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we’re going all out for earth month – win a free diaper every month for a year!

We don’t keep secret our commitment to the environment. Everything we do, we do with an eye to our own footprints. As a company, that means we do everything from stocking our restrooms with reusable hand towels to stocking products that are sustainably manufactured by ethical companies. I mean, if you can’t trust your friendly neighborhood cloth diaper store to be green, who can you trust?

 

So, when it comes to Earth Day, we are of two minds. We love that the holiday has gained such traction, but we’re pretty underwhelmed that Earth gets only one measly day. Really? ONE DAY? There are 12 days of Christmas, 8 of Chanukah, and even other holidays are frequently referred to by their “weekend” like Labor Day and Memorial Day. For goodness sakes, sharks get an entire week! But the Earth, this planet that sustains us and that we are so responsible for the caretaking of gets one lousy day. Pshaw! Fiddlesticks!

So, we are of course more partial to those who celebrate April as Earth Month (and we are also in agreement that every month is Earth Month, what say you moms washing cloth diapers and using glass baby bottles and sustainably harvested wood toys?), and thus we celebrate with verve this month! In honor of our Earth and the small, every day choices we all make that help sustain her, we’re having a contest the likes of which we have never seen at The Bean!

We’re giving away a free diaper! Wait. We’ve done that before. Hm.

We’ve got it!

We’re giving away TWELVE FREE DIAPERS! YES! Win an Earth Year from The Giggling Green Bean!

Because we know you, our GGB families, are committed to the Earth much as we are, we’d like to show our appreciation by offering you both (you know, you and the Earth), this wonderful prize! The Grand Prize Winner will receive their choice of cloth diaper (up to a $30 value) every month for a full year (up to a $360 value, depending on which diapers you choose!). They’ll also snag a small wetbag, a swag bag of samples, a free car seat check with our on-staff CPST, and a free ticket to either Babywearing or Cloth Diaper 101 (totally transferable to a friend you’re looking to convert if you’re already an expert!). You totally want to win, right?  We thought so!

Enter to win a dozen free diapers!

diapercircle

First, the PRIZES!

Grand Prize (up to $430 value!):

1 diaper each month for a year, starting May 2014! (up to a $30 value each)

1 small Leslie’s Boutique Wetbag
1 swag bag of fun samples and green goodies
1 comprehensive car seat check
1 ticket to your choice of Cloth Diapering 101 or Babywearing 101

1st Prize ($55 value):
$25 Giggling Green Bean Gift Certificate
1 comprehensive car seat check
1 ticket to your choice of Cloth Diapering 101 or Babywearing 101
2nd Prize ($40 value):
$10 Giggling Green Bean Gift Certificate
1 comprehensive car seat check
1 ticket to your choice of Cloth Diapering 101 or Babywearing 101
3rd Prize ($35 value):
$5 Giggling Green Bean Gift Certificate
1 comprehensive car seat check
1 ticket to your choice of Cloth Diapering 101 or Babywearing 101

How to enter!

You can enter both online and in store! Winners will be drawn in store on May 1st, and you don’t need to be present to win! Please leave a comment on this post letting us know how you entered online! Since we’re drawing names on slips of paper, you can leave all your entry methods in one comment or one comment for each as you complete them, we don’t mind! We’ll fill out a slip for each of your entries and drop it in the bowl! Just make sure you include an email address in the “email” section! It won’t show publicly, but we’ll need it to contact you if you win! And you WANT us to contact you!
 To Enter In store:

  • Write your best “green” tip on a leaf and post it on our tree – 1 entry
  • Every $5 of purchases – 1 entry
  • Taking a class in April – 5 entries
To Enter Online:
  • Like The Giggling Green Bean on Facebook - 1 entry
  • Share our post about the giveaway on Facebook (we’ve pinned it to the top of our timeline!) – 1 entry
  • Follow @GGBDenver on Twitter – 1 entry
  • Tweet about the giveaway – 1 entry
  • Follow us on Instagram (@ggbdenver) – 1 entry
  • Regram our contest picture on Instagram and tag us! – 1 entry
  • Make a video review of The GGB or something you bought and loved at The GGB and post it to our Facebook wall – 5 entries
  • Subscribe to our newsletter (Look to the left under the graduate baby!) – 1 entry

*Void where prohibited, see our official sweepstakes rules for more information!

 

 

 

 

 



Share your commitment to our Earth and WIN!

We’ve worked hard over the years to be greener as both families and as a business. We carry environmentally friendly merchandise, we replaced paper products with cloth paper towels in our Tennyson and Lakewood store restrooms, we choose green cleaning products and we recycle like it was going out of style. We’ve shared our greening with you – even offering a tutorial on an “unpaper” towel wetbag for your kitchen – and supported you in some of the ultimate in environmentally friendly family choices – like free breastfeeding help classes and cloth diapering workshops.

