About gree8956

Hi! I'm Ashley. When I had my first daughter, I started thinking more about how the things around us affected her little mind and body. I started doing research...LOTS of research...and realized that some things in our lives needed to change. Since then our family has been on a quest to "green up" our lives, a little bit at a time.

#6 – Coconut Oil Personal Lubricant {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

A coconut oil personal lubricant…are you rubbing your eyes and wondering if you read that right?
Yep, I said it…you can use coconut oil as a personal lubricant in place of all those (really gross and really synthetic) bottled options you normally find in the “family planning” section of your local pharmacy. Let’s just say, that the scent and the texture are both a whole lot more pleasant! Coconut oil also has a much reduced  gross out factor than the conventional options we’ve always heard were bedroom necessities. I’m pleased to tell you folks…those old guys are a way of the past!
coconut oil personal lubricant
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Enter coconut oil as a personal lube….it’s cheaper and it smells better. Plus…it’s not going to harm you, cause skin irritation, and it can double as a massage oil. It’s also not going to get all sticky and gooky on you either, but it does the job nicely.
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Another benefit of using coconut oil as a non-toxic lubricant is that if you’re trying to get pregnant, it does not inhibit things from “happening” shall we say. Some conventional lubricants can inhibit conception by changing the PH balance in those essential “areas” and some can actually be toxic to the sperm or inhibit the travel of sperm to it’s goal. So if you’re in baby-making mode, toss out those old bottles and go au natural instead. (Side note: olive oil will also work, but coconut oil is easier to apply if it’s in a solid state.)
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So yes…you can use coconut oil as a personal lubricant. I don’t really need to give you directions, right?
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You can use scented or unscented, depending on your fancy.

Important Tip on Using Coconut Oil Personal Lubricant

Keep coconut oil designated for this “special” purpose in a separate container from the coconut oil you use for everything else!  You really don’t want this to get mixed up with coconut oil you use as a lip balm (yuck) or night cream, do you? :)
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You can repurpose old squeeze bottles if your coconut oil remains liquid at room temp in your climate. If not, a wide mouth glass jar is ideal to keep on hand for when you and your partner are feeling a bit randy!

#5 Cooking with Coconut Oil {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

You’ll find cooking with coconut oil a surprisingly easy transition to make in your kitchen. The first step is to buy a jar of high quality extra virgin organic coconut oil and keep it on hand. It takes time to change over from the old toxic “vegetable oils” we all grew up on, but once you get the hang of it you won’t go back!

Why is Cooking with Coconut Oil Beneficial?

  • It is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) which are beneficial in so many ways.
  • It is highly nourishing to the body.
  • Coconut oil can increase the metabolism.
  • The MCFA’s make it easy to digest.
  • Has medicinal properties.
  • Bolsters immunity
  • Coconut oil can increase energy
  • Can be used a higher temperatures than olive oil

cooking with coconut oil

Tips for Baking with Coconut Oil

While cooking with coconut oil is super easy, baking with coconut oil takes just a tiny bit of know how to feel confident. Don’t worry…it’s really easy if you’ve never tried it!

Here are a few tips:

Tip#1: For those who have never worked with coconut oil before, it has a melting point of 76°. So depending on the temp in your house and where you store it, your coconut oil could be solid or liquid.

Tip#2: When baking with coconut oil, it’s always best to measure it at the liquid state for most accurate results. It melts quickly and easily and for safest melting (if not using a microwave), I like to melt via stovetop OR by putting coconut oil in a bowl inside a bowl of hot water. A couple of minutes should do the trick.

Tip#3: Make sure to use stainless steel measuring utensils as a general rule, but especially when measuring hot liquids such as coconut oil.

Tip#4: If possible, have both scented and unscented coconut oil on hand. Use the unscented in recipes where the mild coconut flavor of the oil just won’t be masked and you don’t want a hint of coconut shining through. I find I only need to use the unscented coconut oil in baking sweets and use the regular variety for everything else. This is the unscented coconut oil I recommend…I buy it by the gallon! And here is the scented brand I recommend when cooking with coconut oil.

