Thursday, July 31, 2008

Green Girls Postponed

Sorry folks. I am going to wait for my poll to be completed before I resume my weekly posts which includes the Children's Book Review and Green Girls. Never fear - they WILL return and the recipe will stay on every week even during this transition period. Thank you for your understanding.
We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children

Monday, July 28, 2008

Children's Book Review

The Children's Book Review is NOT James and the Giant Peach, but it will be postponed.
I am considering doing it bi-weekly. Many apologies, instead please enjoy this wonderful box of Peaches that Smokey Mountain Scents gave me! Too bad it isn't scratch and sniff!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Superhero Tips from the "Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

Well I am going to tie this weeks Green Girls Post in with some of the products I produce for Mommy's Little Helper. I will be pulling quotes from The Green Book and showing how I produce Green Products.
Bath Salt / Bubble Bath - If you buy bath salts or bubble bath, try to buy concentrated varieties. ... If you buy a sixteen ounce plastic bottle of bubble bath every other month and switched to a more concentrated version, you could save about one-quarter pound of plastic and $10 to $20 per year or more. If one in one hundred households decreased its bubble bath purchases in this way, the savings would total 250,000 pounds of plastic. This much plastic could build a wading pool the size of Wrigley Field.
Bath Salt's and Milk Bath from Mommy's Little Helper - If you purchase Bath Salts or Milk Bath from Mommy's Little Helper, you will save 100% of the plastic because I prefer to store in glass and my milk bath / bath salts are packaged in wax paper or glass for shipping. Also, my bath salts are made with 100% dead sea salt, Epsom salt and essential oils which are all natural. As for the milk bath, add a measure of powdered milk and again its all natural. Good for the muscles, good for the skin, good for the environment.
Shaving Gel / Foam - If you choose to buy shaving gel (as opposed to just using soap or body wash), avoid the aerosol variety. Although aerosol chemical no longer deplete the ozone layer, those chemicals have been replaced by petroleum propellants that are discharged with the foamy product you rub onto your skin. If your household refuses to buy aerosol shaving products, you could reduce your direct consumption of petroleum by nearly one-half pound per year. If 10 percent of households chose alternatives to aerosol shave gels and foams, the petroleum savings from the propellants alone could light 270,000 households for a month.
Salt Scrub - new product recently tested by some of my homefront team mates has proven excellent replacement for shaving gel...
"TuliptreeBaby says: OK, I just want to say that Maddie/Mommy is my new BFF! I just took a bath and used some of her new salt scrub and it is AWESOME! Because of the excellent exfoliating and moisturizing qualities I didn't get a single nick or burn when I shaved, and not a bit of shaving cream! That is so rare for me because of sensitive skin. I am sold on it! Thank you Maddie!"
Soap - Use bars of soap versus liquid wash. It's less expensive, and it saves packaging waste. The average bar of soap lasts for about twenty showers, where as a sixteen-ounce bottle of body wash lasts an average of eighty showers. But body wash costs on average more than four times as much as soap. If every U.S. household replaced a bottle of body wash with a bar of soap, roughly 2.5 million pounds of plastic containers could be diverted from the waste stream.
Soap - The soap produced by Mommy's Little Helper is made with products as natural as I can find (and still have it be soap). I use essential oils and most of my packaging is more along the lines of fabric wrappings though occasionally I use plastic baggies to keep the scents from several different soaps mixing.
Boo Boo Bags - I have no equivalent in the Green Book for these, but these are made of reassigned fabrics. I call them reassigned because they aren't really recycled. To me recycled denotes having been used, and these were once fabric book samples that were to be discarded. I kept them out of the land full and gave them a new life as Boo Boo Bags.

My paper is recycled, as is much of my packaging. I am an active participant in recycling everything we can and have reduced our garbage output to no more than 2.5 thirteen gallon bags per week. That is less than 1 bag per person in our house hold per week. It isn't easy being green, but it sure is worth it!

As always I strive to produce products that are good for Mother Earth, good for her children (that's us) and leave as small of an eco foot print as possible. With those products that require plastic such as the Monster Away Spray, Procrastination Away Spray, Lavender Linen Spray and the new line of Salt Scrubs; I offer a hefty discount on refills if you pay the shipping I will refill the product for half the original cost.