We can always do better, though. And we want YOU to help.

Tell us how you are greening yourself, your family, your workplace, your pet, or even your minivan this year. Give us your best tips, your commitments on this earth week on how you’re doing better than you did last year. Are you remembering your cloth bags at the store? Switching to cloth? Converting an old bus to a house that runs on biodiesel and travels around the country giving lectures on sustainability (if so, you win!).

We’ll choose one person via the Rafflecopter app below to win a $25 gift card to The Giggling Green Bean (redeemable in store or online!), but more than that, we’ll totally copy your rad ideas and we’ll share them throughout the year via Facebook, our blog, and our newsletter. Your commitment could spur change in others! So lay ‘em on us, green moms and pops, green gramps and grams, green families, green pets, green minivans. Show us what you’ve got and WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



April is for fools!

paperdipe

My best April Fool’s Day prank could have gotten me fired. Thankfully, I work for the best boss in the world, so she laughed instead of canning me, though there was at least one customer fooled enough to ask for these diapers in the store…

If that was you, I’m laughing with you and not at you. Promise!

In honor of all our favorite April Fool’s Day pranks, we’re giving away a Dapple Clean-Up Kit for your spring cleaning joy! The kit includes:

  • Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid, 16.9 fl oz 500 ml
  • Toy & Surface Wipes, 35 Wipes
  • Toy & Surface Wipes Travel Pack, 20 Wipes
  • Toy & Surface Cleaner, 16.9 fl oz 500 ml
  • Cleaning Cloth

We love Dapple because their products are:

  • Dioxane-free*
  • Free of Parabens, Phthalates, SLES, Dyes, and Synthetic Fragrances
  • Pediatrician Recommended
  • Made with Baking Soda
  • Biodegradable
  • Not Tested on Animals
  • Wipes are Chlorine Free!

To win, tell us your best April Fool’s Day prank and enter via the Rafflecopter app below! We’ll share the ones we like best on Facebook, and the prize winner will be chosen at random from all the entries! Get extra entries by liking us on Facebook and following on Twitter! Happy April Fool’s Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



What Women Do With Their Free Hands – Win a Mei Tai For Women’s History Month
A picture from our date!

A picture from our date!

Sometimes I have excellent plans. I am all set to build popsicle stick catapults or sew thrifted sweaters into baby longies, finish writing my novel, mend blue jean knee-holes into creative and colorful monster faces while simultaneously having an adult conversation with a good friend about Derrida and which post-colonial theorist most captures the essence of the struggle between self and nation.

But really, I often top out at microwaved chicken nuggets in the shape of a cartoon character (and if I’m lucky I’ll microwave some for myself instead of just eating the leftover bits my kids don’t finish) and a few “likes” on things other adults I know have posted on Facebook, which I tell myself is some sort of post-modern adult conversation.

So here we are in March and it’s Women’s History Month and I watch PBS documentaries that make me want to lobby Congress and write a zine and leave me all fired up to change the world because of all the capital-W Women who came before me and who are here now making capital-H History (Herstory?). My grand plans expand to encompass all the things I would say about these women and how connected we all are, and then suddenly it’s the end of the month and grand plans have been pushed aside because the one kid decided to try and flush a tube of Transformers toothpaste and in learning plumbing to retrieve it I somehow managed to make the bathroom flood every time we flushed. So back to the hardware store and another quick lesson from Google and YouTube to set everything to rights and suddenly Women’s History Month is back there with monster-face-knee-hole-mending and its ilk on Pinterest taunting me putting me in this strange space where I’m not a mover or a shaker making history, and I’m not even that mom with the organic snacks for every occasion like cheese in the shape of bunny rabbits and an Elf on the Shelf that visits for minor holidays like Arbor Day and Casimir Pulaski’s birthday to bring relevant gifts while being found by children upon waking in the midst of a clever tableau co-starring plastic dinosaurs and Lego people.

Tell me you feel like this sometimes, too. Tell me I am not the only one who feels the need to reclaim this month a bit.

I bet you didn’t know that Freehand Mei Tai Carriers were named after remarkable women – women whose free hands did some pretty amazing things. And I’ll be honest with you – when I’m using my free hands to clean someone else’s boogers or wipe yogurt off the top of the ceiling fan blades (how on earth…) while packing a small one in the Mei Tai, it could be a little daunting to be reminded of Eleanor Roosevelt. I’ll give you one guess as to which Teresa is the Nobel Prize-winning namesake for that design, the mother of none, Mother of all. The Marie is for one of the most brilliant scientific minds perhaps ever, and the Jane, oh, the Jane makes this mama-with-the-English-degree go all aflutter.