Tip#5: If you’re baking with coconut oil and your recipe calls for a cold ingredient, such as milk or applesauce, then you will definitely want to heat up your coconut oil even if it’s already at the liquid state to avoid clumpy-ness.

Tip #6: If you’re just learning to bake with coconut oil and you happen to make a delicious dessert and want to go back for seconds (and thirds!), try to restrain yourself. If you aren’t used to eating coconut oil, start with a little at a time to give your body time to adjust or you’ll have some, shall we say, intestinal issues at first. :)

15 Ways to Transition to Cooking with Coconut Oil 

  1. Drizzle it over popcorn
  2. Use for making fried or scrambled eggs
  3. Sautéing meat
  4. Put a dollop (1 tsp) in your morning coffee for some healthy fats and extra daily energy boost. This really works and is surprisingly delicious if you like coconut even a little! Stir well or use a coffee milk frother, for better emulsification.
  5. Spread on toast like butter. Coconut butter also works, but is harder to find in stores.
  6. Use it to replace spray oils of any kind
  7. Coconut oil makes a lovely replacement for butter. Use it whenever butter is called for in a recipe.
  8. Use it in muffins
  9. You can also use coconut oil in cookies. They might be a little flatter and you might have to cut back slightly on the amount of oil or add a bit more of a thickener, such as more flour or some flax seeds for an added nutritional punch.
  10. Baking bread
  11. Pies, cakes, tarts and brownies are great for cooking with coconut oil. Can I get a “Yum!”?!?
  12. Sautéing veggies
  13. Roasting potatoes or root veggies
  14. Homemade granola
  15. Stir in morning oatmeal for an added punch of healthy fats and an energy boost.

As you can see, there are as many ways to cook and bake with coconut oil as there are yummy things to make! It’s one of the most delicious and versatile oils you can use in your kitchen.

Cooking with coconut oil is one of the healthiest changes you can make for your family. The quicker you start, the easier it is to make the switch!

#4 Coconut Oil Eye Makeup Remover {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

Remember that thick white greasy eye makeup remover your mom used to use every night? Well, coconut oil eye makeup remover is nothing like that!
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One of the biggest chores of my day is removing makeup. I hate it so much that many days I opt not to put makeup on in the first place just so I don’t have to take it off again! But I do love the look of a good mascara. (Lotus is my fave).
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Let’s face it, when you’ve been up with kids all night and are completely exhausted, sometimes your eyes need that little perk just so people don’t stare at you pitifully and say, “Oh honey. You look so tired!” So on those days where eye makeup is a must, coconut oil eye makeup remover is also a must!

coconut oil eye makeup remover

How To Use Coconut Oil Eye Makeup Remover

Coconut oil is such an easy way to remove built up eye makeup and condition the eyes at the same time.
  1. Simply glob some coconut oil on your eyelids and gently rub it around to dislodge built up eye makeup. (You can put it on solid and the heat of your skin will melt it easily, so there’s no need to heat it up if the coconut oil is at a solid state.)
  2.  Gently wipe off with a soft cloth – preferably an organic cotton washcloth, but any soft cloth will do.  You’ll be amazed at how much dirt, grime, and makeup comes off so quickly!
  3. For really thick makeup, you may have to repeat a second time.

Tips on Using Coconut Oil as Eye Makeup Remover

Remember, never put something ON your body that you wouldn’t put IN it! Always opt for high quality organic coconut oil, such as Omega Nutrition.
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You can buy organic baby wash cloths (like these) or organic cotton cloth baby wipes (like this pack of 12) that work perfectly for this. Or you can purchase some really soft organic cotton fabric and cut it up yourself to make your own washrags. Any of these options do double duty for face washing with the oil cleansing method (OCM).
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Another tip is to give yourself time to get used to using coconut oil for your eye makeup remover. It does feel a little funny at first, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. Especially when you see how quickly it removes eye makeup without feeling harsh or abrasive.

