tag: living

bonnie + bear's baby essentials

before i had bear, i had never spent much time around babies. in fact, my first diaper change was on my own son after we got home from the hospital (other than the few practice runs i did on mr. fox)! i remember early in my pregnancy when it was time to start thinking about a registry and i froze. i had no idea what i needed! all i knew was that i wanted to go about raising my baby as simply as possible. i wanted to stick to well made products (handmade if possible) that would last in our family for generations to come. and if i could help it, i wanted to avoid plastic as much as possible.

the first thing i did was e-mail a handful of my favorite momma friends to ask them what their advice was. i had them list the top 10 must-haves and then let me know about anything they really felt was unnecessary. from those lists, i compiled everyone’s must haves and made a list for myself. then i began researching. i looked in to each product, where they were made, if there was a greener or more organic option and whether or not i though i really needed it or not. safety was of course taken into consideration as well (for example, safety won over being green when it came to a carseat). whenever possible, we also tried to use hand-me-downs or purchase used goods.

even though we were incredibly thoughtful about what we asked for, we still ended up with too much, a few things we don’t use often and lots of lessons learned!

of course, every person, every baby and every situation is different, but when i was researching, i found everyone’s ‘must have lists’ super helpful. so here’s mine! consider it ‘bonnie and bear’s list of essentials‘. and please keep in mind that my babe is only 5.5 months old. hence, this list is probably good for 0-6 months. i’ll most likely need to post a new version for 6-12 months and so on.

lessons learned: had i knew then what i know now:

1) i would have not stressed out over getting his nursery finished (other than a few diaper changes, he hasn’t spent much time in the room yet).

2) i would have ordered 1 of several different kinds of cloth diapers to try. there are so many different kinds and it’s impossible to know what you’ll want for your baby before you try some different types out.

must haves:
- charlie’s soap. we love this for all baby clothes and cloth diapers.
- babybjorn babysitter (we have the organic one) and LOVE it. it’s the perfect place for him to hang while i shower or cook dinner, and it’s bounciness makes it double as a bouncy seat. it’s also great for newborns with little neck strength.
- wrap - i have a solly wrap and am not sure what i would do without it. i wear him around the house, around town and while i grocery shop.
- organic nursing pads. i had no idea how much i would be using these!
- sleep sacks- the perfect nighttime gown.
- ergobaby carrier with infant insert. i like to use this for longer, more strenuous wears (like on hikes and to bike races).
- carseat (of course). we got the britax marathon 70-G3. we like it b/c it’s an ‘all in one’ and we won’t have to buy another one later, BUT the downside is that you can’t pop it out and carry him around in itt, though it’s not been an issue for us.
- lots of snuggly swaddle blankets- especially for those first few months! we also made several using organic sherpa cloth.
- disposable diapers for the first few weeks/months until he can fit into cloth diapers (if you’re cloth diapering, or unless you bought newborn size cloth diapers). we used 7th generation and loved them.
- moses basket – this is the perfect basket for daytime naps and diaper changes (we found ours second hand).
- organic baby soap, lotion and diaper rash cream (we like burts bees and babyganics)
- cloth diapers (more on that below)

optionals (that we LOVE):
- cradle- i have the cradle my grandaddy made me when i was a baby and this is where bear naps during the day.
- zutano booties – the only socks/shoes that will stay on. seriously.
snuza hero. clip it on their diaper (or pants) while they sleep and it vibrates if they stop breathing, then alarms. it helps me sleep so much better (i’m a worrier).
- inglesina table chair (instead of a high chair)- oh man do we love this! attach it to any table and take it to restaurants so they don’t use those gross high chairs. bear loves his and happily plays in it while we eat and cook (though he couldn’t sit up in it until he was about 4 months old).
- rocking chair- we lived without one for months and didn’t really miss having one, but use it frequently now that it’s in our living room.
- bottles. we have some glass ones, but i’ve never used them. however, if you ever want to leave your baby for more than 2 hrs in the first 6 months you’ll need some, or you could always use a baby syringe (the kind without a needle).
- pump. i do have a pump but have only used it once. it’s nice to have but has not been essential for us. (note: check with your insurance, most all will cover this expense for you!)
- stroller. the only time i’ve ever used my stroller is when i go run. for around town, hikes and walks i just wear him. if you don’t run, i think you could get by without one.
- baby monitor. i’ve just recently started using one when he falls asleep in a room that i’m ready to leave, but i usually just keep him close.
- crib. we haven’t used his crib yet, though i’m sure we will use it more and more in the months to come. (we co-sleep. gasp!)
- bumbo – we just started using this because it seems like he really wanted to sit up ‘on his own’.
- sophie the giraffe – not sure why, but she’s a big hit for teething days!
- little remedies tylenol – just in case of an emergency. this brand doesn’t contain parabens, high fructose corn syrup, dye or gluten.
- mother love nipple cream. trust me.
- baby in-sight mirror – so you can see your babe while you drive.
- organic waterproof pads – for under the bed sheets or crib sheets.