But let me tell you about the Cassie. The Cassie is named after a nineteenth-century woman who famously defrauded people and then banks and then more people and more banks by pretending to be the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie. She was born Elizabeth Bigley, had a stint as a fortune teller going by Madame LaRose, and ended up Mrs. Cassie Chadwick in a marriage con that put her upwards in society and in a position to put one over on numerous banks for millions of dollars. She was a remarkable and infamous conniver. A felon, a mother, a fraud, a swindler, a brothel-owner, and damn was she good at all of it. So she wasn’t a Mother Teresa or a Madame Curie. She wasn’t a Beatrix Farrand or an Isabel Letham. Her skillset may have been the long con, but boy was she good at it. And that, folks, is where TogetherBe absolutely nails it.

I’m a simple mom instead of a Congress-mom or an activist-mom or a Pinterest-mom or even an infamous con-artist mom. I’m a woman with an advanced degree and an uncanny knack for knowing the precise moment at which my daughter will wake up to nurse. I wash diapers. I clip coupons. I struggle with the problem that has no name, though secretly I think it’s called Pinterest and Betty Friedan could not possibly have known it, though the current editions should surely be changed to reflect the update. But this history that I make should be celebrated, too. The history that you and I make, whatever that history is, is our contribution to the conversation that has gone on for generations before us and will go on as our daughters take the reins and make Women’s History Month something quaint and archaic like illegitimacy and New Coke. Women’s History will just be History. An inclusive history that reflects the contributions women have made without needing a separate month to remind everyone that we’re here!

Win a Freehand Mei Tai for Women’s History Month!

freehand-theresa

In honor of what your free hands are surely doing that change the world, we’ve partnered with TogetherBe to give away a Mei Tai! The gorgeous and edifying Teresa print is up for grabs, and to win it, you can pop down to the Rafflecopter and enter in several ways – the most important of which being that you leave a comment here and tell me what you’ve done this month that has been worth celebrating. Whether it’s discovering a new element (in which case, wow, go you) or retrieving a toothpaste tube from the inner workings of your upstairs toilet, celebrate the history you make!

I’ll go first: Yesterday, I went on a date with my son. He’s five. He’s a fun date. He’s asked for ages if we could go on a date, and with three kids and a couple jobs each, my husband and I are basically walking zombies a lot of days who maybe used to know each other, but I’m not super sure. He looks a lot different than I remember… Anyway, making time is a difficult task, but we managed it. We had dinner and some playtime at the mall playground (where he ditched me for a nine-year-old in skinny jeans!) and some wonderful conversation where he told me all about the political situation in his secret world. I’m raising a boy who will eventually become a man in this world. I’m working on him like a (tired) sculptor with some lumpy (and usually wet and sticky, how do they manage that?) clay in order to shape someone who will fight for equality and never stand for injustice, even if for now that just means fostering empathy and awareness, inclusiveness and a kind heart.

 
So this week when I’m nuking those chicken nuggets and thinking that I should probably get on those monster-knees, I will think back on this date and know that I did something right this week. How about you?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Show us your child’s personality and WIN from Nohi Kids!

You know those photographs that you take on a whim that turn out to capture your child perfectly? Their personality shines through, and it’s really them? Well, we’re teaming up with Nohi Kids for a contest that lets your show how your little one shines!


We love Nohi Kids because they are pretty much the funnest (it’s a word! really!) organic kid clothing line we can think of. We are also pretty partial to the name – from their website: 

In the Maori language, nohi nohi means, “to be small”. In Japan, Kodomo Nohi, one of the most popular national holidays, is a day to celebrate children. And, in Hawaiian, Nohi means brightly colored and vivid. So, I suppose a Nohi Kid is a bright, vivacious little thing just oozing with personality!


We’ve restocked and are full to the brim with this amazing line, and to celebrate we’re offering both a great big sale and a giveaway!

Thursday – Saturday (10/25- 10/27/2012) ALL in stock Nohi Kids Clothing is Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off!

Want to Win Some Nohi Kids?

How does a $30 gift certificate toward Nohi Kids clothing sound? Pretty awesome, right? It’s simple to enter!

