One mama's Perspective on Living Lightly on our Earth

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eco Friendly Stocking Stuffers For Newborns and Babies!

Even though babies have yet to start grasping the concept of Christmas and stockings, big brothers and sisters, grandparents, and aunts and uncles, oh and parents, of course, are thrilled to see what come in their holiday stocking and to start the tradition for years to come.

 First, you need a stocking- right? A little more gorgeous than your average unpersonalized 'Baby's First Christmas' Stocking
 Vintage Wool Stocking made by the same mama who makes the beloved teething bonbon in Victoria, BC, Canada

Here's some of our favourtore Christmas Stocking Stuffers for the youngest babies on your list:

An Organic Cotton Binky Bib (Canadian Made) and a Natural Soother to complete the set for a drooling baby.

Keep your little one warm and you'll be thankful for the fast diaper changes among the holiday chaos- I mean company.

Beautiful Amber Jewelry with a purpose

Made from 100% Recycled Milk Jugs!

Sippy tops and handles available too.

A beautiful toy and treasured first Christmas keepsake for your baby collection.

Our Ever Popular Bottom Balm
Safe for use with cloth diapers too

A favourite of all little ones!

Great for eating or pretending.
'vrooom... vrooom'

Perfect, natural cure all for dry skin, rashes, scrapes and more

Those are some of my faves for baby right now and you can find more teething toys, baby needs, cloth diapers and swim diapers, and natural skin care on our website. 

I hope that gives you some ideas to get started!

We are nearing the Christmas deadlines for shipping so please do get your orders in asap to guarantee arrival before Christmas Day! 

More to come for the toddler years soon

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Top Ten Problem Solving Products

Abby Sprouts Top Ten ‘Problem Solving’ Products

We get a lot of questions from parents about different problems they are experiencing, asking whether or not we can help, or know of a solution.  We have compiled this list of some of our most common problems, and our response to them.  
As always, its a complete list of non-toxic, healthy, safe products for your family. 
10.  “My son holds his pencil in a fist!”
Have you ever tried to teach a 4 year old how to hold a pencil?  Remember how hard it is to get the grip just right, without smushing precious little fingers?  Clementine Art has the solution: Crayon Rocks.  These natural soy crayons are shaped like triangular stones, to help young artists develop the grip needed to learn to write.  They come in a pack of 9 bright, bold colours, and are great for unstructured, artistic play. 
9.  “My water bottle has a funky taste!”     
When you’re thirsty, there is nothing worse than taking a sip from your water bottle, and instead of a refreshing drink, getting a mouthful of tinny tasting water.  Or, taking the last sip, only to find out that a piece of last nights spaghetti was stuck at the bottom all along.  No more.  Life Factory’s Glass Water Bottles are the answer.  No more stainless steel taste, no more unpleasant surprises, and no more scrubbing with a bottle brush to clean it!  The huge, 650ml bottles are totally dishwasher safe- all parts- bottle, sleeve, and cap.  The silicone sleeve gives the tempered glass an incredible ability to resist breaking; we’ve dropped ours on everything from concrete, to tile floors, to gravel paths, and so far, not a single one has broken (And there are 6 in-use by our family/kids!).  They are safe for use with hot/warm liquids too, we use ours for morning coffee, and then rinse and fill with water the rest of the day.  They are designed with a wide, jar-style mouth, large enough to put in ice cubes, fruit slices, or anything else you like to flavour with. 
8.  “My kids cry whenever I have to rinse their hair in the tub!”
Mothers Everywhere Rejoice!  There is no more need to sacrifice your cups, jugs and bowls to the bathtub!  Green Toys’ Tug Boat makes rinsing hair a breeze, with its easy-pour, easy-aim spout.  It is great for tub play too, it really floats, and kids love pouring and filling it. 
7. “I lost her favourite toy again today on our walk!”

There is nothing worse than realizing, often too late, that the reason your baby is screaming, is because she dropped her favorite toy or stuffed animal.  Or, trying to reach to the floor of the backseat of the car to rescue it, at a red light.  And do you know what is on the floor where the teether just fell?  No More Worries.  We have, “The Perfect Solution” Toy Tether Strap, made in Canada from 100% Organic Cotton, so it is safe, even if your baby sucks on it.  The loops are large enough to loop around anything, even the stroller tray.  And, the Velcro is super strong, so baby can’t un-strap the toy/bottle/sippy cup.  It really is “The Perfect Solution.”
6.  “I’m sick of throwing diapers/wet clothes in plastic bags!”

