One mama's Perspective on Living Lightly on our Earth

Sharing information, products and experiences to help keep our children safe, green and happy!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer - When your desire for Fun in the Sun is Burdened by UV Protetion Worries

How can you limit your baby or child's exposure to the harmful UV Rays without coating them in toxic cream?

  • Wear a Wide Brim Sun Hat
  • Use Natural Sunscreen like Green Beaver or Badger Brands formulating with zinc oxide to create a physical block from UVA and UVB.
  • Avoid Peak Sun Hours When Possible (12-4pm) and get out in the mornings and evenings instead
  • Wear UV Protection Swim wear at the beach, back yard or outdoor pools.
  • Find Shade
  • Wear light clothing
  • Remember to Reapply Sunscreen every couple of hours and after swimming or you will increase your chance of sun burns for sure.
  • Use Eye protection like Babiators to protect your child's eyes
  • Pack lots of water for outdoor hikes, beach days etc


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ditch your Disposable Food Pouch Habit!

 In our ongoing effort to eat healthy, the grab and go baby food pouches seem like the ultimate convenience without the trade off of poor nutrition but have you consider the amount of single use waste you're creating with your food pouch habit? 

Check out this article with all the details of the "True Cost of Baby Food Pouches" and resolve to move onto a reusable option at least some of the time.

Ready to ditch the disposable food pouches and start using more sustainable reusable pouches?

In our hunt for the perfect reusable baby food pouch, we found the Squeasy Snacker

It's made from silicone which is a much safer alternative than the lining of traditional throw away food pouches which are often coated with non-stick materials (a long known possible danger to our health in pans etc. EWG Article here.)  

One of these pouches used for 1 baby could divert plenty of the single use packages from our landfills. 

Also, in practice, the pouch is easy to use and can be converted from no-spill or free flow, just be adding or removing the included valve. No additional purchases needed. 

If you're looking to pack smoothies in your child's lunch, this is the best way even for older kids. Straws and water bottles just get plugged up and messy with smoothie. 

Need some inspiration for making your own filling?:

  • Try pouring your left over smoothie in
  • Apple Sauce
  • Avocado + Banana Mash 
  • Yogurt
  • Cooled Soups - Like Cream of Broccoli etc
Make a blender full of Kale, Berries, Bananas, Almond Milk, and Chia Seeds. Or use any fruit and veg you have around. 

Have some more ideas, leave a comment with your filling inspirations or ideas to stop the single use disposable pouches:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Choosing the Right Crib Mattress for your Baby!

When you're planning for baby to arrive one of the most important purchases is the crib mattress. Your baby can spend up to 20 hours sleeping in the newborn phase! That's a lot of time spent on a crib mattress- you want to be sure you've chosen a toxin free, safe and comfortable mattress for your baby.

All of our mattresses at Abby Sprouts in Victoria BC Canada are Green Guard Certified- this means they've been tested by a third party and given their seal of approval so you can sleep easy.

Quality Crib Mattresses range in price from about $200-500 depending on the manufacturer, materials and type of mattress you choose.

Be weary of companies trying to jump on the natural baby wagon and marketing their product as natural by putting a bunch of green leafs or alike on the packaging. What you want to know is if there is any chemical flame retardants and what type of plastic has been used if the mattress is waterproof in addition to what the inside of the mattress is made from. Steer clear of vinyls, Polyurethane foam and brominated flame retardants as well as any mattress without firm edge support. 

If budget is a primary concern and even spending $200 is going to stretch your family budget. The basic Lullaby Earth Crib Mattress is a great budget friendly option that will suit your needs without compromising your values. Bonus it's lightweight so changing sheets is actually quite easy! (If you're looking for an added feature there's a 2-Stage Lullaby Earth Crib Mattress as well which means one firm side for Infants and a softer side for toddlers).

If you're looking for the best of the best, choose a Naturepedic crib mattress.

Naturepedic is the only company that uses low density, food-grade polyethylene for the purpose of waterproofing and dust mite proofing. Strict independent testing confirms there are no phthalates or any toxic chemicals in this polyethylene. A waterproof mattress is important when dealing with messy babies because any moisture in the mattress could cause mould to grow. If you opt for the non-waterproof make sure to get a waterproof crib mattress protector!

None of the Naturepedic baby or crib mattresses contain any wool or latex (which can be allergens). They use certified organic cotton as the filling material. There is no polyurethane foam in their mattresses. With Naturepedic’s innovative design, the mattresses passes all Federal and State flammability standards without the use of any fire retardant chemicals or barriers. They use organic cotton fabric, organic cotton fiber and PLA fiber (made from plant starch).