  • Just submit a picture showing your child’s big personality! What makes your child a Nohi Kid – bright, vivacious, and full of fabulousness? Show us!
  • Email your entries to: keely@thegigglinggreenbean.com – make sure you include your child’s first name, first initial, or nickname (whatever you prefer) and age as well as your contact information. We’ll only use it to contact you if you’re the winner, we promise!
  • Entries must be received by 11/1/2012 at midnight!
  • An independent panel of judges will select a winner who will receive a $30 gift certificate good to outfit your Nohi kid in Nohi Kids!  We’ll announce the winner and post a selection of our favorites on Facebook and the blog!
  • Winner will be notified via email or telephone by 11/3/2012.
  • Please see our official sweepstakes rules for terms and conditions!

Good luck!



So, there’s this girl Katniss…

And seriously, besides the fact that everyone I know whose book taste I trust likes it, that is ALL I know about The Hunger Games. I have it, it’s downloaded, it’s waiting for me, but reading it with three kids and so much to do is kind of a far away dream of something nice I’d like to do someday.

Know the feeling?

I feel that way about movies, too. The last one I saw in the theater was the new Star Trek when I was pregnant with my second. To see a movie, there’s childcare, there’s the should I take the baby or will I be stuck outside not watching it while she coos, so many things that could go wrong in a theater of adults with my infant that I have just opted out. Someday I will see movies again.

Know the feeling?

I’m actually kind of glad I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, because the fervor with which people are discussing the movie is pretty remarkable, and I don’t know if I’d want to put it off until it came out on heavily edited TNT. Are you hemming and hawing and trying to figure out how you will see the movie RIGHT NOW?

WELL. Have I got a giveaway for YOU.

The GGB has FIVE free passes to the April 3rd showing of The Hunger Games movie to give away courtesy of The Bump!! Not only do you see it for free, but it is a BABY-FRIENDLY showing, so feel free to bring your non-walking babe without the slightest worry! How’s that for awesome??

To win, enter via Rafflecopter below! Spread the word! Get your friends entered so you can all go together!

(more…)



There is a reason we don’t own this dollhouse.

When I was a little girl, I had the Barbie Dream House – you remember – the one with the elevator where you pulled the string to make it go up? I thought that was basically the apex of dollhouse awesomeness – I mean, an elevator. In your house.



I bet the people at Plan Toys had that dollhouse, too. Except instead of staring at it, mouth agape, pulling the string to watch the elevator go up, down, up, down, up, down, they thought to themselves “I can build a better dollhouse. First of all, we’re nixing this cardboard and plastic crap toute de suite. (I bet they said things like toute de suite when they were 3.)

So then they grow up and become this mondo toy-person and create things like this:

And then they use phrases like pièce de résistance and in order not to sound silly saying it, they had to come up with a toy that was worth talking about in French.

As I said in the title, there is a reason we don’t own this dollhouse. This is the Plan Toys Green Dollhouse (with furniture!), and if we had it in our house, my children would hate me because I would never let them play with it. I would keep it all to myself and buy the family and accessories to go with it. My little doll family

Would totally grow their own food (that you can plant and harvest! And put in your wheelbarrow!) and probably have some small livestock in the barn like chickens and goats.

They’d totally grill out on the patio because they are casual and fun like that.

See? See what I mean? Could you even let your children play with this, or would you totally hide it in your own room and get it out after they go to bed? Tell me I am not the only one here, folks.

Win a Plan Toys Green Dollhouse (with Furniture)

If you are stronger than I am and could have this in your house without appropriating it for your own use, or hey, maybe you’re going to win it to do just that (and if you do, you HAVE to have me over to play!), enter now to win a Plan Toys Green Dollhouse!

AND! Because we’re adding entries for each additional person you get to “like” us on Facebook, if we reach 1500 Facebook “likers” by the end of the sweepstakes entry period, we’ll throw in a garden for your house (because the people who live in this green house of eco-fabulousness would TOTALLY have a garden).

From PlanToys: “The dollhouse’s energy efficient design includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel and electric inverter for generating electricity, a rain barrel for collecting rain, a biofacade, which uses the natural cycle of plant growth to provide shading, and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation. Also, recycling bins are included in the set.
Playtime Ideas

  • The Green Dollhouse is designed to help children learn how to live in harmony with nature. Children will learn how appliances in the Green Dollhouse assist their daily life without damaging the environment. They will also learn how electricity can be generated from alternative natural sources such as the sun and wind.
  • The dollhouse is divided into several rooms which children can customize with furniture and accessories.
  • Children can act out stories about a family living in the Green Dollhouse. Through role playing, they can show the important roles and relationships of each family member.”

To enter:

1. Leave a comment to this entry – What was your favorite toy as a kid? Your comment constitutes your sweepstakes entry.

2. We’re going to change it up a little and add two other ways to enter for this giveaway. You will receive an additional entry for each one.

