Archive for November, 2009

The Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) was established in 2004 to help the children of Cambodia, the country with the highest rates of child prostitution, domestic violence and child labor in the world today. The CCF has established a boarding school and daycare for the children who would otherwise be working in the Steung Meanchey dump (the most toxic and largest of its kind in SouthEast Asia). CCF has also established a medical clinic and trade school for the parents who work in the dump.

CCF has also established trade schools for the older children as well as the women who have escaped abusive homes. One of CCF’s trade schools teaches women the art of sewing and craftsmanship, in addition to courses in English and computers. The 35 women in this paid program have designed and sewn a collection of totes from Vietnamese fish food bags that retail online for $35. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Srey Mean Chey tote bags benefit CCF, which helps to keep the children in their program safe, clean, well fed and educated. As a reference, $30 feeds one child three nutritious meals per day for one month.

The collection is available to view here. I am absolutely adding one of these to my holiday wish list. They are so so cool!


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I’m always on the lookout for a good baby carrier. I keep trying to love slings but I don’t & mei-tai’s kind of just aggravate me. I just recently tried an Action baby carrier and the verdict: Awesome! Clementine is a very huggy baby so when she *needs* to be on me the ABC is incredibly helpful; sometimes I don’t know how I’d get her to sleep otherwise. This has become my go-to around the house carrier.

Action Baby Carriers have all the benefits of an Ergo but aren’t as bulky & they fold down to nothing, so they’re easy to stash in a diaper bag. It’s essentially a mei-tai but with clips (the baby carrier I’ve always been looking for) and it’s super easy to use. The Action Baby Carrier offers a front and back carry position, has a weight limit of 45 pounds, is completely adjustable & has a sleeping hood. I love the sleeping hood. In fact, my tiny little friend is sawing logs under it as I type this.

The designers, Scott & Angela Alexander wanted to make simple, affordable baby carriers that are made right here in the US. ABC’s are hand sewn in Alpena, Michigan, and are available in six prints and four solids on really nice heavy cotton. We are currently rocking the ‘Memories’ print and I love it. This is a great, stripped down, no headaches carrier for the price ($89, what a steal!) and you’ll be supporting a great small business as well as supporting jobs right here in the states. For more information about Action Baby Carriers, visit: http://www.actionbabycarriers.com

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Green Toys

I remember the first item I saw from Green Toys was their Sand Play Set and I thought, Oh my God, someone *finally* made a bucket with a decent handle! I had no idea that they’d end up being way more awesome than that. Started by Robert von Goeben & Laurie Hyman, Green Toys are made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs and are made in California. I can’t even tell you how psyched I am when I find products that are made here in the USA. Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gasses so the less miles your items travel, the better. Every pound of recycled milk jugs that Green Toys uses saves energy equal to 3,000 AAA batteries, enough electricity to power a TV set for 3 weeks & enough electricity to keep a laptop running for a month. Now that’s a good toy company!

V has been playing with the Green Toys Dish Set and she is totally obsessed with drinking out of the teacups. They’ve made an excellent addition to her play kitchen/tea set and we can even use them for real-live snacks. I love the texture of them, light but sturdy, and the colors are great. We’ve been ‘cooking’ up a storm and having tea parties galore now that V has proper china to serve on. They’re also a million times easier to wash than some of her wooden cookware.

Green Toys also offers a tea set, toolbox, jump rope & recycling truck to name a few. They’re all great I’m sure. I’ll definitely invest in more Green Toys, I’m a stickler when it comes to buying things that are good for V and that will hold up to toddler play. I really like knowing where her toys come from & what they are made out of. Green Toys gives me the ability to do just that & I think they are awesome for it! Please visit & check out the rest of their great stuff here.

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Okay, I heart these clothes. So so much. Never being a very girly girl myself, I never really dress V like a girly girl either. My mom was practically begging me to put a dress on V by the time she was 6 months old. So I admit, I was skeptical of this chemise when it arrived but once it was on V I absolutely fell in love with it. I *love* the colors; Happy Green Bee has nothing but stripes and they pick the best color combinations! I also can’t tell you how happy it makes me to own a shirt for V that was made for a girl and doesn’t have those god awful puffy cap sleeves. It’s the perfect amount of girl without going overboard. I’m pretty sure that these are the perfect clothes for kids & babies, and they are organic. Love it.

