Sunday, January 20, 2008

Safe Sassy Toys

This blog has compiled a list of some safe Sassy toys. We're steering away from plastics altogether here based on my research, but its nice to know what are the safer options (especially since my kids have the lion teether and won't part with it).

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Homemade Toys

I posted already about The Great Toy Replacement Project going on at our house. So far I've sold quite a few things on Craigslist (nothing recalled, just things we are choosing not to have in our home) and am saving the money to buy replacement toys. Not that my kids are hurting for toys! Julia got several Haba things for Christmas that we really like the quality of and feel safe giving her to play with and suck on. Lucy got a Plan Toys dollhouse I found on ebay and some of the furniture sets from Great Grandma for Christmas. She took the Plan Toys doll family to go play in her plastic broken $10 garage sale monstrosity that I have no idea how I'm going to take from her.

I also made quite a few things for both girls for Christmas. I am proud of how they turned out and spent months planning, sewing, crocheting, etc. In the homemade by mama category Julia got a crocheted baby doll, set of four soft blocks, soft shoes, a bottle filled with beads and corn syrup to watch, and a cloth bag filled with little pillows made of all different texture materials. Lucy got soft matching slippers, an I-spy bag, an apron, felt cupcakes, felt sandwich toppings, playsilks dyed by me, leg warmers, and little bean bags. We bought other things like books, art supplies and Haba toys, but I am happy with the handmade loot too.

We are also making the girls a set of wooden animals - much like the expensive Holztiger animals for sale online at various toy shops. My father in law has a band saw and DH and he have been working on them. I absolutely adore the little creatures and know they will be treasured for ages to come! There is just something so cool about having handmade toys for the girls rather than mass produced plastic. Its got me thinking up more things to make and pulls me even further from the plastic laden shelves of the local stores. Not that I mind.

More in the Kitchen

Here are a few things we've done lately...

- got stainless steel measuring spoons and cups from Bed Bath and Beyond
-donated to and got their holiday bag including a cast iron pan and Kleen Kanteen! The pan is a Lodge Preseasoned (which you can get for a decent price on amazon) and its worked well the first time I used it, much better even than my expensive nonstick Calphalon. I'm thinking of buying more. I haven't used the KK yet but I know I will use it constantly this summer. I need to buy the girls each one.
-found a new Pampered Chef stoneware pizza pan on Craigslist - love it! I want another one and then I'll toss all my cookie sheets.
-got a small bamboo cutting board at Meijer for $3 or so
-dishes- we bought a large set of Pfaltzgraff off Craigslist and got rid of everything else. We really like the set and it feels like an upgrade from what we had so we're happy.
-slow cooker - we had a very old Rival brand (which contains lead) we tossed and got a new Hamilton Beach for Christmas (they state they do not use lead or cadmium in their slow cookers)
-glass storage - I bought the Anchor Hocking set of 8 or so glass containers with the plastic lids and a small set of 5 with lids and we love them! Even if it weren't for the sake of not using plastic, I'd still recommend them to anyone. They dont hold food smells like plastic, are so much easier to wash and just look and feel much nicer. You can reheat foods in them without worrying.

And here's what we still have to do:

-find a safe muffin tin, either stainless steel, stoneware, or cast iron
-find child size silverware
-get another stoneware pan or stainless steel cookie sheets
-get more Kleen Kanteens for DH and the girls
-find a replacement for plastic spatulas/cooking utensils??? can you use stainless steel ones on stainless steel pans? right now we have plastic
-get a stainless steel collander to replace the plastic one
-figure out how to freeze food without using plastic?? Our glass storage stuff was to expensive to replace all the freezer containers with.

Thats all I can think of. I'm really enjoying using my new things and safetyfying the kitchen.