  • Follow us on Twitter. Leave an additional comment with your Twitter username as a sweepstakes entry.
  • Have a friend “like” us on Facebook. Leave a separate comment for each friend you bring on board. Put their Facebook name in the “email” section of your comment, because that is screened so that only we can see (we’ll only use it to check that they “like” us if you win!), that way we’re not plastering the internet with the names of your loved ones! Each comment here constitutes an additional sweepstakes entry.

3. Entries are accepted from the publication of this post until Saturday 12/03/2011 at 5pm MDT. Winner will be announced via our Facebook page on or about 12/04/2011.

4. Winner must “like”  The Giggling Green Bean on Facebook! Please do not leave a separate comment for this one, just for friends you bring over.

5. One winner will each receive one (1) Plan Toys Green Dollhouse (with furniture) (retail value $239.99). If we reach 1500 Facebook “likes” by the end of the sweepstakes period, winner will also receive one (1) Plan Toys Garden (retail value 19.99).

6. By entering, you are agreeing to our Official Sweepstakes Rules.

—–

We upgraded servers in the midst of the sweepstakes period, and lost comments! I retrieved them from my email, and the numbering goes as normal from 1-43, and then as per this list from 44-97, picking up with 98 in the regular comments. I did it this way to preserve the original comment order in case anyone is superstitious about their number instead of just adding on to the end.

44. Clare – I loved dolls as a kid (Still do) my mom made me a huge wooden dollhouse as a kid, it was awesome, but got water damage a few years back. :(
I’m getting my daughter a dollhouse for Christmas, it has been one of the hardest purchases I’ve made a s a parent, second probably only to carseats. LOL
45. Kellista – My favorite toys were the Heart to Heart family (like barbies)! :)
46. Kellista – twitter follow
47.  Leah – My fav toy was a carousel with collector’s horses…
48. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
49. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
50. Cindy – I had cardboard boxes with two sides cut open as my doll house. I carpeted the bottom and painted the walls. I even put a wire over the handle part of the box and wove material back and forth to look like curtains. I would love it if my grand-daughter could have an awesome doll house like this and not like the one I had. However, I had a blast with those boxes!!
51. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
52. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
53. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
54. Julie B. – Facebook Friend
55. Rachel – I used to love setting up elaborate barbie houses in my room. I’d spend so much time setting up that I’d be uninterested in playing so my sisters would end up using the “house” :) Thanks for the chance :)
56. Gina – My favorite toy changed every year. When I was four, my daughter’s age now, my favorites were my horses and their barn. Then I think it became cowgirl barbie, whose back had a button that would make her wink. And she had a horse that could fit in my other horses’ barn.
57. Rachel – twitter follow
58. Betsy M – Facebook Friend
59. Julie B – Facebook Friend
60. Julie B – Facebook Friend
61. Sarah V – twitter follow
62. Sarah V – My favorite toy as a kid was my Fisher-Price record player. My dad hacked it to play 45s, and I used to play Kenny and Dolly’s Islands in the Stream over and over and over…
63. Teresa – My favorite toy was a china cabinet my friend Nancy and I used as a doll house for our teen-aged dolls (pre-barbie) to have their adventures.

64. Alicia – I loved Pound Puppies as a kid!

65. Alicia – twitter follow
66. Cathy – My favorite toys growing up were stuffed animals and Barbies. We didn’t have a doll house, but we would use the Collier’s Encyclopedia’s book shelf and books to create a lovely home for our 7 Barbies, 2 Cher’s and one Ken.

67. Julie B – Facebook friend
68. Betsy M. Facebook friend
69. Betsy M. Facebook Friend
70. Betsy M. Facebook Friend
71. Heather – My favorite thing was my Fisher Price record player. I played my Heidi, Muppets, and Bugs Bunny records about five thousand times daily. Old school 45s, y’all!

72. Erena -  I had lots of favorites at different ages, but I always loved crafty toys and a standout was the old school Lite-Brite.73. Brooke – My favorite toy was either the preemie cabbage patch doll or the My little pony
74. Erin – My favorite toys as a kid were Barbies. Oh the drama my friends and I came up with–it would rival any soap opera! LOL
75. Brooke – twitter follow
76. Dawn – I really loved my barbie playhouse. Also my cabbage patch dolls.
77. Samantha – My dollhouse was my favorite toy. I even wallpapered and carpeted the rooms!!
78. Samantha – twitter follow
79. Jenny J – My favorite toy as a kid were the Playmobil toys and characters.
80. Anne – My favorite toys as a kid were my paper dolls – my sister and I would play with them for hours.

