogen.  If  you have too much nitrogen your compost may begin to take on a not so pleasant odor.  
  • Finally turn and mix up your compost regularly and make sure it gets water if it has not rained lately.  Your compost will be ready for the garden in 3-4 months.
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For more details on composting try visiting Earth Easy

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Welcome

 
Welcome to mom going green!
I have started this blog to share my journey as a new mom, and new doctor of chiropractic with a new business, learning and growing every day.  I hope I can help my family, my readers and my patients lead a healthy, green, path through life!    

 ~Dr Heather

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