WELCOME to our bundle of joy - the little green baby blog - where the purpose is to educate without judgment. Candid. Honest. Advice.

Thursday, April 9

We're baa-aa-aack! Well, sort of...

Buckle up, Little Green Baby lovers! Because, after 3 long years of missing this business, I'm getting back in action! Not the way you are used to, but the way I initially planned on starting out. A crafter, artist and retailer at heart, I'm going back to my passion - creating and sharing. There are no plans for a physical retail store. I'll be starting small with an Etsy shop, which will be up and running as soon as the new inventory is ready. Not only am I busy creating fun things to offer, I'm also busy creating a tiny human who will be joining us in July! So bear with me, it will be slow. But it IS coming...

Little Green Baby is back and will (hopefully) be better than ever! Please sign up to receive blog updates and join our Facebook page, and I will alert you when the Etsy shop and Pinterest page and up and running!

Thanks as always for your support. Without all of your heartfelt messages over the past 3 years, I would have thought we were long forgotten. I'm excited to connect with my customers again!

All the best,

PS:  As you can see, Bubbles is excited to be back at work!

Thursday, July 11

walking "in" sunshine

This morning while trolling through my Facebook feed, I felt like I was having my own thoughts read back to me from one of my favorite fashion/pop culture sites. It was a post about Gwyneth Paltrow. It appears that she and I agree on something - the sun and it's benefits. Read about it here.

How can the sun be bad for you?  It is certainly more intense that ever given the effects of global warming, the hole in the ozone layer, climate change, etc. But if you asked me (and you did by reading this page - ha, ha) skin problems related to the sun have more to do with the personal care products and lotions we "bake" on our skin than it does simple sun exposure.  

OK, I admit, I'm no doctor. And I don't even get to play one on TV. But like my friend G-Pal says, we are humans, and the sun is the sun. How can it be that bad for you? We were CREATED to be together - for literally thousands and thousands of years. It's like saying that we should not drink water because it's bad for us. Can't wait for some corporate sports drink to launch that ad campaign. Oh wait, it's called Vitamin Water (and wasn't there some lawsuit pending? hmm). Our bodies are designed to need sun. Sun block is called sun block for a reason. It blocks the sun. I'm tired of skin care companies trying to sell you more products by telling you how bad the sun is for you. They are trying to break a thousand-year old relationship with humans and the sun. If you only knew what was ACTUALLY in your skin care products, you'd want to vomit. But I'll save that post for another day since most of us just had lunch.

Suffice it to say, I think the sun gets a bad rap. For our entire lives, us humans wake up in the morning and shower, slathering ourselves with countless soaps, shampoos, conditioners. Then we dry off and add on shaving cream, lotions, deodorant, perfume, makeup, sunscreen, etc. When we go outside, this stuff bakes into our skin. All those chemicals just cooking in the sun into the largest organ on our body. Do this for countless number of years and tell me again it's the sun's fault. I don't buy it. Its a fact, skin cancer exists, and long term exposure to the sun creates problems, but blaming the sun is a cop-out. Wearing skin products in the sun is like adding gasoline to a fire. But feel free to believe what the skin care companies are telling you. I mean, it's not like they are in it for the money or anything. 

I'm all for sun protection. Believe me, just ask my husband about how neurotic I am about putting sunscreen on our children (natural, toxic-free sunscreen like Badger is our fav) when we go out to the beach or the zoo. If we are going to be outside for long period of time, we use sunscreen, period. The sun is an intense thing and you need to respect it or you'll end up with a bad burn that can and does invite proven skin problems. But the sun by itself isn't the problem. It's what we choose to put on our bodies. Avoiding sun isn't the answer & neither is slathering yourself in SPF 800.

If you want to be your healthiest, select natural body products for you and your family and try to spend some quality time out in the sun - sunscreen free. And relax people! I'm not suggesting laying out in the yard at noon in your swimsuit for an hour. We all know by now that extended sun exposure can cause sun damage to skin. But go for a bike ride for a half hour, take a walk to the mailbox, visit the park, eat outside. Moderation, people.