No more plastic bags, no more stink, no more ugliness for used diapers.  The “Wet Happened” Large Wet Bag from Itzy Ritzy is a glamorous designer wet bag for anything from cloth diapers to wet swim suits.  They have a layer of non-toxic PUL to make them water-proof, and the easy zipper makes them simple, and strong.  

5.  “I spend $75 on disposable diapers every month!” 
“My son just grew out of his newborn cloth diapers, 
and now I have to buy more!”
Anne Marie Padorie has mastered the art of the One-Size Cloth Diaper.  The AMP One Size Duo fits babies from 7-35lbs: birth to potty training.  They are made in Winnipeg, and are durable enough to last through multiple children.   They are lightweight, and the pocket makes it easy to choose the insert that best suits your needs, hemp, bamboo or micro-fibre. 
4. “Uck! My cloth diapers stink of ammonia!”
"I think my laundry soap is irritating my family's skin!"

Rockin’ Green Soap is the solution!  It’s all natural scents, and extra gentle formula, are perfect for cleaning cloth diapers or any laundry for people with sensitive skin. This formula is just the right mix of gentle cleaners to get the job done with less rinsing.  Rockin Green makes special formulas for hard (bust through minerals) and soft water.  Comes in a variety of fun scents, or unscented.
3. “I have to use disposables whenever my baby has rash, 
because my zinc-based diaper cream wrecks my cloth diapers!”

Lalabee Bathworks has created an all natural, organic, Bottom Balm, that is safe for use with cloth diapers! A best-selling product, because it works! Especially made for sensitive skin with organic herbs of calendula, chamomile and lavender, all known for their healing properties. Use with every diaper change and on diaper rash. One of the top least toxic diaper creams on the Cosmetic Database. Also helps with sensitive skin rashes, dry skin or eczema.  It’s even packaged in a recyclable tin.  

2. “My little girl wants to be made up like a princess, 
but I’m terrified of the chemicals in beauty products!”

Piggy Paint is a mom-created product.  She was doing her daughter's nails one day, when a drop of nail polish ate right through a Styrofoam plate! Piggy Paint is All-Natural, Scent-free, and especially Non-toxic nail polish for little people, and parents!  It comes in some fabulous colours, and is great for birthday parties, gift bags, or sleepovers.  

1. “How can I soothe teething pain without resorting to drugs?”  
“My baby drools constantly!” 
"My toddlers cheeks are so swollen!”

Ok, we know it sounds a little strange….but….in our own experience, and in the experience of our friends, family, and customers, the solution is: Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces.  Baltic Amber is a fossilized resin, not a stone, that contains miniscule amounts of succinic acid; a natural analgesic, that helps to balance the body’s pH, and boosts immune system function.  When worn close to the skin, the heat of the body releases the natural oils, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.  It reduces red inflamed cheeks and stimulates the thyroid glands to reduce drooling. Amber is associated with sunlight and warmth and reputed to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, accelerates the healing of wounds, reduce inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach infections and respiratory disease. There are no tablets, medications or pastes that can compete with this amber teething necklace, the necklace is unique and has amazing results which are all natural.
Amber teething necklaces are not meant to be chewed on.  Each bead is knotted individually, so that in the highly unlikely event of the string breaking, no beads are lost.  They are closed with a seven pound pressure screw clasp, so they will break if caught on something. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Shopping in Victoria, BC at University Heights Shopping Center

Abby Sprouts is at University Heights Shopping Center now until Nov. 24 and then Dec. 6 to Christmas Eve. Please come down and see us in person if you're local! Of course, we are still offering Free Shipping over $49 in Canada and over $99 to the USA. 

Our collection of Eco Friendly Toys, Organic Baby and Childrens Clothing,  Organic Baby Needs including adorable hand knits are all on display. Select Cloth Diapers are there as well and we are more than happy to give you a diaper demo and explain the pros and cons. 

University Heights Shopping Center is located at 3980 Shelbourne St. at the corner of McKenzie Ave. Map it here.

Amber teething necklaces are also on display and a great time to come down and choose your favourite in person.

Some of our Holiday Goodies have already arrived and are going quickly! Keep your eyes out for the top Stocking Stuffers coming soon.

