Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flings Pop-Up Recycle Bins Review & Giveaway

It is summer time which means it is time for parties, barbecues and picnics! There is nothing that irks me more than going to a party and the host does not have some sort of recycling bin. So all those cans and bottles end up in the trash. I usually end up bringing whatever I used home with me to recycle myself, because I cannot stand to trash something that can be recycled. We host 3 birthday parties ourselves every year (some at home, some at a hall) and I always find something to collect recyclables. Usually I take an empty cardboard box and put a "Please Recycle" sign on it. Not only is this a pain for parties not at home, but inevitably someone does not notice it and I am left rummaging through trash to fish out cans.

This is where Flings comes to the rescue. Flings Pop-Up Trash & Recycle Bins offer the perfect trash and recycling solution to any party. I was sent one of their recycling bins to test out. It unfortunately did not arrive in time for my Twins' birthday party a few weeks ago, but I can't wait to use it for my baby's first birthday come December. The Flings Bins comes folded up pretty much flat which makes it super easy to store until party time and then transport to your party destination. When you are ready to use it, simply pop it open in seconds and set it down. What is really great about the Flings Recycle Bin is that it is completely covered in the recycling symbol so there is no missing it. No more wondering about trying to figure out where to put the empty soda can and no more stacks of recyclables on your counter.

Each bin can hold roughly 60 cans or bottles. The Flings are priced affordably so they can be disposable, but you know me, I prefer reusable! Well your Fling can be reused too - it all depends on what you prefer and how messy it got. The bin itself is recyclable so you could just tie it up and toss the whole thing into your curbside recycling bin. However, if you are like me and want to reuse it, dump the cans/bottles/whatever into your curbside bin, hose down or rinse out your Flings bin, let dry and then tuck it away for the next party! If you are using your Flings bin for trash, well than you may not want to reuse it, but at the very least dumpy the trash into your garbage can and then recycle the Flings bin.

Now we are just a few days away from the Fourth of July and I know many of you will either be hosting or going to a fun holiday party this weekend. Flings Bins and Jeanne Benedict have put together some really fun patriotic party ideas that you really need to check out. So take a few minutes to watch this quick video and see how you can easily dress up your party using scrap booking supplies!

The Flings Bins are very reasonable priced at around $4.00 each and they come in a variety of designs: recycle, birthday, picnic and more. They may be purchased directly at the Flings Online Store in packs of 4 or 10. All orders receive free standard shipping in the US. Flings Bins may also be purchased at

One (1) winner will receive two (2) Flings Pop-Up Bins

Mandatory Entry
"Like" Flings Pop-Up Bins on Facebook.

Extra Entries
- Watch the video above and then leave me a comment with your favorite summer/4th of July party tip - either your own or one mentioned in the video.
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- Add my Green Mama's Pad button to your sidebar or add Green Mama's Pad to your blogroll. Leave your blog link.
- Add my Green Baby Shower Guide button to you blog. Leave your link.
- Follow @GreenMamasPad and on Twitter and and tweet this giveaway. You can tweet once daily. Leave link to tweet in comment. You must have at least 50 followers. You can copy and paste this:
Flings Pop-Up Recycling Bins Giveaway: win 2 for your next party! Party recycling made easy! @greenmamaspad #giveaway
- Blog about this giveaway. Your post must include a link to this post plus a link to the sponsor. Please leave link.
- Stumble this post and comment with your ID.
- Stumble one of my non-giveaway posts and tell me which one.
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This giveaway is open to US Residents 18+ only and will end on Wednesday, July 14 at 11:59pm EST. One winner will be chosen at random using and will be posted on the Winner's Announcement Page. Winner has 48 hours to claim his/her prize otherwise a new winner will be picked. You must leave your e-mail address in all of your comment(s) so I can contact you. I will not share your e-mail address with anyone, it will strictly be used to notify you if you win. Good luck!

Please note that the opinions and views expressed here are my own and based on my personal experience with the product. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. Flings provided me with a product for review and is providing the prize for this giveaway. Please note that there are some Amazon Affiliate link in this review.

Wordless Wednesday: Brothers

Moments like this make up for all the times they drive me bonkers.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Your Reusable Bag May Be Filled With Bacteria

What do you have in your reusable shopping bag today? Some bread, milk, fruits and veggies? Oh and maybe some lovely E. coli too! Wait, what?!? Yes, your cute bag may also be filled with some unwanted bacteria.

A new study done by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University (California) found that 97% of people do not wash their reusable bags. Unfortunately I am one of them and really I should know better. It is kind of a no brainer I suppose, but yet I never even thought about it.

This study looked at 84 bags and more than half of them contained coliform and heterotrophic bacteria and E. coli was present in 12% of the bags. Don't worry too much though, the strains that they found aren't likely to make anyone sick.