We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children

Set of Three Nightgowns

I just had to show these. I think this set of 3 nightgowns for sisters turned out just beautiful. They are shipping out today to head all the way across country and will find a new home in Alaska. Hope the girls love them as much as I do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Children's Book Review

Chisato Tashiro

"Five Nice Mice"
Translated from the Japanese by Sayako Uchida
Adapted by Kate Westerlund

This story is a wonderful little tale about overcoming obstacles, taking chances and being a friend even to those who aren't always as nice to you. It begins with these little mice hearing some beautiful music and going to find where it is coming from. When they find who is making the music they discover that they aren't welcome... not to be thwarted, they sneak in.

After they are discovered and asked to leave the "concert" they decide that they should make their own music and set about doing just that. After making instruments and practicing, and practicing, and practicing some more they decide they are ready for their own concert.

Who should sneak into the concert? The very same Frogs who wouldn't allow the mice in their concert. Well the Five Nice Mice are aptly named, they not only allow the frogs to watch their concert, they invite them to join in. In the end, frogs and mice have a big time together and vow to do it again at the next full moon. And that is just what they did!

This has become another daily read for us. Though the pictures aren't as colorful, the words ring true no matter how small you are. This book is a definite must read for all kids. The lessons are so universal (if you recall, Frogs and Mice aren't natural friends in the wild) and it really does teach the children that two opposing groups can get along if but one will take the first step.

And if you are curious about the stamp on the bottom right corner of the book, this book is part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. She started this project in her home county which is not far from here and many other's in the area have picked up on the idea. It doesn't matter your income, if you register for it your child will get one book a month until the age of 5. We are about to come to the end of that wonderful gift that our local Kiwanis Foundation sponsors for our county. I will have to begin filling the void every month.

Sunset in East Tennessee

Another quick pictorial blog! It was very stormy early this evening and here is the beautiful sunset that we got as a result of that. Hope you can enjoy it a tenth as much as I did (even with the power lines). This is the view from my front porch!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yet another new item


First I would like to introduce the Monster Berry Wild Bunch Family. These will be sold as a set. The scent is fruity and fun, the soap is Shea Butter and therefore excellent for the skin.

Next I'd like to introduce the Blue Zoo Group. These are also made of Shea Butter Soap and can be made in any other color you'd like (though the name would have to change). These animals are also Wild Berry Scented and smell like fun to any kid who washes with them.

Please give a warm welcome to the two newest additions to
Mommy's Little Helper.

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Product Review!

Mommy's Little Helper will be introducing some new products this fall. One of which is Dead Sea Salt Scrub and I sent some samples to some of my friends on the Homefront Team. Here are the responses I've received:

TuliptreeBaby says: OK, I just want to say that Maddie/Mommy is my new BFF! I just took a bath and used some of her new salt scrub and it is AWESOME! Because of the excellent exfoliating and moisturizing qualities I didn't get a single nick or burn when I shaved, and not a bit of shaving cream! That is so rare for me because of sensitive skin. I am sold on it! Thank you Maddie!

bethjt says: So I just finished a delicious bath where I tried out Mommy's salt scrub. Not only did it smell like heaven on earth...I think my skin feels better than my baby girl's now. Wonderful, lovely stuff. Nice job, Kristina!

LilacAve says: It was fantastic! I've used mass market bath salts before and most of the time they maybe add a little fragrance, possible soften my skin, but nothing like this. The smell was incredible. It felt relaxed and just the right fragrance, not overwhelming but not weak. Immediately after getting in the tub, I could feel the softness of the water. Almost like bathing in lotion. I got out of the tub, with incredibly soft skin, feeling relaxed, and smelling great! Really...I loved it more than I can describe. AND I still have more! I can't believe such a little amount made such an impact. Thanks for giving me some relaxation time!

SmokeyMountainScents says: Your salt scrub is awesome! I love the way my skin feels-very soft and the sandlewood smells wonderful. My scent testers (aka kids) both love it. I had to use it on Seth's feet. My son is pampered!