All Naturepedic baby and crib mattresses are GOTS certified. They are certified to the GOTS standard by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) and Control Union (CU). All Naturepedic mattresses passed independent testing by the strictest GREENGUARD Select standard.
In a Naturepedic mattress, there are no flame retardants or flame retardant barriers, no perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), no antibacterial treatments or biocides, no glues or adhesives, no allergens, and no GMO cotton or other GMO fibers.

Naturepedic Offers a Full Line of Crib Mattresses to choose from which makes it a challenge for the indecisive!

There is 3 Main Types and here's the Jist of Each:

The Classic Lightweight Crib Mattress by Naturepedic:

  • The Mattress Core is wave foam support system instead of coil inner springs. 
  • Lightweight Means Easy to Change Sheets. Perhaps less durable than innerspring models though if you're planning to use for subsequent children. 
  • Polyethylene Food grade Waterproofing.  
  • Budget Friendly 

The Ultra Crib Mattress with Inner Spring and Organic Cotton Fill, Seamless:
  • Features a Durable 252 Inner Coil System 
  • Filling is just organic cotton + steel inner coils
  • Polyethylene Food Grade Waterproofing featuring seamless edges so there is no where for liquid to enter unlike traditional mattress edges
  •  Available in Regular Infant Firm on Both Sides or Dual Firmness ie. 1 Infant Side and 1 Toddler Side
The Non-Waterproof Quilted Organic Cotton with Innerspring Mattress
  • Offer 252 Coil Durable Inner Spring System
  • More mature Quilted Organic Cotton Top
  • The entire crib mattress is certified organic to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This ensures that your crib mattress meets a healthy non-toxic standard and is truly organic!
Give us a call at the store at 250-294-8978 or come into Abby Sprouts Eco-Friendly Baby and Kids Store at 1841 Oak Bay Ave. in Victoria BC Canada

We do offer free local deliver for crib mattresses too!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year from Abby Sprouts!
We wish all of our valued customers happiness, health, and plenty of eco-friendly living in 2015!
tuned as the Abby Sprouts blog explores various ways for you and your family to lead happier, healthier, and more eco-friendly lives in the months ahead.
We suspect that your holiday season might have been filled with a few too many indulgences in the
dietary realm. With that in mind, we present you with a deliciously decadent celebration cake that is
vegan, gluten-free, and packed with wholesome nutrition.
Make this cake and ring in the new year on a healthy note!
Chocolate Maca Bliss Cake with Caramel and Fudge Frosting
You would never believe that this cake is gluten-free and vegan. It is moist, dense, and fudgy, just as a chocolate cake should be, yet it is packed with wholesome nutrition.
Two layers of pure chocolate cake bliss are accompanied by a hefty dose of almond butter caramel in the middle… pure heaven.
This cake contains superfoods like chia seeds, raw cacao, maca, coconut sugar, quinoa, almonds, and avocado, so go ahead and have a second piece. For once, you won’t regret eating dessert.
Cake and fudge frosting adapted from Kitchen Cures:
Revolutionize Your Health with Foods that Heal by Peggy Kotsopoulos
Chocolate Maca Layer Cake with Caramel and Fudge Frosting
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
¼ cup water
1 large ripe banana
½ cup raw almond butter
2 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 cup almond milk (homemade is best but you can easily get this at most grocery stores!)
½ cup coconut sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup cooked quinoa
3 tbsp maca
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt

Salted Caramel Layer:
¼ cup raw almond butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup raw virgin coconut oil
1/8 tsp fine grain sea salt

Fudge Frosting
2 large, very ripe avocado
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Line two 9-inch square or circle glass, ceramic, or stainless steel cake pans with unbleached parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix chia seeds with water and set aside until gel forms.

In large bowl, mash banana with fork until smooth and no chunks remain.

Mix in almond butter, coconut oil, almond milk, chia gel, coconut sugar,
vanilla extract, and quinoa.

In separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Scoop batter into prepared pan, ensuring that you divide batter evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm to the touch.

Cool in pans for ten minutes. Remove from pans and place on cooling racks for one
hour. Move cakes onto a plate. Stack them, but leave a layer of parchment in between them to prevent

Place cakes in refrigerator while you prepare the caramel and fudge layers.

To make caramel, place a heat-proof glass bowl over a pot of water. Place coconut oil in bowl and place pot on stove. Heat until coconut oil melts. Stir in almond butter and maple syrup. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate until solid but spreadable, about two hours.

To make fudge frosting, scoop flesh from avocado and place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles rich chocolate pudding (the frosting makes a delicious dessert in itself!).

Refrigerate for at least two hours.

To assemble cake, place one layer on a plate. Spread this layer with all of the caramel sauce (seriously… it will look thick, but you only live once! This caramel sauce is free from butter and refined sugar, so not to worry).

