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Thursday, November 14, 2013

#TBT ~ Advent Begins December 1st - Make It a Family Celebration, and Not Just Counting Down Chocolates...

#ThrowbackThursday to what we did last year for Advent, and will repeat this year with a twist- WATCH for my Advent 2013 post Coming Soon.... <3 

Advent 2012

This year our family is working on strengthening our relationships with each other, and with God and our church. Having historically been what I would describe as more "spiritual" than religious in the past, I am learning a long with my kids, the story of the Bible and the birth of Jesus.

We have decided to celebrate Advent this year DIY style :)

It cost only 99 cents for the bags. Much cheaper than the traditional cardboard or chocolate laden advent calendars from the store.

I modified this idea from something I saw on Pinterest.

I filled each bag with a line from, essentially, the Nativity story. Although also modified, for my 2 and 5 year olds ;)

of course we also added some treats!

they got prepped and HUNG today over ribbon with clothespins!
What are some different things, DIY or otherwise, you're trying this year??

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold Weather Doesn't Just Mean the Flu for Your Kids... It Could Mean Harmful Chemical Exposure!

Originally published by The Clean Bedroom ( November 11, 2013. 
By Theresa Sirois, blogger 

As some of you may remember, I also blog for NurturingtheNaturalMama, and I recently received an email question from a reader that I think may best be persued here, with The Clean Bedroom. Why? Because as I researched an answer to my reader's question, I found myself referencing several websites, including The Clean Bedroom! So since I'm busy gathering a bunch of information on alpaca products for you anyway, I figured now would be a great time for this post! 
The question I was asked was: "What are some healthy recommendations for babies/toddlers in the winter that are warm and not laden with toxic chemicals? We are renovating my kids bedroom and need some ideas... they are starting to get into new sizes, and I am wondering if organic clothing is worth the price?..." 

Here are some things to think about:
Flame Retardent Pajamas

Wool pajamas

 You can check out this great article, Pick Pajamas Free of Chemical Flame Retardents, from Healthy Child, Healthy World which says that PJ's labeled "flame resistant" are actually not the ones you want to purchase. They contain flame retardent chemicals which have "...been linked to a variety of health effects including genetic changes, cancer promotion, and liver and nervous system damage". 

    We've all seen the lables on the jammies that say "this garment is meant to fit snug. this garment is not flame resistant". Clothing with this label are "... free of toxic flame retardant treatments", and are thus a much safer option! Additionally, wool clothing is toasty, breathable and chemical free. You can check out some great selections via Etsy or sites like Simply Merino 

Sleeping baby
(shameless pic of my youngest daughter, Baby B .)

Blankets & Nursery Items 

    Since we're talking about a full nursery/bedroom renovation, I directed her to the Healthy Nursery Toolkit, also by Healthy Child, Healthy World. This infographic gives you all the information you need on what to replace or purchase if looking to build a chemical-free and totally "green" nursery! From the crib to the mattress to the furniture to the paint- they have it covered! And, of course, so do we here at The Clean Bedroom, ready to assist you in all your organic baby nursery needs ;) 

    In the world of all things kid-warm-and-snuggly, I've decided to just go with a personal winner in this department. My kids all have down comforters and organic cotton blankets. Except the baby, who before this winter, had nothing but muslin blankets in her crib for breathable safety! (less blankets, warmer jammies for infants). The muslin can also be used for swaddling of course~ which keeps babies warmer and safer (says the American Academy of Pediatrics) in their cribs.

Air Quality 

Most of us are aware that lead paint, asbestos, and smoking in the home are 3 major ways to pollute the air in your home, and all of which are particularly concerning if you have children. Consumer Reports tells us more about Indoor Air Quality and here are two easy ways to clean up your in-home air: 
  •     test all your smoke detector batteries regularly and ensure you have a smoke detector in each room of your home. If they are not combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- install CO2 detectors as well, and also be sure to check those batteries regularly. Unlike smoke, CO2 in odorless and invisible!
  •     put an Air Purifier in the most used rooms of your home, especially in a child's bedroom. This will help allergy and asthma sufferers, and make for a healthier night sleep for all!  
Our hope here at The Clean Bedroom is to be a place you feel comfortable and confident coming to seek information on all things "healthy sleep" for your whole family. We warmly welcome, and always encourage you to ask questions!
Feel free to reach out to us via Facebook or Twitter or email us at  