81. Sandy – My favorite toys were any and every stuffed animal I could get my hands on. My kids enjoy them all now (they are on a shelf around the top of their room.) I also liked Barbies but never had anything cool like this doll house. My daughter would be OVER.THE.MOON. to play with such a cool toy!
82. Sandy – twitter follow
83. Kathy – My fave toys as a kid were my stuffed animals, my real dog (once I finally convinced my parents to get one) and the horses that went with the Barbies.

84. Beth R – I loved dolls, especially my Cabbage Patch Kid, and remember being really jealous when my brother got the Ewok village from Santa!

85. Beth R – twitter follow
86. Kathy – twitter follow
87. April G – Oh my goodness! My three kids would love this but if I won I’m not sure where I’d put it. ;) My favorite toys as a child were my Breyer horses. Gosh, I loved those things! I’d get one every Christmas since they were so expensive.
88. April G – twitter follow
89. Stephanie – My favorite toys were my stuffed animals, strawberry shortcake dolls and My cabbage patch dolls!
90. Lynn – Barbies and stuffed animals. :)
91. Lynn – twitter follow
92. Lisa – I loved building those marble mazes from where you make the tower with all the spins and curves.
93. Ann J – I loved my doll house as a kid! My dad made it for me. I also loved stuffed animals, Rainbow Brite, and legos.
94. Carrie – Cabbage Patch Kids. Definitely.
95. Charmaine – Yay (and boo) that I get to do this now! My fave toys were my red Mongoose bike, bamboo fishing pole, and homemade bow and arrow set ( thanks to my grampa who couldn’t wait to have grandsons but had four granddaughters first!)
96. Rheana – As a kid I loved my cousin’s Cabbage Patch dollhouse. My favorite at our house was hands-down the Legos!
97. Rheana – twitter follow

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Congratulations, GINA!



Is it weird to have a philosophy of toys?

It probably is. I’ve sort of accepted that most things I do are weird, and by kid number three have developed the ability to just embrace my weirdness as the thing that will allow future therapists to earn a living.

So, toys. The other day while my big one was in preschool, my two littles decided to take a simultaneous nap, which felt a bit like what it must have felt like when the Israelites got their first delivery of manna from heaven. I took the opportunity to raid the kid room and cull things that were broken, came from restaurant kid meals more than a week ago, and toys that I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had played with (sad! Isle of Misfit Toys and Toy Story movies you have ruined me forever!). I had a box for the bin and a big bag for donation, and suddenly all the toys fit neatly in the closet and toy drawers, and for a moment I got to bask in the shiny glow from a floor that I could actually see.

It got me thinking about all the stuff we collect. I had all these grand ideas when pregnant with my first about a playroom filled with wooden toys and Charles Dickens board books, neatly kept art supplies easily at hand, and my kid wouldn’t ever even eat a Happy Meal, so clearly there would be none of those little plastic doohickeys underfoot.

Best laid plans, y’all, best laid plans.

So, here I am the other day picking up plastic, broken, licensed merchandise from weird tv shows that my kid has never heard of, and I have this epiphany. I can totally bring us back to the more laid back version of the toy room in my dreams, and no one will be the wiser. I realized that I was going to give away or throw away a giant portion of the stuff in the play room, and nobody would notice (and nobody did!), because we had waaaaaaay too much for any kid to play with. Play should not have to be a frenetic waltz where you change your partner 37 times in order to fit everyone in. My philosophy of toys was born.

I want to steer us toward less toys total, while having more toys that are truly fun (for more than two seconds), toys that reflect our consciousness of how much we consume, and toys of a higher quality that we could conceivably hang onto for the littler kids and then for grandkids.

For the rest of this month, I’ll be highlighting (and giving away!) some of our personal favorites inside the Giggling Green Bean. Have you seen the toy section? If you think the GGB is just diapers, you will need one when you see the huge variety of truly fabulous playthings.

Can we start with Green Toys? I don’t know about your kids, but my kids aren’t really ones to play quietly rolling their trucks back and forth like civilized little gentlemen. When I took this picture, I interrupted my two boys riding their respective recycling trucks and crashing them into each other (It was like the toddler Sopranos – violent clashes in the waste collection industry!). I was spotted with the camera, so we got silly face instead of crash, but you can see that even though this truck was a milk jug in its past life, its current life is not anything flimsy.

Not only can these toys stand up to my forces of destruction, they are ecologically sound – made from recycled milk jugs! They even go so far as to take their green philosophy to their packaging, which is 100% corrugated cardboard – no plastic, twisties, anything. 100% recyclable! So, win win – my children cannot seem to break them, love to play with them, and they don’t force my kid to have an immense ecological footprint at age 4. (Also win, they are so affordable! I love when companies don’t try to cash in on their green status – us normal folks like quality, ecologically sound products, too!)