nonessential:
- travel crib or pack-n-play (depends on your sleeping arrangement though).
- baby tub. i just put him in the bath with me. :)
- wipes warmer – if it’s really cold i just run the wipes through a little warm water.
- hooded towels or baby bath cloths – we just use regular towels.
- any kind of play mobile thingy (we make do with things from around the house).
- baby swing. we haven’t had one and haven’t missed it (though every baby is different).
- noise machine – we haven’t used one and haven’t missed it.
- bath toys (maybe later?)
- bouncer or walker
- nursing bras/tanks – i just wear tops that i can either pull up or down.

if your cloth diapering:
- cloth diapers (a different topic by itself! we’re using a mixture of gro-via diapers with organic inserts,  organic bumgenius and organic babee greens with wool rebourne covers.)
– organic cloth wipes
- diaper sprayer (will only need after he starts eating solids, around 6-12 months)
- 2 wet bags (one large for the house one small for the go- you’ll put dirty dipes in it until you wash them)

books i read (and recommend!):
- the baby book
the vaccine book
the womanly art to breastfeeding
the eco-nomical guide
vegan pregnancy survival guide

now it’s you’re turn! what do you find absolutely necessary? nonessential? i’ll meet you in the comments section!

photo by my dearest friend: callie lynch.

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videos to delight in

April 5, 2013

Posted by in simple living

friends, today i leave you with four videos that have inspired me deeply this week. they have given me so much inspiration and helped me refocus my energy on living simply. the urge to homestead overwhelms me, and my hope is to return to it soon. see you all on monday! love, bonnie

honey harvest featuring sarah and david

garden by tiger jar

visiting trelawney farm

the art of making bread

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simple living inspiration

February 20, 2013

Posted by in simple living

simple living inspiration

simple living inspiration

simple living inspiration

simple living inspiration

simple living inspiration   simple living inspiration

image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

sometimes i can find myself all wrapped up in the ‘go go go’ of this world, forgetting about my mission to lead a simpler way of life. just taking some time to soak in some images of simple moments can help me recenter myself, my goals and my priorities. i hope a few of these pictures will help you do the same!

do you find yourself getting caught up in the fast pace of this world? if so, how do you return to living a simpler life?

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6 comments

toxic lunch boxes

September 5, 2012

Posted by in simple living

phthalates. they’re a nasty little chemical that is linked to serious health problems, including asthma, adhd, and diabetes and it’s showing up (in staggering quantities) in lunch boxes of all kinds. oh no!

after reading this article by change.org, i was saddened at the information. though the chemicals are tightly regulated in toys, school supplies like lunchboxes aren’t labeled as such, so there is no regulation on the levels of toxic chemicals like phthalates that they can contain.

a recent study from the center for health, environment & justice found that all the children’s lunch boxes tested contained up to 30 times the amount of toxic chemiclas deemed safe by the federal government. (and disney lunch boxes ranked amongst the worst- eep!).

here to the resuce are a plethora of handmade, beautiful lunch boxes, many of them organic!

safe (and beautiful!) lunch boxes

one: lunch bag – $47
two: don’t forget me lunch bag – $20
three: eco-friendly lunch bag – $11.99
four: insulated lunch bag – $26
five: organic insulated lunch bag set – $60
six: waxed canvas lunch bag – $48
seven: screen printed snack bag – $7
eight: organic snack bags – $18

and if you’re up for making one yourself, be sure to check out this tutorial!