So obviously we all need to make a point to wash our bags. Make sure you check the manufacturer's washing instructions before you wash so that you don't ruin any bags. I think at a minimum you should wash your bags once a month. My goal is going to be every other week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Growing Tree Toys Review

Something I have come to appreciate more as my journey as a mom has moved forward is the importance of quality educational toys. I think this is probably something that I became more aware of once my twins started speech therapy and occupational therapy (motor skills). Now my kids have more than their fair share of regular toys like action figures, cars, etc. But I have realized that is also important to balance it out with fun educational toys as well. 

Growing Tree Toys is an online toy store with a huge selection of quality, educational toys for every age group imaginable. One of the things I like about this site is how easy that make it to shop. On the left hand side they have several navigation bars so you can find toys by age, department or brand. The age range one is my favorite; when I was looking fro something for my 3 year old twins it took just 1 click to bring up toys in that group. Then once that list is brought up you can narrow your search even more.  Growing Tree Toys even has a section for eco-friendly toys!

" is more than just a toy website – it’s the perfect virtual representation of our store, offering customers the amazing service, wonderful toys and robust features they deserve while shopping online. Featuring a carefully chosen, well-rounded toy selection, unique product details and descriptions, great information on play, helpful suggestions for gift givers, the best gift finder available, and so much more, is truly a specialty toy website with the health and happiness of children at heart."

Earlier this year I joined he Growing Tree Toys Blog Sponsorhip Program and I was able to pick a toy to test out. As I mentioned my twins receive therapy for both their speech and motor skills so I wanted to get something for them that could help in one of these areas. Growing Tree Toys makes it super easy to find a toy based on needs like this. When you pull up the details of a toy on their site, it will tell you the kind of developmental benefits that specific toy has. You will see something like this key on the product page and you can click for details on what each means.

Growing Tree Toys gave me a nice selection of toys to choose from and I went with the Dress Up Pirate Toy by Manhattan Toys. For starters I thought it was adorable and what little boy doesn't love a pirate right? More importantly, using the key I showed above I knew that this toy would help with things like hand eye coordination, colors and even self help skills at it can help show your child how to use a button, zipper, etc.

"Dressing like pirate will become easy with the Dress Up Pirate Toy, and growing toddlers will be able to learn important skills while playing with their new pirate friend. A soft plush doll, the Dress Up Pirate Toy features multi-colored and multi-textured fabrics to explore, as well as buttons, snaps, ties, zippers, and hook-and-loop closures to help teach important dressing skills."
This toy is listed for ages 18 months to 3 years but I feel it can used up to 5 years. When we received this my 5 year old son played it with it too and I know it helped him learn how to fasten and open tricky buttons. I plan on using it to help with shoe tying when we reach that point. But I mainly wanted it for my twins. The biggest problem I had? There was only one! As any mom of multiples will know when you get only one of a new cool toy, multiple fights ensue! However when the fights subsided and they played with it they really liked it. And I loved how quickly they learned how to open and close the zipper. Proof that it really does help with these skills.

Now that summer is here, Growing Tree Toys has a ton of outdoor toys to browse through. And they always have free standard ground shipping when you spend $75 or more. Before you know it the school year will be starting up again and that means your kids will be going to lots of birthday parties. So be sure to check out Growing Tree Toys to find the perfect gift for your child's BFF!

Please note that the opinions and views expressed here are my own and based on my personal experience with the site and product. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. As part of their Blog Sponsorship Program, Growing Tree Toys sent me this toy to review. This is no way impacted how I reviewed the product.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: Dolphins Beached Searching for Safe Water

When I saw this news story pop up on my Yahoo! homepage last night my heart ached. Over the past 2 months, 47 dolphins have beached themselves on Gulf shores. Why? Because they are searching for clean, safe water. It is truly heartbreaking what has happened in the Gulf and I can't stand to watch all these animals dying. The images of oil slicked marine life and oil filled beaches makes me cry.
(You should be able to see the video below. if not, here is the link to the video on ABC News.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Its OK, its Organic!"

As you probably know by now, I believe that the more organic foods you can buy the better. Is everything I buy organic? Absolutely not, not even close. We simply cannot afford that. So I prioritize and make sure that every day staples like milk, yogurt, peanut butter, bread and many produce items are organic. I do think there is a little misconception going on out there about some of the more processed organic foods. Organic does NOT equal healthy, yet I'm starting to see a trend of people thinking this way. Has anyone else noticed this?

Recently I was visiting somewhere and I was offered a glass of organic lemonade. Immediately my 5 year old shouted out that he wanted to try some. Now we do not give our kids sugary drinks. They drink milk, water or watered down 100% fruit juice. My husband and I don't drink soda or other sugary drinks either so there is never any in the house. So when we were offered the organic lemonade the first thing I did was grab the bottle to check the ingredients. My husband laughed and rolled his eyes and then our host said this:

"Oh its OK, its organic!"

That is all well and good, but I still read labels before letting my kids eat or drink something. So OK, the first ingredient was water - great! The second ingredient? Organic sugar. <insert buzzer sound> Now this is my point, yes its organic so that means no high fructose corn syrup or other yucky artificial stuff, but the 2nd main ingredient is sugar. Big whoop its organic, it is still a lot of sugar, which my kids certainly don't need. Because my boys aren't rambunctious enough on their own, let me load them up on some sugar too! No thank you.