Win a set of Green Toys blocks!

Green Toys says, “Green Toys™ Blocks are the world’s most environmentally friendly basic building set. All 18 boldly colored blocks are oversized and lightweight, making it super easy for tiny hands to stack and unstack. This unique block set includes a variety of shapes for building castles, towers, or any imaginative structure budding architects can dream up. Most importantly, Green Toys Blocks are safe. No BPA, PVC, phthalates or external coatings, but plenty of Good Green Fun™. These blocks are made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic milk containers that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Packaged using only recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks.”

To enter:

1. Leave a comment to this entry – Do you have a philosophy of toys? Your comment constitutes your sweepstakes entry.

2. Entries are accepted from the publication of this post until Monday 11/21/2011 at 5pm MDT. Winner will be announced via our Facebook page on or about 11/22/2011.

3. Winner must “like”  The Giggling Green Bean on Facebook! Please do not leave a separate comment, one entry per person.

4. One winner will each receive one (1) set of Green Toys blocks (retail value $24.99).

5. By entering, you are agreeing to our Official Sweepstakes Rules.



Pump up the jam (…with your new Hygeia Enjoye EXT! Win it!!)

For most of my life, if you asked me to tell you about pumping, I’d probably mention how cute Christian Slater was in Pump Up the Volume or how my cousin Trina and I used to dance in my grandma’s garage to Pump Up the Jam (get your booty on the floor tonight, make my day). I might also tell you that I was one of the first kids in my junior high to have shoes that pumped up at the tongue, though I was the least athletic kid in our entire city, I’m sure, and I cannot fathom the usefulness of pumped up shoes even if you were Michael Jordan.

But now, being a mom-person and having mom-person friends, the pump has changed in my mind’s eye from this:

to this:

I’m pleased that pumps are on other peoples’ minds, as well. I love that the recently enacted health care legislation has given pumping moms in EVERY state the protections they need to be able to pump for their babies. These mamas work HARD ENOUGH without being told they need to pump in a bathroom stall or that reasonable break accommodations won’t be made for them. In honor of the pump and the moms who wield it, I thought I’d put together a couple of my favorite web-resources for pumping information.

Resources for Pumping Moms

Is your workplace compliant? Here’s a great resource that can help you understand the new law as well as information to give your employer so that the law can be easier to implement and why it’s good for business.

Do you have a pumping, milk storage, bottle feeding a breastfed baby question? Kellymom.com has an amazing pumping section with an enormous amount of information. Peer-reviewed and collected into one handy spot, I dare you to find a question this site doesn’t answer.

La Leche League is an amazing resource for breastfeeding and pumping moms, not the least of which because it can connect you in real life in your real town to other moms doing the same thing! I know here in the Denver Metro Area we have LLL meetings both day and evening with moms who stay home, moms who work, moms who exclusively pump, moms who wouldn’t know a pump from a transistor radio. The diverse mamas at LLL meetings – as well as the wonderful leaders – can help with questions, but more importantly are a welcoming community!

Are you getting ready to go back to work and worried about pumping? Dr. Sears, pediatrician to the people, has a wonderful list of tips and tricks for pumping moms from getting the milk flowing to increasing your pumping output.

Win a Hygeia Enjoye EXT!

To send off Breastpump Month with a bang and shower of fireworks, we’re giving away a Hygeia Enjoye EXT breastpump!

* All the great features of the Hygeia EnJoye LBI except the EnJoye EXT has an external battery pack that is powered by 8 AA batteries (batteries not included).
* The EnJoy EXT is the best breast pump for battery pumping in the same location, such as work. Because you can take the battery out of the pump, you can leave the battery pack at work and reduce the carrying weight of your breast pump.
*Hygeia’s Breast Pumps are engineered and designed for multiple users when each mother has their own personal accessory set. All of Hygeia’s Breast Pumps have been reviewed and registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as multi-user pumps.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment to this entry – tell me who you pump for or what you think of when someone mentions a pump. Or! If you have a favorite pumping resource I haven’t listed here, let us all know about it! Your comment constitutes your sweepstakes entry.

2. Entries are accepted from the publication of this post until Thursday 11/3/2011 at 5pm MDT. Winner will be announced via our Facebook page on 11/4/2011.

3. Winner must be a fan of  The Giggling Green Bean on Facebook! Please do not leave a separate comment, one entry per person.

4. One winner will each receive one (1) Hygeia Enjoye EXT Breast pump (bag color depends on stock and is selected by the GGB) (retail value $249.99).