#3: Coconut Oil Diaper Ointment for Babies {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

You may be surprised to hear that coconut oil diaper ointment is a great non-toxic diaper cream substitute. It’s hard to find non-toxic diaper creams that work well and that you feel good about putting on your baby, but coconut oil does the trick. Best of all, if your baby eats it, you don’t have to rush to the emergency room!*
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Of course, you’ll want to keep a special container of coconut oil set aside for your diaper ointment. Again, just because you cook with it too doesn’t mean it should come out of the same jar! :)
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You can be keep coconut oil diaper ointment in baby’s room or in the fridge. I prefer to use it at a cooler, solid state so it’s less messy to apply and more like the consistency of a regular diaper ointment. It melts quickly when it touches skin, so it’s very easy to apply when solid.
coconut oil diaper ointment

How to Use Coconut Oil Diaper Ointment

  1. Simply put coconut on affected area just as you would a regular diaper cream or ointment.
  2. Apply early. For best results, apply coconut oil diaper ointment at the very first sign of a problem.
  3. Apply liberally! Use a bunch…don’t be shy. Slather it on in a thick layer for best results. Since it’s completely pure and natural, you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals, toxins or dyes touching your little one’s skin.
  4. Apply often! Since coconut oil easily absorbs in the skin and isn’t a barrier product like traditional diaper creams, you’ll want to apply it often.
  5. Optional: Add a couple drops of therapeutic grade essential oils. Be really careful here to only use pure and unadulterated essential oils, such as Young Living. Not all essential oils are created equal and it’s not worth putting something of low quality on your baby. If in doubt, leave it out! If you decide to add them, lavender, roman chamomile or tea tree (melaleuca) are excellent options that are all great skin conditioners and generally considered safe for babies.** Always keep products with essential oils in a dark colored glass jar.

Other Tips for Using Coconut Oil Diaper Ointment

  • One of our children was prone to yeast infections as a baby. After taking her to the doctor for the first couple infections, we learned to spot them early on and treat them with coconut oil at the first sign of a problem. When we caught them early enough, coconut oil took care of the issue and we avoided a costly doctors visits.
  • Use non-toxic, chlorine-free diapers to significantly cut down on diaper rashes. Years ago, we made the switch to non-toxic diapers (cloth and disposable) and noticed a huge decrease in diaper rashes. Honest brand is my very favorite disposable (and adorable to boot!), with Earth’s Best a close second.
  • It’s also a great idea to bathe your children in salt baths or baking soda baths when there is a problem for faster results. Apply coconut oil diaper cream to a clean and dry behind after the bath. (Also, if possible, let baby have a little diaper free time after the bath to get extra dry before putting diaper back on.)
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*Applies to plain coconut oil diaper ointment. Please use appropriate caution if you opt to add essential oils. Even high quality, safe for adults to ingest, essential oils often to not apply to infants or young children, so know your products and keep out of reach of children if essential oils are added!
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**I’m not a doctor or an expert, just a mom passionate about all things green who loves to share what I learn. You are responsible for your family…my blog is not medical advice of any kind, it is a compilation of my experience and antidotes  Also, when I discuss essential oils on my blog, I am primarily talking about Young Living essential oils. There are very few brands I would consider safe enough for babies.
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#2 – Coconut Oil Deodorant…it Really Works! {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

Coconut oil deodorant?!? Yes, you did read it correctly…you can use coconut oil in place of deodorant! I’ve heard mixed results about this, but it’s been working for me for about 7 months now. Summer’s fast approaching, so I’ll update this at some point and let you know if I’m able to use my coconut oil deodorant during the summer with the same great results or not.
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How to Use Coconut Oil Deodorant

  1. For women, I recommend making sure armpits are clean and well-shaved.
  2. Then apply a liberal, but thin layer of coconut oil, just as you would regular deodorant – but rub it in a little more. It absorbs into the skin quickly if rubbed in, but takes longer if you don’t rub it in. I find it easiest to apply when the coconut oil is at a solid state.
  3. To be safe, give yourself time for those pits to dry before putting your shirt on to avoid an oil stain…maybe 5-10 minutes. (I tend to be impatient and usually wait 1-2 minutes and have not had a problem with staining.)