Happy Green Bee was started by Roxanne Quimby, who not only sports a kickass name but she is a very interesting lady! Roxanne wanted to create gender-free and cheerful clothing for kids while promoting awareness about the benefits of organic cotton. Happy Green Bee’s philosophy is to create clothing that is comfortable, colorful, playful and ecologically responsible and they have totally lived up to that.

Happy Green Bee is not only having a huge inventory reduction sale through November 15th, they have a Factory Store too! I swear, if I were working right now, both girls would own a ton of these clothes. They have also very kindly offered to do a giveaway with us, so go visit Happy Green Bee & look around. Come back and leave a comment as to what your favorite item is and you will be entered to win your choice of either the chemise or cardigan in radish and bean. Tweet @littlewhirl about this giveaway & I’ll give you an extra entry! I will draw a winner on Nov 30th and you’ll see what all the buzz is about (bah dum dum CRASH

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Cariboo is a New Zealand based company that was started in 1986 by Carol McGeady. Carol sought to make a bassinet that was sensitive to an infants movements, environmentally sound & very well made. Cariboo bassinets really hit the mark when it comes to simple & elegant baby furniture. This is, hands down, the nicest piece of furniture we currently own.

Clementine is currently resting in a Cariboo Folding Bassinet and she seems to really love being in there (doesn’t she look so cute & tiny in there?). I’m able to rock her a bit and she can then take care of the rest with just her natural movements. It’s a nice, deep bassinet, so I can put her in it and I don’t ever have to worry about light bothering her (sometimes I drape a small sheet over half of it if I really don’t want her to be disturbed). The light that does come through, is nice and diffused from the cotton bag so it never really bothers her much. The Cariboo Folding bassinet comes with a custom fit 100% cotton sheet & a mattress that is all natural, waterproof & PBDE-free. All of the fabric parts are machine washable, which I love so so much! I always wish that baby gear was easier to take apart for washing purposes, doesn’t anyone realize how messy babies are? Cariboo also offers a handful of accessories for your bassinet as well as extras like sheets & mattresses, and each bassinet is handmade in New Zealand with sustainable, local materials. We love this thing; not only is it beautiful to look at, it folds flat in mere seconds & is very light so we can take it with us for extended visits to the Grandparents houses. In our small apartment space matters, so it’s nice to have the option of tucking it away while we aren’t using it and the transition into the girls sharing a room will likely be easy if we don’t have to set up a big crib right away. This is definitely one of those ‘worth-every-penny” baby items. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.

For more information about Cariboo & to see more of the beautiful furniture they offer, visit www.scichild.com

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As I’ve written before, I’m new to this whole breastfeeding thing. So far it seems to be going okay, and whoever told me that it was ‘toe-curlingly painful’ was absolutely right. I’ve almost given up a dozen times even though Clementine is only 8 days old. Holy Moly this is hard to get used to! Although, every day it gets a little bit easier and Medela was nice enough to send me some of their products.

The Hydro Gel pads saved my life the first few days, and pretty much kept me from crying. They instantly soothe & are reusable. I highly recommend getting these for your hospital bag, they are magical. The other product they sent was their Tender Care Lanolin. Made of all natural ingredients & hypoallergenic, it’s very easy to apply, even when things are a bit, um, sore. Medela offers a whole slew of breastfeeding products & supplies and so far they have won me over. They have an incredible website that can probably answer any question you would ever have about breastfeeding; it’s such a wonderful resource. For more information visit

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Silikids is a California based company pumping out all sorts of cool silicone items for children & babies. Most known for their ‘Siliskins’, these thin silicone sleeves are an almost universal safeguard for your glass bottles. Since they first started, they have expanded their line of silicone goods to include kneepads, bibs, bottles & drinking glasses.

V just tried out a siliskin glass which is a new item of theirs. It’s a great ‘big kid’ cup, a 6 oz. glass which is the perfect size for little hands. The thin silicone layer makes for easy gripping which means a lot less spills. And because it’s glass & silicone it holds up incredibly well in the dishwasher, I hate when V’s cups start to get all dingy looking from multiple uses. Once V is a bit more proficient with a glass, I think we’ll be ordering a few more of these.

Silikids was started in 2006 just as the whole BPA scandal was hitting the news. Already in use for nipples and pacifiers, it seemed obvious that it would have many more uses. Silicone is non porous, has a high temperature resistance & is very pliable. Silikids offers more info about silicone here & ordering information can be found here.

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