Place second cake layer on top. Ice the entire cake with all of the fudge frosting.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Eco/Health Tips:
1) We recommend that you use organic ingredients in this cake for optimal taste, health, and
environmental benefits.
2) To avoid packaging waste, bring your own glass jars, containers, and/or reusable cloth bags to a
health food store’s bulk food section and have a blast purchasing ingredients for this cake. If you
live in Victoria, Ingredients Health Food Store is a great source for all bulk organic items. As an
added incentive, customers are rewarded with a 10% discount for bringing their own containers
for bulk items!
3) Get the kids involved in the preparation of this cake! Spending time in the kitchen with your
children and teaching them about the importance of preparing wholesome, healthy, and natural
food together is one of the best ways to improve your family’s physical and spiritual health.

Thanks to newest staff member Allison for her recipe and instructions above.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

Top 6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Options!
The holiday season is well upon us, and with it comes the long-standing tradition of lavishing loved ones with presents. An unfortunate consequence of the most wonderful time of the year is the amount of waste that accompanies it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the volume of household waste in the United States increases 25 percent during the month of December.
That’s about 1 million extra tons of waste!
What’s an eco-conscious family to do?
A great way to reduce your environmental impact this holiday
season is to ditch the single-use, non-recyclable wrapping paper in favour of these original and eco-
friendly options. Gift recipients and the planet will thank you for it!
1) Brown Craft Paper and Twine
Kids will have a ball decorating the paper with eco-friendly art supplies such as
Opt for twine instead of plastic ribbon; hemp twine and cotton twine are both reusable and biodegradable.
2) Burlap Sacks
If you don’t have any at home, your local organic market or organic bulk food store might have
some extras. Not only are these bags durable, but they can also provide kids with hours of
entertainment. Can you say potato sack races?
3) Sheet Music, Maps, Magazines, Comic Books
Reuse old paper and tailor the wrapping to the recipient’s interests. A foodie might enjoy
receiving a gift wrapped in food magazine pages, while your globetrotting pal would get a kick
out of a map-wrapped present!
4) Old Fabric
Everyone has scraps of fabric lying around their houses. You can wrap the gift in fabric and
secure it with twine or, if you have prowess at the sewing machine, you can make your own gift
bags too!
5) Keep Leaf Storage Baskets or Bolga Baskets
Keep Leaf storage baskets are made with 100 percent organic cotton and come in an array of
sizes and designs. Bolga Baskets are beautiful fair trade woven baskets made in Africa.
Both are exquisite options for packaging gifts.
The best part is that they are gifts in themselves and can be used by the recipient!
6) Forego Wrapping Altogether!
This option is particularly fun for young families. Instead of wrapping gits, hide them around the
house and have a scavenger hunt! Parents can write clever clues for the kids to figure out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NEW Sakura Bloom Classic Linen & Silk Ring Slings Fall Collection in stock now!
The gorgeous and functional silk ring slings, made in the USA by Sakura Bloom are now in stock in Canada at our storefront in Victoria, BC, Canada or online too.
Bluegrass: green cross woven with blue, a sweet and soulful combination.
Cayman: Blue crosswoven with green. Echoes of the brilliant colors and exotic flora and fauna of a tropical paradise
Deep Sea: Shimmering green explores new depths with this rich, aqueous color.
Ink: Dark blue, moody pigment evokes the poetry of line and expressive mark-making of an artist.
Malbec: This rich red color is as robust, flavorful, and juicy as the wine that inspired it.
Smoke: This gorgeous light grey is multidimensional, evoking the ephemeral, ever-changing qualities of smoke rising from a smoldering fire.
Vermilion: The vibrancy of historical legend -- prized for centuries by cultures around the world, this hue symbolizes life and eternity. This is a gorgeous coral tone

The Silks are designed for everyday use- no need to put them in the closet until a fancy occasion although they're an ideal sling to wear your baby in to any weddings, dinner out or more as well as to the playground and grocery store!
Acadia Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
Ash Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
Cedar Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
-tied with port as my personal fave colours
Maize Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom-
Similar to the iconic wheat pure linen but not the same colour
Port Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
-absolutely gorgeous!
Sencha Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
Sienna Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
Twilight Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
-this one is always a fave!
Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
-a classic Sakura Bloom Colour
Classic Belgian Linen Ring Sling by Sakura Bloom
-another classic colour all of you black loving mamas will be glad it has stayed!
A piece of baby gear that truly last the test of time, different stages and ages- for newborn to preschool age- you will both love your ring sling.
A tribute to wheat which was an iconic colour in the Sakura Bloom Collection that has now been retired. Find your Pure Linen Ring Sling in Wheat here or any of the other remaining colours while they last!