Tips on Natural Coconut Oil Deodorant

  • Please, please, please keep the coconut oil you designate for deodorant separate from the coconut oil you use for cooking! :) Need I say more?
  • As with any product, never put something on your body that you wouldn’t eat. So opt for high quality, organic coconut oil, like Omega.
  • You can get great little glass jars like this one, on Amazon or repurpose an old glass jar of some sort for your deodorant. If you’re adding essential oils, make sure to use a dark colored glass jar to keep the integrity of the essential oils.
  • Add essential oils for extra odor protection or for a lovely smell. Lavender, tea tree (melaleuca), frankincense or roman chamomile are fantastic options. However, always use super high quality (therapeutic grade) essential oils. The coconut oil will need to be at room temp (liquid) in order to mix in the essential oils and you only need a few drops. Use a glass stirring rod, like the one below, or improvise with a stainless steel utensil or straw.

Note on Using Coconut Oil  Deodorant

Quick note about using coconut oil for as a natural deodorant. Coconut oil is not an anti-persperant, so it will not keep you from sweating. I recommend trying it on a colder month so you can get an idea if it works for you as a deodorant and see how you like using it. I first tried in on a rather strenuous and much too hot week in September…and I was surprisingly pleased with the results….not to mention that my pits were buttery soft and had less razor burn. It does however take some getting used to not using traditional deodorant with a built in antiperspirant.
Coconut Oil Deodorant
To be honest I expected coconut oil deodorant to NOT work, but found that it has worked better than any natural option that I’ve tried. Even after a round at the gym, I smelled fine.
But do know, that coconut oil as deodorant may not work for everyone and it does take time to pull away and adjust to a lifetime of using conventional deodorants.

#1 – Coconut Oil Face Cream {10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil}

Coconut oil face cream? Yup! Forget everything you’ve ever heard about oil clogging your pores and giving you zits…Not so with coconut oil as face cream. I liberally slather my coconut oil face cream on my face at night and wake up to a very noticeably softer, smoother, and more even toned complexion. This is my new favorite way to use coconut oil as a beauty product…you can buy it at the grocery store or online and coconut oil face cream is greener than just about any face moisturizer you can find!
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Why I Started Using Coconut Oil Face Cream

I usually use the oil-cleansing method to clean my face (with great results), but had been on the run for a few weeks and had gotten lazy about keeping up with it. My diet had also been a reflection of my on-the-go schedule and I had consumed a lot more sugar than normal. As a result, I had some big, painful under the surface zits and a bunch of tiny bumps, both of which I do not normally have.
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I was a little nervous to try coconut oil on my face like that, but thought that it couldn’t get much worse. I LITERALLY noticed a huge difference overnight after using coconut oil face cream…the tiny bumps all over my face had decreased by at least 50% and my face was much smoother, in only one night. The under surface zits also went down some. I was an instant believer in coconut oil for face cream and now apply it nightly with great results.  I love how fresh my skin looks and feels when I wake up in the morning. The coconut oil makes it feel nourished and healthy as opposed to dry and old feeling.
coconut oil face cream

Directions for Using Coconut Oil Face Cream:

  1. Wash your face and hands first.
  2. Then liberally apply pure, organic coconut oil all over your face and neck, including carefully applying around the eyes. (I lightly apply it right over my eyelids and under my eyes!) Unlike other night creams, it won’t burn if it gets in your eyes.
  3. It’s a good idea to put on a head band of some kind so the coconut oil face cream doesn’t get in your hair. Just for a few minutes until the coconut oil absorbs into your skin.
  4. Do this 30 minutes before going to bed so it has time to soak into your face before sleep.
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Disclaimer: Omega Nutrition is the brand of coconut oil I usually use and it is unscented. I’ve also tried organic scented varieties with great results! Also, keep in mind that we are all unique individuals, so what might work on me might not work on you.
*Photo courtesy of “umstwit” on Flikr.