I did end up giving my 5 year old about a quarter of a cup and I told him that after that he could drink water. And yes, I drank a glass myself. I wont lie, it was very tasty. But organic or not it is still empty calories so its not something I indulge in very often. My rear end is large enough. :) A little treat from time to time is nice though.

So I strongly encourage you to always read ingredient labels. Whether its non-organic or organic, start getting into the habit. And don't assume that just because something is organic that it is healthy.

Green Giveaway Friday 6/25

Here are some featured Green Giveaways that I have found around the blogosphere. Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some blog hoppin!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays. Be sure to include giveaway title, expiration date and link.

Going Green with Noah
Francesca Baby Bib Giveaway  6/28
The Mommy Shop Cloth Wipes Giveaway 6/29
Juppy Baby Walker Giveaway  7/4
Handmade Reversible Bib Giveaway 7/7
Handmade Eco-Friendly Baby Rattle 7/9

Just Another New Blog
Organic Insect Repellent 6/27
Green Apple Peel from Juice Beauty 7/4
Men's Lotion and Soap from Theraneem Organix 7/10

The Mom Buzz
Bebe-O Prenatal Vitamins 7/18

Moms Wear Your Tees
Atlantis Natural Lunchbox 6/29
Organic Raw Honey 7/1

Toxic Beauty Blog
Blended Naturals Organic Shea Butter Balm 7/14

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

We all know that buying eco-friendly products can be expensive at times. So here are some discount codes or sales for green products I have come across.   Happy shopping!

Piggy Paint Natural Nail Polish
15% off entire order
coupon code: junebug15l
expires: 6/30/10
plus free shipping on orders $35+ (US only)

Free shipping on your entire order when you buy a moisturizing hand wash.
coupon code: HIGHFIVE
expires: 6/30/10

plus all gel and hand wash refill kits are 20% OFF retail price

Hometown Seeds
20% off all products
coupon code: thanks
expires: 7/31/10

Visit their sale page for great savings on various items! Lots of bags on sale plus Earthlust stainless steel water bottles and tons more!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Strawberry Picking

My oldest strawberry picking at our local organic CSA. He had a blast and these were the most delicious strawberries ever.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kushies Father's Day Sale

Shop Kushies and receive 15% off all orders placed Friday, June 18 through Sunday, June 20.

Green Giveaway Friday 6/18

Here are some featured Green Giveaways that I have found around the blogosphere. Please add both your green and non-green giveaways and contests into Mr. Linky below so we can do some blog hoppin!

You can also submit your green giveaways to me during the week for me to feature on Fridays. Be sure to include giveaway title, expiration date and link.

Go Graham Go
Zuvo Water Filtration System  6/21
All-in-One EcoAquarium with Frogs 6/16

Just Another New Blog
Clean+Green Pet Product 6/19
Organic Insect Repellent 6/27
Green Apple Peel from Juice Beauty 7/4
Men's Lotion and Soap from Theraneem Organix 7/10

Moms Wear Your Tees
Atlantis Natural Lunchbox 6/29
Organic Raw Honey 7/1

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Summer is nearly here and that means sunny days at the beach, pool or even just in your yard. Sunscreens make lots of claims on what they block - but are they really as great as they claim to be? With roughly 1,400 various sunscreens on the market, it is hard to determine which is the best and safest for you and your family. The Environmental Working Group has put together their 2010 Sunscreen Guide to help choose the best sunscreen. Not only can you check the toxicity of your brand but also see if it as affective at blocking dangerous sun rays. 

There is a nifty search feature that will let you pull up a specific sunscreen and look at its rating. (see widget below) They also have a list of the best and worst sunscreens out there. So, bBefore you lather the sunscreen on this summer, I highly recommend you check out this guide and get yourself a quality product!

Missing in Action

Don't you just hate it when a blogger that you have been following falls off the face of the Earth? Then one day after weeks of no activity they put up the "sorry I haven't posted in a while" post that you probably won't read anyway?

So... sorry I haven't posted in a while! HA! Yeah, I am guilty of committing one of my biggest blogging pet peeves. Managing 4 kids and finding time to do things for me (like blog)  has proven to be a crazy challenge and obviously I'm not all that great at it yet. I miss blogging and miss my readers, life has just been crazy. But I want to get back into the swing of things here and this post is my first step.

I also realize that I am crazy behind on some reviews and there are probably some ticked off sponsors out there. These will be the first things I work on and I vow to get caught up in the next few weeks.

So if you are still following me (THANK YOU) let me know how you are doing! What is going on in your life these days? Any new green things you are doing? Let's get caught up!

As for me, my baby is 6 months old today - can you believe it?! He started crawling this week which is exciting and also challenging. My oldest son will have his last day of preschool tomorrow and then its off to kindergarten in the fall. And my twins turned 3 in May and got in 1 month of preschool before the school year ended on Tuesday. They did awesome and in just that short time I saw some growth in their speech. So I am really looking forward to them getting back to school in September.

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