MonsterBugBlankets says: I'm LOVING my salt scrub! After 4 yrs of not taking much care of my feet due to pregnancy and busyness--I've been really working on them this summer--yet I keep forgetting to put lotion on them. The salt scrub is PERFECT! I rub it on, and it moisturizes and scrubs and makes my feet so smooth!

And my friend at the local B&M Gingerly Dressed had this to say:
Thanks for the salt scrub! I love it. The dead sea salt was not as course as I thought it would be, which was great because it didn't rub me raw! The oil lasts on my skin, so I feel moisturized all day long. The citrus scent really perks you up. That is just the thing for those early mornings. A great summer scrub! I'm looking forward to ordering some winter scrub next!


WOW! I have been a total slacker! I will be back on the ball as of NOW (well next week really). I will have the Scrumptious Saturday's recipe back and in full force. Look out for a lot of chicken and fish and healthy ways to do "Southern Style."
I will be heading back to the library and getting some new children's books to review AND I will review them for the Tuesday post. I already have a few new ones from the Imagination Library that we've recently received and I may use those as well.
I will be getting back on the eco-horse and posting my Green Girls Super Hero's on Thursday's. I have some great new post idea's for the next one about the products that we all use.
It will be back to the high energy, off the starting line style posts I had been doing. To my regular readers who have tired of re-reading the same ole same ole I genuinely apologize and thank you for coming back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scrumptious Saturday #9


I am doing a piece by piece of southern foods that can later be put together as one large meal. I started with Fried Green Tomatoes and Johnny Cake Cornbread and now without further ado... Southern Fried Okra!

First I want to show the difference between the okra from my local grocery store (in the colander) and from my in laws garden (on the marble cutting board) . I didn't have the opportunity to go to the farmer's market this morning, c'est la vie.
OK so with Okra you need to select firm bright green, when you slice it it will get a little slimy, this is OK because that is what helps hold the flour mixture to the okra. Slice it about 1/2 in or less (discard the tips).

As usual there are no measurements (especially since it depends on how much okra you slice) so here's what I do. A handful of wheat flour, a handful of white flour, a half handful of cornmeal and about 4 TBSP of sugar. In this case as always its better to under measure as you can always add more. Fold it into the bowl (I kinda throw the bowl to let the mixture work itself, but you can use a spoon or spatula to fold).

Heat enough oil in a skillet to just cover bottom, dump floured okra in and keep it moving. Don't let it sit in the same place too long or it can easily burn. If it gets too gooey just add more corn meal and keep it cooking. I can't really tell how long exactly it should go, just until it looks bright green and the breading is a little crispy. If done right with little oil you shouldn't need to drain on a paper towel, however if it's a little too oily go ahead and do that real quick.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Guys!

God help the boys when our kiddo starts dating. They'll have to pass these guys to take her out! Sorry, can't show the faces.

Superhero Tips from the "Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time


Mommy's Little Helper makes all her Boo Boo Bags with reassigned fabric and organic lavender flowers. In fact most all of Mommy's products are made with all natural / organic products.

I have to admit - this week I am really struggling to come up with a topic for the Green Girls. I decided to cast my proverbial net and see what I could catch. On etsy I put out a topic in the Forum asking sellers to show me their eco-friendly items. I came up with quite a few good ones and they pointed me to the EcoEtsy Team.

Here are some of the replies I received (and a selected item from each shop):

-RanaMuck says: I sell peacock feathers naturally shed and wild turkey feathers. Great alternatives to store feathers from mass production farms! I also have aloe vera plants. Babies from my older aloe plant :) I don't use any chemicals, not even fertilizer because they just don't need it. I'm revising the photo on some beeswax but my beeswax is from my grandpa's apiary and is unfiltered. I have recycled floater candles too. Most of my items are made of recycled, natural, or thrift store finds.

muddymuse says: 100% made of dirt...the glaze is made from natural chemicals...i think

kaboogie says: Almost all of my shoes are made from repurposed materials. All of the leather and suede ones are!!