*update! thankfully, it has been brought to my attention that oilcloth is not the safest alternative! you may want to consider choosing a different food safe (or organic) fabric, especially if you refer to the tutorial above. :)

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Posted by in simple living
  idle mouse

as soon as i discovered idle mouse, i fell in love with their mission. after founder brooke condolora wrote a simple message to herself on the front of her notebook that read ‘cure for compulsive clicking’, idle mouse was born in efforts to share the message with others.

as brooke puts it, technology is shiny, and we like it. and that’s okay! but our hands were designed to be skillful, life is given for participation, and people need love. idle mouse products are reminders and enablers of those truths. to make something tangible, start conversations and above all, be present.

sometimes we all just need to hit ⌘Q and step away from the computer, take a deep breath and create. as a little bonus exclusive to ghtr readers, brooke has offered you early access to download 2 of her new desktop backgrounds for free! click here to see and download them. :)

as if all that wasn’t enough, each idle mouse purchase also directly benefits the mission lazarus vocational schools in honduras, where young men and women study trades like carpentry, sewing, and leather-working.

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tiny homes

July 5, 2012

Posted by in home decor

tiny houses

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 8

there’s something intriguing to me about the possibilities of living in a tiny home. they are not only quaint and cute but simple and sweet, too. all i can think about is all the time i would save in furnishing it and cleaning it. though the perks of having separate spaces for separate activities is priceless (hello, art studio!), so maybe just having a tiny home for guests would be nice. either way, they make me daydream.

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farm anatomy

February 1, 2012

Posted by in books

farm anatomy

you might have seen julia rothman’s latest work,  farm anatomy bouncing around the web, but i only thought it appropriate to share it here as well. in fact, she could have titled it ‘for going home to roost’ and it would have felt just right! julia is one of my long time favorite illustrators, and to see the curious parts and pieces of country life illustrated by her gets me so excited!

farm anatomy

farm anatomy

farm anatomy

as you can see, in 224 pages she’s covered just about everything! you’ll learn the difference between a weanling and a yearling and a farrow and a barrow. she covers everything from tractors to pigs and fences to farm tools. you’ll see the different varieties of squash and all the parts of a goat; learn about how a barn is constructed to what makes up a beehive. all beautifully illustrated by julia rothman- yes, please!

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Diy Dried Apples

January 30, 2012

Posted by in simple living

diy dried apples

Homemade dried apples are such an easy and inexpensive way to sneak more fruit into your diet. Of course, nothing beats a fresh, juicy apple, but I like dried apples for their portability and versatility. A little bag of apples can be slipped into a small purse for an anytime-snack, and they make a great topping for salads. They’re also a fantastic way to preserve a large bounty of apples through the winter. The idea came from the book How to Sew a Button by Erin Bried, and I modified the directions to fit my needs.

Ingredients

- apples
- lemons
- water

Directions

Slice as many apples as you would like into pieces 1/4″ thick or less. They can be as wide or long as you like. You may also peel them, or leave the peel on. I chose to leave the peel on and they came out great.

Soak the apples in a mixture of equal-parts lemon juice and water. The lemon juice not only preserves the color of the apple, but it creates depth to the apple flavor without having to add sugar.

After soaking, place the apples on a cake rack on top of a cookie sheet. If you don’t have a cake rack (I don’t!), then just place the slices directly on the cookie sheet. I did not need to grease the pan – the apples came off fine on their own.

The oven should be preheated to 140 degrees F, and the apples should remain in the oven for five hours. If your apples aren’t on a rack, flip them half-way through. I found that my apples really needed about 6 hours.

The apples should be flexible and bendy. You can eat some immediately, or all of them if you just used a couple of apples. If you’re looking for long term storage, then after they have cooled, place them in a sealed jar for a few days.

Shake the jars every so often. Pasteurize them by freezing them in bags for two days, and keep them for up to 6-12 months in a cool, dry place.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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