5. By entering, you are agreeing to our Official Sweepstakes Rules.



Perks for Pumping Mamas

If you are or have ever been a pumping mom, you can attest that pumping is work. Some pump for babies while they work outside the home, some pump exclusively, some pump to donate, and some pump for the occasional bottle, and I bet that almost none of them would call it fun. It’s time-consuming, it’s not your baby, it’s necessary and wonderful and awesome that we have such technology, but it’s still work.

Add to that the fact that the post-partum bodily readjustment period is something ongoing for quite awhile, and you get a frustrating set of circumstances when you try to find accessories that fit for the long haul (and don’t even get me started on being a larger or smaller than average mom!). Because of this, the fact that the GGB is carrying the Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier makes me do a little dance of joy. Not only do they cover sizes 30AA – 48J, each bustier adjusts up to 10 inches to allow your body to do what it will post-partum without needing a new one. Best of all, the openings in the front are also adjustable so there’s no awkward shoe-horning of your breasts into the space where the manufacturer thinks they ought to be (let me tell you, on my third nursling mine are nowhere near where the manufacturer thinks they ought to be in most cases!).

I want to officially go on record to say that whether you pump every day around the clock or for the occasional bottle to leave with a sitter, you deserve to do it comfortably and with your hands free – even if those hands are just playing Angry Birds on your smartphone or reading a trashy novel. Pumping mamas deserve all the perks they can get for this important work that they do!

Win A Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier!!

Four Sisters, One Vision.
The Story Behind Simple Wishes

There’s undoubtedly something special about the bond between sisters. So when four spirited girls who grew to be successful young women decided to create a product that they – as new mothers – felt was missing from the market, there was quite simply no stopping them. Though the connection of this foursome is the foundation for Simple Wishes, each sister brings her own unique strengths, talents and ideas to the table, resulting in a powerful professional force mixed with love, laughter and loads of creativity.

We sat down with Joy, the sister responsible for Business Development, and here is what she had to say:

1. What gave you the idea for your product?

Answer: My sister Debra was exclusively pumping for her first baby and was frustrated with the available hands-free options. None of them were truly hands free. They were functional but not ideal. As the bottles filled up with milk they would tip away from her body, start slipping down and more importantly as she lost her pregnancy weight no longer fit. Debra has a background in apparel production and knew with her contacts and expertise she could design and produce a hands free bra that addressed all the issues she was experiencing. Debra approached Lydia, Keren and I, we’re all sisters, with her idea. I have a background in sales, Keren in online merchandising, and Lydia in finance/business operations. Our combined strengths made up the foundation to successfully launch our business. I started selling the concept of our product to retailers before we even had a sample to share. Fast-forward 2 years and our product has now helped over 100,000 moms simplify the pumping experience.

2. Tell us a bit about your company’s vision.

Answer: At Simples Wishes we thrive to cultivate a new generation of moms who are prepared and confident during this thrilling yet challenging journey called motherhood.  Our mission is to offer simple solutions; innovative products that help women succeed at parenting confidently while living a well-balanced life.

We believe a happy mom = a happy baby and a happy family.

3. Where’s the strangest place you’ve heard of a woman pumping?

Answer: While driving.

4. Is there anything exciting coming up in the pipeline for your
company?

Answer: We have expanded our presence internationally into 10 new countries. We also have a couple exciting new products in development in the areas of swaddling and nursing attire. Unfortunately I can’t share details yet…stay tuned for updates in 2012!

So, how do I win??

Simple Wishes has been generous enough to offer TWO of their amazing Hands Free Pumping Bustiers for this sweepstakes, so there will be two lucky winners that can choose the size and color best suited for them! LUCKY!

To enter:

1. Leave a comment to this entry with your favorite pumping story or props to your favorite pumping mom (even if it’s you!) Your comment constitutes your sweepstakes entry.

2. Entries are accepted from the publication of this post until Tuesday 10/18/2011 at 5pm MDT. Winner will be announced via our Facebook page on 10/19/2011.

3. Winner must be a fan of both The Giggling Green Bean and Simple Wishes on Facebook! Please do not leave a separate comment, one entry per person.

4. Two winners will each receive one (1) Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier in the size and color of their choice (retail value $39.99).

5. By entering, you are agreeing to our Official Sweepstakes Rules.





About


  • The Giggling Green Blog! The Giggling Green Bean's Marketing Director, Keely, takes her family on a journey from conspicuous consumers to rampant recyclers, raving re-users, ravenous reducers! Make things, enjoy life, have an abundance of awesome while being conscious of your impact!

    Comment or contact her at keely@thegigglinggreenbean.com


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