Do something for a little while outside everyday without a skin barrier, soak up some rays, boost your mood & your health. And feel free to hum "walking on sunshine" while you do.

Thursday, January 12

PART 2 - CFL bulbs are risky. Proceed with caution.

I did it. I took the bait. I compromised my beliefs. I'm guilty...  Are you?

It was bound to happen. After years of researching various eco-friendly measures I overlooked something important. My own intuition. In a recent post on CFL bulbs, I convinced myself that they were safe based on several findings from 2 highly respected resources: the EPA and National Geographic. So, it's not like I jumped on snopes.com and  carelessly posted my blog message. I found 2 reputable sources which had similar answers that seemed to refute my intuition, and that was that. Perhaps I unconsciously wanted to make myself feel better about placing my daughter in  a hazardous situation. Perhaps I wanted to protect my ego after blindly spending money on something. Whatever the reason, I put my intuition aside, ignoring my gut. Never again.

Here is the truth:  I don't like florescent light. Period. I never have. The light quality stinks - it's too sterile, unwelcoming and piercing. I don't like that they are non-dimming. They take too long to "warm up" and the flickering sets off my migraine. I don't like the buzzing sound they make. Not to mention they almost never fit in the lamp I need them to fit in and their wattage conversion is annoying. THERE! I said it. I think CFL bulbs suck. But now, I have a greater reason to reject them.

Now, I thought I could convince myself that I was wrong about them. In those moments Monday morning when I thought my CFL bulb might break, there was real fear. Fear of what might happen if my sensitive 2 year old was exposed to mercury. What regression might she have on all the progress we'd made in her speech. Yes, it's a small-ish amount of mercury. But what amount is safe? The answer is none. NO amount of mercury is safe. It is one of the most toxic elements on Earth. I feel duped. Read on toxin-free warriors. Learn what I learned.

About Mercury

There are several types of mercury. There is organic mercury, which is found in fish & seafood, inorganic mercury salts and elemental mercury, which is found in all non-organic items like thermometers, light bulbs and smoke from coal burning. It's the elemental mercury that we are talking about, though the effects on the body are similar for all types of mercury exposure. It can make people ill by emitting radiation that causes migraines, impairment of vision, speech, hearing and walking, sensation disturbances (pins & needles feeling), dizziness, nausea, confusion, fatigue, skin irritations, lack of coordination and motor movements, muscle weakness, mood swings, memory loss and mental disturbances (depression & irritability), to name a few. It's also speculated that those with neurological disorders affecting the nervous system like multiple sclerosis and lupus have a heightened sensitivity to the effects of mercury.

CFL Bulbs

Compact Florescent Light bulbs have some benefits. Sure, they use less energy. Great. The mercury is a problem, but is that all? Well, they are only made in China also. Not to mention the hoops you have to jump through just to light your house. If you touch the glass bulb directly, the efficiency can be compromised. If you break it, you could have a toxic hazard on your hands. What's worse: what if it's broken or cracked but doesn't shatter - how do you know if the bulb is compromised? I'll bet Edison is rolling in his grave. I offer this photo of what is needed to clean up a broken bulb. Even a leaky battery doesn't require this much haz-mat material!

Above all things green and eco-friendly, is a life of low-toxicity. We keep wondering what is wrong with our kids - all these diseases that can't be explained. So why on this earth would be invite another toxin into our lives? Why introduce one hazard while trying to cure another? Haven't we learned our lesson yet? Mandated CFL use is short-sighted. Without humankind, there is no environment to be friendly to. So low-toxicity and self preservation is at the forefront of being green. Rebecca Ferguson of Regarding Caroline said it best: "There are SO many other things [the EPA] could clean up in this environment that don't also cause potential harm on the flip side. Sometimes you have to put your kids first. Even if that (rarely) means the environment second." Right on Rebecca. See also what Senator Ted Poe of Texas had to say about it:

Bravo, Mr. Poe! I couldn't agree more.

Alternate options?  They're getting better.