PenguinLovePress says: My shop uses recycled materials and my new journals now have 100% recycled paper!

fluffnfixings says: I have two shops, but this shop focuses on the eco-friendly side of packaging. My other shop has some kits made from recycled goods, as well. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

Mulchandmore says: I'm not selling recycled but all of my yarn is from a renewable source-fiber animals grow a new coat every year and are very uncomfortable if not sheared in the spring.

thebuddhabuilder says: I use the raw materials of earth, fire and water to create my raku Buddhas, but I also incorporate the odd lay-about screws, tacks and scrap wires into my sculptures. I enjoy adding whatever strikes my fancy as a potential combustible in my garage (newspapers, salt, cardboard, sawdust). And for packing I get all recycled boxes from the hardware store and the Asian food market in Seattle. Packing peanuts recycled from local gift shops...Learning how to use what's already present is just zen. Who knew zen could be so eco-friendly?

I mentioned in my Green Girls post a few weeks ago about "CLOSING THE LOOP" ie. buying items made of recycled materials and items made with power from alternative sources. To do so will eventually drive the costs down and prove to the manufacturer's that we ARE serious about being environmentally responsible consumers. So as I was at the mega shop this week picking up a million and one items, copy paper was one of those items on my list. I am usually frugal and so when I saw the paper made of at least 30% post consumer recycled paper I swallowed hard and paid the extra for the recycled paper.
So now you know that when you receive a package from me, the receipt will be printed on recycled paper!
We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Workroom - A Pictoral Blog!

So here it is, my workroom in all its glory. This is where it all happens, the clothes, the bath and body products, the pillows, and of course Bill, the Mome Rath is viewing his entire kingdom as High Emperor of the Maddie & ME Workroom. The old stair step measuring stick was my great grandmother's she used for tailoring pants - she was a professional seamstress. It still has in her handwriting "HANDS OFF!" She was evidently very possessive of this useful tool, I wonder if she minds me having it?

So, without further ado...

Picture of my workroom looking in and looking out to the computer. OK, so I cleaned the workroom not the living room. I need something to do tomorrow don't I?

Was someone complaining about too much fabric? This is only a small portion of what I have!

I DO like my organization! A place for everything and everything in its place... most of the time.

More fabric in the bins and looking across to my photographing station (next to the piano). Did you know that i do most of my photography after dark and have daylight bulbs in my ceiling fan? I use the photo editor a lot to brighten up the pics and keep the color accurate, but 95% is done after kiddo is in bed.

This is where I sit and rotate between the two main machines.

My two main machines, Pfaff and Singer Serger.
The Brother Machine in the background is a back up.

Anyone want to know when their nightgown order will ship? It's all here!

Mommy's Little Helper is all tucked away in here.

The hidden insides of MLH and here are the newest products waiting for testing; which is where I'm headed next.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Children's Book Review

"The Fisherman and the Turtle"
adapted by Eric A. Kimmel
illustrated by Martha Aviles

Taken from the jacket:
In the time of the Aztecs, a fisherman lives with his wife in a hut by the sea. One day, he captures a green turtle, a god in disguise. The turtle grants him a wish in exchange for being released. the fisherman asks for four fishes. When his wife finds out, she's furious. Why didn't he wish for a stone house so they could be rich? Three different times, she sends her husband back to talk to the turtle. On each visit, the fisherman asks the turtle to grant the ever-more-demanding wishes of his greedy wife. But his wife finally goes too far!

This book is a revised version of of several old tales. He has taken part of Grimms' Fairy Tale "The Fisherman and His Wife" and also elements from "The Crown of Sang Nila Utama" a story from Singapore with a similar theme. To be quite honest I liked it a lot, but the kiddo was not as impressed. She had little interest in lessons that are presented this obviously. It didn't have any flowery princesses, pink tutu's or fairy wands so it wasn't really interesting to her.

The story was good, simply put and an easy read. The artwork is fabulous with bright colorful Aztec styling and well depicted emotions (as pictured above). I am sorry that my kiddo didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped, but I plan on trying one or two more times to put this back in the night time story line up to see if she'll take to it.
I do recommend it as a good read and even if your kiddo doesn't enjoy it as much as some of the others, even one read of this lesson is worth the time spent.


Duck Tales Inflation Lesson


Please note that all designs sold by Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture AND Mommy's Little Helper, Bath & Body for the Soul are the intellectual property of the owner and are subject to all Copyright protections as provided by law.