Hair and Nails

Is it safe to get your nails done while pregnant?

Recently a pregnant woman posted this question on our midwives' yahoo mail group:
Is it really all that bad to get a perm or color my hair while pregnant?  And, how about getting a mani/pedicure?  I was hoping that someone would know if the chemicals used are really all that harmful to the baby.

Since I posted a lengthy answer, I thought I'd share it here as well.

Eco-novice's Green Gift Guide

Still looking for the perfect green gift for that special someone?  Here are a few ideas.
  1. Disposable to reusable.   Such as water bottles, reusable food baggies, cloth napkins and so on.  These are gifts that keep on giving while reducing consumption. has gift ideas for everyone on your list (use the index in the left sidebar).  If the recipient isn't so into green things, make sure to give something extra stylish that anyone would want to use.

Lunchskins Sandwich and Snack Bags

LunchSkins snack bag  ($7.85) - sleek and stylish

When I opened the package of LunchSkins bags, I was first struck by how darn cute they were (even though I'd seen the designs online)!  Now, I'm normally a function-over-form kind of person, but these really are lovely baggies.  My husband preferred them to other reusable bags we've tried because they took up very little space in his lunch bag since the fabric is so slim.  I love the small sizes (about the same size as a regular sandwich baggie and snack baggie).  I think anyone, even a non-greenie, would appreciate receiving these well-designed reusable food bags as a gift.  And they are perfect for kids' lunch boxes.

I have used the LunchSkins with cheese, fruit, veggies, sandwiches and cookies in the freezer.  It performed wonderfully with all of them.  The horizontal Velcro is strong and keeps the contents securely inside.  Although the horizontal Velcro means these bags aren't adjustable on their own, you can adjust the size of the LunchSkins bags (or any reusable food baggie) with a rubber band.  I do this for cheese mostly.

LunchSkins sandwich bag  costs $8.95 and measures 6.5" x  6.5"
 Here are 10 things you should know about LunchSkins bags.
  1. Super cute, lightweight, low-bulk fabrics
  2. High-quality cotton with food-safe polyurethane coating (meets US and EU standards) -- the same material that is used at high-end bakeries
  3. Fabric and ink are BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free
  4. Made in the USA (fabric made in Germany)
  5. Quick-drying and greaseproof
  6. Can hold hot items
  7. Dishwasher safe
  8. Secure horizontal Velcro closure goes across the entire bag
  9. Convenient area to write owner's name
  10. Will help you say goodbye to disposable Ziploc baggies

I highly recommend LunchSkins reusable food bags.  I'll probably be purchasing a few more myself soon.

Full disclosure: 3GreenMoms sent me (free of charge) the LunchSkins sandwich and snack bags to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

This post is part of

Some Thoughts on Cost (The Cost of Going Green, Part 3)

This post is the third in the series, The Cost of Going Green.  
Previous posts include:
How we eat determines how the earth is used. -- Wendell Berry 

In many cases, going green is totally compatible with being frugal.  Our consumerist culture has gotten us into a lot of trouble with chemicals and climate, and you can take a large step in a greener direction simply by buying less.

But sometimes being green does cost more money.  For example, organic and natural food usually cost more money than conventional food.  And it can be tough to pay more for the organic milk, when you know exactly how much the conventional milk costs, because it's right there next to the organic milk on the shelf.  And since we have to buy food over and over again, we face this decision -- Should I pay more for the organic apple, the hormone-free milk, the grass-fed beef, the free-range eggs? -- over and over again.

a gift for the birds

Get ready to enjoy another guest post by Kelly from miskellany.

We have a lot of family traditions to celebrate the holidays. Some of our favorite traditions are those that are inexpensive, good for the environment, and fun for the whole family. Last weekend we sipped hot chocolate while we decorated our Christmas tree inside. Today we decided to do another one of our favorite Christmas traditions, decorating a tree for the birds. Here’s how you can do it, too!

WRAP-N-MAT® Wraps and Snack Pouches {GIVEAWAY}

The WRAP-N-MAT® Wrap ($6.99 - $8.99)
If you're trying to reduce your plastic consumption and save money, WRAP-N-MAT® Reusable Sandwich Wraps and Snack Pouches are a wonderful solution to lunchtime waste from disposable plastic baggies. They are sort of like a sandwich baggie and plastic wrap in one because they securely close but also can be opened up into a flat surface.  The Wraps have been around for over 10 years, but the Pouches were recently created due to numerous requests from customers for a snack bag that opens up flat for easy clean-up.  We have used them for sandwiches, cheese, crackers, pretzals, sliced fruits and veggies.  They work great!  WRAP-N-MAT® provided me with a Wrap and a Mini Pouch (free) so that I could try them and review them on my blog. 


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