10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil…Coming Up!

I sometimes play this little game with myself where I try to decide what 5 products I would pick if I could only have 5 products forever. I can never quite decide on my exact 5, but one thing is for sure…Coconut oil is on the list no matter what! There are so many easy ways to use coconut oil…and many do not revolve around cooking.

10 Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil

There Are Many Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil

It’s just so incredibly versatile in so many areas of being a “greenie”, (as I’ve come to view myself over the years). Honestly, greenie or not, coconut oil is just darn good for just about anything!
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Almost daily, I use coconut oil for something that someone in my life has never thought to use it for and I wanted to share some ideas on ways to use coconut oil with everyone. Coconut oil can be used from everything from cooking, to your beauty regime, to cleaning.
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I just love having 1 product that serves so many purposes and it’s more than just an option for each of these purposes, it actually works really well!
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Here’s the kind of coconut oil I use most often…it is especially good in baking because it is unscented. I love the 7 pound tub because it lasts a good long while and is much cheaper than buying a bunch of the little jars normally found at grocery stores. However, I also love the scented extra virgin organic varieties found at high end groceries stores. Both work equally well.
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So for the next 10 posts, we’ll talk about 10 easy ways to use coconut oil…with a new use each and every post. Get excited to fall in love with coconut oil!
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Note: I’m sorry for my extended absence. I haven’t abandoned my blog…just had an extraordinarily crazy few months where I had to put everything on a brief hiatus. Ok…now on to the fun stuff…coconut oil…get excited for tomorrow! 
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Question: What’s your favorite use for coconut oil? Leave a comment on the blog. Maybe it will make the list!
*Photo courtesy of “umstwit” on Flikr.

Green Shoppers Rejoice! The Wait for EcoMom is Finally Over…Well Almost!

green shoppers love chinese herbs conditioner

One of my favorite hair products that I found on EcoMom.

Hear ye, hear ye…calling all green shoppers. You heard me right, folks! The long awaited re-launch of Ecomom is finally coming to an end. So glad my favorite green retailer is reopening just in time for me to replenish my supply of Peter Lamas Chinese Herbs hair products.

And now the countdown is on! And we green shoppers don’t have long to wait. Ecomom relaunches in just 3 short days…count ‘em…three!

EcoMom is going to have some “hot deals“to celebrate their reopening. Here’s a sneak peek…$5 off orders of $50 for new customers and FREE SHIPPING off of orders over $49 among others.

WHY GREEN SHOPPERS LOVED ECOMOM

I’ve found some of my all time favorite green products on EcoMom. It had become my go-to place for green shopping and the best part was that EcoMom vetted their products before stocking them and had categories telling customers why they were considered “green”. Sure makes shopping easy for busy green mamas.

EcoMom was also famous for their killer deals! They continually offered vouchers for green shoppers on coupons sites like PlumDistrict. Just a tip…if you see one, snag it. It’s a good deal….really good. And if you find more than one, snag ‘em both…trust me on this one. You’ll be glad you did.

Eco-friendly, green shopping can be tough. It’s hard to know what is worth your time and money and it takes time to research great products that are healthy for you and non-harmful to the environment. And while oftentimes going green can actually be a cheaper option if you know the tricks of the trade, other things are more expensive, such as my favorite conditioner. EcoMom took care of both of those problems for us…great deals, great products. I have high hopes that it will be as wonderful a company as it used to be.

I’ll give you more info on June 17…opening day! Green shoppers, unite!

Eco Product Review: GoBites Healthy Snacks

One of the things I love doing is reviewing products. Since I’m always trying new things anyway and I love learning about the latest and greatest, most efficient, most effective, and especially the most healthy and green options out there, I decided that I’m going to start posting “Eco-product reviews” more frequently to help others make better choices. We all have limited finances and want to use them wisely, so hopefully these will help another sister (or brother) out.