CFL bulbs are not the fit-it-all answer. But with Congress mandating high-efficiency bulbs in 2012, what's a girl to do to get some non-toxic light around here? 

LED lights are a great option. One drawback to using LED light is that if you look directly into the light, you can cause retinal damage. Oookay, well this seems like common sense to me. The sun is the most natural light there is and you aren't supposed to look directly at it either. So take caution people. The second issue is the price. So, much like organic food and clothing, something that's better for you is more expensive. SHOCKER! I suspect that as demand increases, prices will fall as with other electric devices. In the meantime, here is a website I found that has a pretty decent sale. I plan to pick some up and give it a whirl. What's the worst that could happen? The next time McKenna follows me around hurling light bulbs, we won't get poisoned if one breaks. Done and done.

Part of growing is making mistakes. I like to turn my mistakes into learning experiences. So as I continue to learn more, I invite you to do the same. Part of the problem with trends is that people jump on the bandwagon before understanding the risks and assume an end that justifies the means. I disagree. I don't have all the answers - and I'm not afraid to say so. But what I can offer is this: do your research & educate yourself. Don't settle for an answer that your gut tells you is wrong. 

Oh, and eat your vegetables.

CFLs - Helpful or Harmful? A humble telling.

Part 1.

Monday, I had some grand plans. I was going to organize my daughter's rooms. Hah. Well, with my two and a half year old in tow, that plan had zero chance of coming to fruition. What can I say... I'm an eternal optimist. What did happen though, was a stop to the store to pick up some light bulbs & storage bins. And that would be the extent of my Monday organizing extravaganza: purchasing the bins. Score me 1 point.
Score:  Kim - 1, Monday - 0. 

When we got home, I promptly opened my reusable shopping bag (+1 pt) and went upstairs to install the light bulb McKenna and I had selected for big sister Addison's new sparkly bedroom light. I was so proud of myself for finding a small-enough CFL bulb to fit in this tiny light socket (+1 pt). I patted myself on the back for a job well done, and continued on to replace other bulbs. Mother Earth would be so proud. Errand #1 was complete (+1 pt).  Add 3 points.
Score:  Kim - 4, Monday - 0. 

That's a pretty good score! That is, until I heard the words "Here go, mama." Because unfortunately, this meant that I dropped the ball, and the game's momentum had shifted. To be precise, I didn't drop the ball, my 2 year old did (Monday - 1 pt ). And it wasn't a ball. It was the old CFL bulb that had been slated for disposal (Monday - 1 pt). I had turned my back for a second, and McKenna was joyfully bringing me the bulb I left on the bathroom counter. And just then, she tripped over the dog (Monday - 1 pt). As if in slow motion, I watched the bulb fly out of her hands, but couldn't get there in time. It hit the carpet and bounced out the door into the hallway... the hardwood-floored hallway. And for a second I quit breathing. What do I do if this bulb breaks? How hazardous is it? Will we/she get sick? How do I get it out of here? OMG, How could I let her near that thing! Get it out of my house! The thoughts kept coming like a waterfall. Meanwhile, the bulb hit the ground and slid across the floor toward the wall, and slammed into it. Somehow, it did not break. But, whoa that was close! 
Score:  Kim - 4, Monday - 3

Getting the point

Since then, I've taken the time to try to answer those questions I had about CFLs & their hazard risk. I'm not speaking of their energy efficiency. I'd have to be living under a rock to not be aware that they are, indeed, saving energy. In fact, if everyone in the US converted to CFL bulbs tomorrow, we could shut down 80 coal-burning power plants. So that is definitely a huge stride towards energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gasses. 

It was specifically the mercury I was concerned about. And that concern was due to ignorance. I just didn't know exactly how harmful that bulb could be to us, and it never occurred to me to find out. That is, until it was flying through the air.  