Current 'Staff' Picks

Jenn's Fave:
The Green Toys Recycling Truck made from 100% Recycled Milk Jugs!

Steph's Pick:
I love these natural soy Crayons but all the Clementine Art supplies are fantastic.

Thanks for all your support!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Piggy Paint Colours on the Way!

Twinkle Toes 
Love the name of this one! 

Glass Slippers

And since everyone loves the polish so much we have no added the Piggy Paint Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish Remover

Low odor, hypoallergenic nail polish remover.
  • Biodegradable
  • No acetone
  • Contains aloe vera and vitamin E
4 FL. OZ. (120 ml)
Ingredients: Corn alcohol, butyl diglycol, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, embittering agent.
Warning: Because Piggy Paint™ Nail Polish Remover is flammable when heated, do not use or store near heat or an ignition source. Do not ingest.  Keep out of reach of children, and always have an adult supervising while using this product.

Have a special request  for colours? Leave a comment letting us know and we'll get it in!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For the love of Green Toys..

Green Toys are one of my fave products in the store. I love the quality, durability, fun, and that they are ethical made from safe and 100% recycled materials in the USA. 

Canada recently declared BPA toxic and the chemical commonly found in many plastic childrens items, toys, etc has never been present in Green Toys. 

From Green Toys:
Start Simple: Recycled Plastic Milk Jugs
We use recycled milk containers as the main ingredient in creating our toys. Yes, the exact plastic milk jugs that you and your family drink from every day. When you finish your milk and toss the container in the recycling bin, these milk containers are collected at your curb by a local recycling company, who then sorts them from all the other types of plastic. Next, the milk containers are reprocessed into super clean fresh plastic. For you plastic geeks, the plastic material we use is called high-density polyethylene (or HDPE). This material is considered one of the safest, cleanest plastics around. 
 Playing is the fun part!
What is so great about recycling and USA made..
Lets talk about safety too:
From Green Toys: 
Toy Safety and Testing
Green Toys products are tested by nationally recognized, independent, third-party labs (located, yes, in the USA.) They contain no traceable amounts of Phthalates or BPA. They are also designed without any external coatings, eliminating the fear of lead paint.
Our products pass a plethora of tests, including:
  • Consumer Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
  • Consumer Products Safety Standard Specification, ASTM F963
  • California Prop. 65 restrictions on lead & cadmium
  • FDA regulations for food contact
  • Voluntary testing for no BPA (Bisphenol-A)
  • International standards EN71 and ISO 8124 

 The newest in the line of Green Toys is the Classic Red Fire Truck with ladders and all!

Or the fabulous Stacker

Environmental Packaging
Green Toys environmental mission even extends to our packaging. We strive to minimize packaging, and all of our boxes use as little material as possible. All Green Toys products are packaged in recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, and are 100% recyclable. So, not only are they earth-friendly and ready for your recycling bin, they are really easy to open for those little fingers just itching to get at the toys!!

I cannot talk about Green Toys without mentioning their Recycling Truck that has received rave reviews and is a great tool for teaching recycling too!
Kids love them, Parents love them and they are a durable, safe, affordable toy to enjoy. We love Green Toys!

Tell us your favourite..


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Baby Fair is this Weekend!

Are you going? Want to Win a Pair of Weekend Passes?
Abby Sprouts has 2 Pairs of Weekend Passes for the Vancouver Island Baby Fair to Giveaway!

So Let's talk about the Fair first, before we get to the good, free stuff.

The Vancouver Island Baby Fair is different in a good way. 

Highlights for me:

  • Photo Contest, but it's not about the contest (for me anyway) as much as getting a professional picture for only $10 that is donated directly to the Greater Victoria Down Syndrome Society
  • The Shopping is incredible and all in one place, go ahead and compare prices within walking distance
  • You get to get your hands on cloth diapers!
  • It's incredibly baby, child friendly with fully stock change area with diapers, helpful staff and clean changing station!
  • Oh-- Bobs & LoLo are coming and playing 4 shows!
  • Completely Breast Feeding friendly with a baby feeding area in private with couches or pit stops all around. 
  • Shirley, the woman who puts this fair on, is amazing and you might get to meet her.
  • Stroller Parking by donation if you want to wear your baby or let your toddler walk while keeping the stroller near
  • Baby Races
  • We'll be there! Booth 80/81 en route to the photo contest and next to the baby bistro!
  • Some fabulous prize packages to be won including a little something for Abby Sprouts! 
We will have an awesome promo going on for those who come visit us at the baby fair this weekend as well. 