First up…GoBites healthy snacks! I found this FANTASTIC company through a deal on PlumDistrict and it was one of those deals that was a no-brainer to try out. Basically, GoBites is a company that offers healthy, mostly organic snacks in 1-portion sized containers on a monthly subscription program.

It’s pretty cool. You can customize the healthy snacks you receive based on your preferences and dietary and allergy restrictions. They give you a quick survey and then pick the snacks they think you’ll like best to start with, but you have the freedom to mix and match and change things up however you like. I was impressed though…they picked exactly what I would have picked and I chose not to change anything. 

My thoughts? Well, the snacks are REALLY delicious! They are healthy, nutritious, balanced, and mostly organic, so they are snacks I can really get behind and feel good about feeding my family. I love it!

Would I continue my GoBite subscription each month? That’s a tough one…with unlimited finances, yes, for sure. The price is a little higher than I would like on a limited budget, but it is reasonable. Each snack box ends up being $1.99. So when I compare that to what I’d pay for say an energy bar, then it seems pretty good. Total cost is $27.86 for 14 boxes and that’s the shipped price…you don’t pay extra for shipping.

So I feel like it’s an overall good value for the money, especially given that healthy snack options are few and far in between…especially ones that taste delicious and require limited time on your part. So GoBites fits the bill in all these areas for people on the go who want better options.

My overall thoughts: I feel like the value of the product is pretty decent for what you get….not to mention the convenience is really up there. You get pre-portioned out healthy snacks that you can feel great about eating and they come with built in variety so you don’t get bored. I love it!

  • Value is pretty good for a really awesome product and shipping is included…very nice.
  • Convenience is through the roof! Quick shipping (mine shipped out the next day) and handy pre-packaged individual portions in cute little boxes.
  • You can customize your subscription however you like, cancel it, resume it again or have a one-time delivery with the click of a button.
  • Healthy snack options, organic, tasty…win, win, win!

And yes, I would consider keeping up my subscription each month. Right now, I’ll probably stick with the occasional one-time delivery that you can do. This would be perfect for summer snacks…to throw in a bag when you’re heading to the beach or the pool, or also perfect for a road trip. So next time we’re heading on a road trip, I’ll definitely make sure to order a box. They are pretty handy to have on hand for those snack time emergencies.

My favorites so far are: Mayan Treasure, Path to Tibet, Chocolate Monkey, Apricot Gluten Free Granola and Jack of All Fruits. (I love the names!)

Negatives? I’m still looking for them. I’ve gone through half of my box and so far I’ve loved every GoBite variety that I’ve tried, but if that changes, I’ll be sure to update it here. So far, everything I’ve experienced is positive. (UPDATE: I’ve now finished the entire box and I daily miss having a GoBites snack to grab when I’m getting the hungries. I’m pretty seriously considering keeping my subscription up each month. Especially now that I’ve been pricing healthy snacks at WholeFoods…this is not a bad deal at all!)

Want to check it out for yourself? Here is the website: www.GoBites.com and keep an eye on PlumDistrict…you never know when they’ll repeat a sale and you can try them at a discount.

Awesome News – EcoMom Reopening!

This is me jumping up and down! I can hardly believe it, but it’s true…EcoMom is reopening its doors this summer! Yay! There have been so many times over the past couple months that I’ve run out of something and thought…”hmmm, where can I find that for a reasonable price now that EcoMom is gone?” I’m glad this hurdle will be short lived.

So here’s the skinny. EcoMom has been purchased by etailz, Inc., the parent company of Green Cupboards. Green Cupboards is another purveyor of curated, pre-screened eco-friendly products. Seems like a great fit to me. Check out the “eco-traits” page of GreenCupboards…they are doing some great stuff…so I have very high hopes that etailz will be able to carry on the unique vision of EcoMom.

So the EcoMom reopening will happen sometime in “early summer” 2013. Anyone else as excited as I am? Don’t worry…I’ll keep you posted!