SHARE with us YOUR # 1 must-have for your childs' room!    #TCBkids
***************And head on over to The Clean Bedroom and let them know NNM sent ya! <3 

Also, be sure to mark your calendars: 
Twitter party

Thursday, December 19th for our Organic Nursery Twitter Party.
Let's hear from YOU today~ #TCBgreenbaby on your favorite "green" nursery or baby product! 
In the meantime, check out our Green Nursery Pinterest Board 

As always, you can get the most up to date info from NNM from our Facebook page or blog.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Letter to My Husband

So many of you know, by the 'button' to the left and by following me on Facebook, that I have been in the midst of following several different Bible Studies relating to being a wife.

First, I completed the 30 day devotional, Wife After God: Drawing Closer to God and Your Husband by Jennifer Smith (aka Unveiled Wife), and then followed that by hosting a 12 week study of this devotional in my home with several women from my community.

I am now following along with Biblical Homemaking as she explores the newest book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph (aka Women Living Well), and also following along with the weekly LIVE webcasts.

So while I'm sure the idea of this sounds lame, if not very 1950's, to many of you; I have to say that personally, this has been a wonderful and much needed journey. Having been divorced once and also experiencing an additional failed relationship, I needed to do some significant work on myself. Not just for my husband, but actually for myself, and what I've since learned: also for God.

I've talked about my spiritual beliefs before, and no, I don't consider myself some born-again Christian. I consider myself someone who finally opened the Bible, and found it relatable. And dare I say (gasp!) helpful, and inspiring!

Am I asking all of you to open your nearest Bible and BELIEVE or stop reading my blog? Absolutely not.

But I wanted to share with you THIS. THIS was a "homework" assignment in the Wife After God study, and this week in the Women Living Well study, we are in the "Complete Him" in your marriage challenge- week 1, and I felt compelled to refer back to THIS assignment.

my hubby & me, at our wedding in 2009

THIS ladies, is a Letter to my Husband. And it is sometimes even more fun to reflect on, than it was to write. 

I'd like to take a moment to suggest all of you married or seriously involved folk, take a moment (religious or otherwise) to your significant other/spouse/DP/etc and just SHARE what you LOVE about them, SHARE what you know YOU need to work on, and that you're aware of it, and then take INTENTIONAL action to do so. After all, isn't your relationship worth it???

Letter to My Husband 

Dear Hubby, 
I am so thankful to God for our marriage. I am thankful for our health, our family, and our love.
The past 30 + days I have been working on putting you and your needs, and the needs of our marriage, above all else. 
Admittedly, I have been far from perfect ;) but I hope you have noticed at least some improvement! 

I am well aware that I have much to work on. But in completing these weeks of study, and continuing with the WLW Study and webcasts; I have been able to read, meditate over, and pray about my actions and feelings as a wife. I will continue to study and pray about God's clear description in Ephesians, Corinthians, and most importantly; Proverbs 31 in how to be the best wife I can be for you, and for God~ mirroring Christ's love for the church. 

Please know that, as always, I am so appreciative of you loyalty, dedication, and tirelessness in providing for our family. Please also know that I am making significant and intentional efforts to improve myself in the areas of grace, patience, trust, respect, and [appropriate] submission; just to name a few! :) 

I know I have a ways to go- but you and our marriage are worth it! 
I am forever thankful that you are as forgiving as our own Lord Jesus: and that every time I repent and He restores, you accept. 
...then I make a mistake or misstep and we start all over! ;) 

But in all honesty, I can't imagine doing this with anyone else! THANK YOU for being you! 
I love you more and more everyday! 

....Yes, even when you're being a$$h*le! ;) 
<3 Me xoxoxoxox 

Christian or not ;) I invite you all to follow me for the most up to date information & inspiration on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest

What is your # 1 thing you LOVE about your partner? Let's all share some love! Comment HERE or #NNMlovefest 

L-R hubby, me, Spiderman, & Sissy at our wedding <3