2014 New Gift Wrap: 100% eco-friendly

This Holiday season CurlyMonkey is happy to start offering a Gift Wrap option greener than ever. I found some wonderful plant based cellophane bags made from wood cellulose fibers sourced with sustainable forestry principles. Those Cello bags are Certified biodegradable, compostable and made carbon zero. How cool is that? They meet ASTM D6400, EN13432 standards for CA and other states. I am pretty sure you will love them too! A nice burlap ribbon will complete our Gift Packaging by adding a nice touch of color.

Happy Holidays to All!

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Halloween Healthy Treats {How to}

It is today! Kids are super excited! Like the year before, (and the year before that) they will get lots (tons) of candy tonight. And I am talking about the dreaded ones I don’t even want to mention here because they are so bad.
If you are like me and want to offer another option, it is still time to get some bags of tangerines and a sharpie. And trust me, kids all age love them! Win Win!
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!
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DIY Laundry detergent {How To}

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The recipe: I had collected tons of DIY laundry detergent recipes but never actually took the plunge to do it for real…. A few weeks ago, my neighbor shared her very simple recipe on her Facebook page and gave me a sample to try. I haven’t bought from laundry detergent from a store ever since. Today it is time to share this recipe with you.
You need:
– 1.5 gallon container (glass jars or recycled plastic laundry jug)
– bar of soap (Dr Bronner is my favorite)
– washing soda or baking soda (* more on that after)
– borax
– hot water
That’s it!

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*You don’t have any washing soda! (Although washing soda is pretty easy to find according to my neighbor, I was unable to find some!) Have no worry, you can easily convert baking soda into washing soda. How you may ask? Put your baking soda in a shallow pan. Heat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Leave 1 hour- 1 h 1/2. You have now converted your baking soda (NaHCo3: 1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, 1 carbon and 3 oxygen molecules) into washing soda (Na2CO3: 2 sodium, 1 carbon and 3 oxygen molecules).

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Now that you have all your ingredients:
1- Grate 1/4 of your soap with a cheese grater.
2- Put the grated soap in a pan with a 2-3 cups of water. Heat up gradually, stir well with a whisk until soap is totally dissolved.
3- Mix 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax together in a large bowl.
5- Add the washing soda-borax mix to 1 gallon of hot water . Stir well and pour in your container. Keep shaking until it is completely dissolved.
6- Add the soap mixture and keep stirring well.
7- Add warm water up to the top of your container. Stir well and let it sit for a few hours.
Voila! Shake before use. You need about 1/2 cup per load.

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Why wooden teething rings are great for baby

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About wooden teething rings. We have a lot of teething babies in our community and I found wooden rings to be a great choice to soothe tender gums. It is a much better alternative to plastic or silicon teething rings. Not only baby doesn’t chew on BPA and other nasty materials but some woods, like maple, have natural antibacterial properties.

But wood is porous. How about the germs?
I did some research about how to finish wooden rings and found the following options: beeswax protects the wood and makes it water-resistant but it is wax and I don’t like the idea of using it for baby’s mouth (personal choice), blend of beeswax and olive oil (olive oil can go rancid), olive oil alone, and ….  coconut oil! Coconut oil cleans and polishes any wood and has also antibacterial properties. Like olive oil, it is a vegetable oil, but one of the great things about it is that it has a long shelf life (2 years) because it is slow to oxidize due to a high content in saturated fat. Some people use coconut oil to clean and protect their cutting board!

Taking care of wooden rings:  So I finished my rings with organic virgin coconut oil. No dyes, no pigments of any kind so it is non toxic and safe. Then what? Wooden rings can be washed in warm water and soap and retreated with either coconut oil or another blend of your choice. See below the difference between an unfinished ring and one treated with coconut oil.

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Because Easter is approaching fast, I made some bunny ears using scraps of hemp / organic cotton fabric. The back is the natural hemp / organic cotton fleece I love, besides it shows the wrong side of the fabric as opposed to having the fleece side apparent, so there is no lint in baby’s mouth!
Visit the shop to buy them.
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