The result? Yes, these bulbs contain mercury - about 4 mg for your average bulb. And yes, improper handling or breakage could lead to mercury poisoning if not disposed of properly. But, to put it into perspective - you would need 125 CFL bulbs to equal the same amount of mercury in one old-school fever thermometer (500 mg). Though, since
many families now use digital thermometers which do not contain mercury, it's a fairly modest trade-off. Compare that to the plants that can be shut down by nationwide use of CFL bulbs and therefore reducing the single largest source of human-caused mercury emissions in the United States - coal-burning power plants.  So on paper, it's a pretty good deal.  Not to mention the well-known perks like lower energy costs & longer life span.  There is an added step to disposal as you need to follow proper guidelines. Chances are, your Home Depot and Ikea locations will recycle them for you as well. Recycling them has the added benefit allowing the reuse of the bulb parts and glass. Overall, CFL bulbs seem like a win-win.  But are they really? What are the long term effects on us? What about off-gassing?  That will come next in Part 2

So, maybe I was wrong - maybe they are safe? I'll be woman enough to admit it if I am. For now, I still win by a point. Monday was good day. Though, now it's Thursday and I'm still not done organizing.

*Please always take caution when using or handling any product containing mercury.*  Note to self: this includes preventing children to handle CFL lightbulbs.

Here are some related links if you want to read more.

Wednesday, December 14

an ounce of prevention...

Tuesday was a great day! We reached a pretty awesome milestone welcoming our 1,000th facebook fan. But even more awesome, was finding out what charity would be receiving a special donation through our facebook contest which began 2 months ago.  

Ever hear the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Well our winning charity is pushing that exact message. The Skinny Gene Project is fighting type 2 diabetes one person at a time. However, unlike other diabetes organizations whose primary concern is disease management, the smart folks at Skinny Gene is  focused on screening, educating, and treating at-risk individuals before they are diagnosed with the disease. Brilliant! Educate at-risk individuals and hopefully PREVENT them from getting the disease. 

In a society where many children are obese and many of us are eating beyond our means, this organization is a breath of fresh air. I'm very excited to learn more. I never realized how seemingly unrelated ailments
could be a potential early warning sign to diabetes. I encourage readers to visit their website and learn more. It's a great find.

Unsure if you are at risk? Look over this very easy questionnaire. It could change your life.  

Special thanks to Samantha Doerfler, Marlayna Bollinger & Lindsey Geraghty for bringing the message to us! We are proud to help support such a great cause!

Friday, December 9


We are turning over a new leaf at little green baby. We have decided to close down our retail store on Rockwell and focus our energy on our web store. Why do we love this idea? It's green! We aren't burning energy at the store, or wasting paper, or creating trash. And the best news is - you can still shop local from the comfort of your own home!  Home/office delivery options will also be available after the first of the year.  Score!

Many of you have been in our store.  So you know our style.  Quality comes first.  We will still be quality testing products before we offer them - and what's great is on each page of product listed, there will be full descriptions of what they are, and why we love them.  It also helps the gift givers in your lives understand why these products are so important to you! The reduction of store overhead will allow prices to relax as well. 

Possibly the greatest news is that we will be able to slowly begin offering your even MORE selection! High chairs are just the beginning. Eventually we hope to be able to bring you children's eco-furniture and gear made via eco-friendly means.  

We have truly cherished every moment of getting to know all of our local customers (and some non-local customers too).  I feel luck to have begun this journey with all of you and look forward to bringing you along to the next phase of little green baby!  It's very exciting!  Except for Bubbles - he's having a hard time adjusting. He doesn't like change. 

That also means HUGE SALE!!!! Just in time for the holidays - lucky you! That never happens does it? Everyone always has those huge sales after the holidays. So it's your lucky day!  BE SURE TO LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR UPDATES ON THE CLOSING SALE!!

Hurry in now and get 10 - 50% off! Finish off your holiday list, shop ahead for next year, or just get it cause it's cute & on sale.

We will be open until the inventory is gone - but be sure to check our hours as they may be changing over the next couple weeks.  And watch your email for our going away party! 

The fine print: 1) all items purchased will be final sale, 2) all purchases under $40 must be in cash and 3) effective immediately there will be no returns or exchanges, 4) any gift cards purchased in the store must be used by the store closing date (tbd based on sales and inventory), 5) while supplies last.