So, how to win, just leave a comment, (make sure to include an email address or means of reaching you!) and tell us what item you are most looking forward to seeing, buying, trying or that we just can't leave behind!

Make sure you come see us at booth 80/81!


Giveaway Winners!!

Our 2 Winners for a $10 Gift Certificate each and a Mine Don't Mess Onesie are.......
Jaclyn with this comment:
I am beyond excited that I've just started my stash and my fluff is slowly arriving in the mail!! My hubby thinks I'm nuts, but honestly I'm SO happy I've made this change because 1. I will be saving money and 2. I will have less garbage! Yay!!

jaliv with the comment:
I liked you long ago :)

Congratulations and Enjoy!

Thank You Everyone for taking the time to enter and sharing a tid bit about your green lifestyle choices!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Soft Toys from Organic Cotton In Stock Now!!

These four pals made from Organic Cotton and rubberwood have joined the Family!


My personal fave, the Pop Up Lion

The Planet Pixies are Here!!

Meet Maia in red, She's a Tree Pixie from the Amazon Rainforest.

Kayla, in green, is a Marsh Pixie from the Florida Everglades.

Anyu, in brown,  is the Ice Pixie from the North Pole.

The Planet Pixies are made from Organic Cotton too.

Enjoy and add these to your wish list!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Giveaway!!!! We've passed 300 "likes" on Facebook- Let's Celebrate!

Thank You to Everyone For liking us on Facebook. 
I really appreciate it and love hearing all your feedback!

So, let's get to the giveaway!

There will be 2 Winners!

Each Winner will receive a "Mine (Don't Mess)" T-Shirt & a $10 Gift Certificate to Abby Sprouts.

The winner's T-shirt will be shipped with their GC order.

Ready to enter? Leave a comment telling us what you love about cloth diapering or how you live a little greener.

Leave 1 extra comment for 1 extra entry if you "like" Abby Sprouts on Facebook.

Good Luck!

Comments are moderated so it will appear shortly after your posting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Overnight with Cloth Diapers

When you ask any cloth diapering mama about what she uses at night the majority of the time the answer is one of these three: "I swear by ____", disposables followed by some justification or "I use ___ but it leaks".

Cloth diapers can be used effectively at night; however, for some families it requires a little more thought (and absorbency!) to last 12 hours instead of 3 or 4.

Let's start with pocket diapers for night time. Many pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts but often switching to a hemp or bamboo insert for overnight works best. Our night time combination is an AMP Duo Diaper with a bamboo insert and 3 layer hemp booster. I like this solution because it's still fairly trim fitting and most importantly it works!
AMP Duo Diaper used as a Pocket Diaper 
If you need more absorbency, change the bamboo for a 3 layer hemp insert with the 3 layer hemp booster. Fold the 3 Layer Hemp booster in half and stuff it to the front for a boy or in the middle for a girl. The drawback is this option is much bulkier.

Another worthwhile benefit to using a pocket diaper at night is you get the fantastic stay dry properties of the micro-fleece against baby's skin which might help to keep your little one sleeping longer. What parent can't do without some extra sleep?

 A good fitted diaper is another option,especially if you are not able to stuff your pocket diaper with enough absorbency to last overnight because in some cases an overstuffed pocket diaper leaks.

The bamboozle is a night time favorite made from rayon from bamboo in Scotland and comes with an extra absorbency doubler. I find this option works well with a Bummis PUL cover.
Our AMP Hemp fitteds are another popular choice for the longevity and absorbency of hemp. Again, this durable hemp diaper, that's made in Canada, comes with an absorbency doubler to put absorbency where you need it. These can be folded in half in the front of the diaper to better suit a boy.

Remember, any fitted cloth diaper you choose will need a cloth diaper cover to make the diaper waterproof. Wool is a great overnight cover or if you are not sure you're ready for wool yet you'll find easy care PUL covers as well.

Wool covers can absorb 30% of their weight in moisture. Plus, due to the natural antibacterial properties wool, unless the wool covers are soiled, they can be washed every 1-2 weeks, making for a lighter laundry routine. Wool is also incredibly breathable and a fast diaper rash cure.

What's your tried and true night time solution? 
Still Struggling? Send us an email or leave us a comment and we'll help you sort it out.