Welcome to Earth's Friends®, an eco-friendly living website created to gather support for our planet, spread the word on climate change and learn how to make a difference in the world by sharing ways to live a greener life.

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How to Make Homemade Cleaning Products

Soap and towel

Having my little boy Micah help with laundry and cooking was pretty easy, but what to use to allow him to help me clean was a dilemma. I didn’t want his little hands coming in contact with the chemicals used in most household cleaning products. Many contain bleach which is bad on the lungs and the skin. Those cleaners that don’t involve bleach still contain some harsh chemicals. As it turns out, it’s not that difficult to make your own child and environmentally friendly cleaning products…

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Disaster Relief in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane clouds

Recent events on the East Coast of the United States call for special disaster relief to go above and beyond the norm by doing good things every day to help those who have been impacted by the devastating storms in New York, New Jersey and the surrounding area. The northeast is currently experiencing snow storms again and unheard of flooding – not only causing power outages and water damage, but extremely cold, wet conditions for families and businesses. We must join together in this time of need to offer comfort and disaster relief to our fellow earth friends…

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A Guide to Starting Baby on Solids

Kid eating cheese

What and when to start baby on solids is something most parents start thinking about soon after the baby is born. Current World Health Organization recommendations say a good time to start is 4-6 months for formula-fed babies and 6+ months for breastfed babies. Wait for signs from your baby that s/he is ready to start and don’t rush into things! It’s not a developmental milestone, so let your baby tell you.

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Public School vs. Homeschool

Classroom with apple

Once David graduated and found a job, I would be able to be at home with the kids for a while. It was a deal we had made when he went back to school. I worked my buns off in a job that I didn’t really like (loved the people, thank goodness!) for him to go to school. I had earned some time off! Plus, I was pregnant (surprise!) with baby number 4 and I love to be home with my babies if possible…

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Doula Training: My First Birth

Pregnant woman on yoga ball

The birth I am referring to wasn’t mine at all. In no way was it mine. In no way did I do anything extraordinary. I didn’t feel any pain. I didn’t hold a baby in my arms seconds after birth. I really just stood there and uttered some words (to mom, dad, doctors and nurses), rubbed a back, suggested new positions, wet a wash cloth and shed a few tears when that sweet little girl entered the earth. This was my first birth I attended as a doula and a key milestone in my doula training. And, it was amazing! The rush I felt was second only to the birth of my own children. I’ll start from the beginning…

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Plan B: Gestational Surrogate

Plan B on a chalkboard

I saw a movie years and years ago about gestational surrogacy. As with most movies, it wouldn’t be any good if it wasn’t full of drama (well, according to producers anyway. After all, even “reality tv” has added drama. Life is typically, well, boring). The movie didn’t end well. But, it planted a little seed in my heart and mind. I was probably 10 or 12 (I just looked it up. I was 10.) with no idea of what it would all entail or even if it would be possible for me, but it intrigued me. The little seed stayed a seed for many, many years. I wanted my own children first and I wanted to be 100% sure I was done having my own children before I even really looked into how all of it worked…

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Teaching Children Respect: Lessons Learned as a Mom

Kids hands in a circle

Respect yourself, respect your family, respect your friends, respect your world… I can remember times when I’ve been angry at my children and I HAVE lost it with them. I will not claim that I am perfect in that regard (or even close). But, over the years I have learned that if I want them to respect and do things for me, I have to first respect them and lead by example.

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Potty Training Tips

Boy potty training

Although I am not currently potty training, I have (with lots of help!) successfully potty trained 3 little boys. Several friends have recently asked for breastfeeding advice for their little boys, so I thought I’d give a few pieces of potty training tips that may (or may not) help other parents going through it. I will admit we had a lot of help potty training our middle two boys, Micah and Elijah. I was working full-time when they were potty trained, so others played a large roll, but I can still give tips based on what we did and what they did. It does, however, involve some bribing, so don’t necessarily take great parenting notes from this one, BUT bottom line, it was temporary and it worked…

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Deciding Homeschool vs. Public School

Kid studying

When my husband David and I met, I learned early on that he was homeschooled. He was smart, outgoing, socially aware. Everything I had heard homeschoolers were NOT! I knew one homeschooler that I met in high school and, while she was nice, she was certainly the picture of socially awkward. Also, shortly after we married, I went with David’s family to a homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia. While it wasn’t as out there as I thought it would be, the kids all seemed so different to what I was used to. I was 19 years old at the time. At 19, different is, well, weird. Surely, my husband was an exception, right? He was the only “normal” (that’s using that term loosely with him!) homeschooler I knew (I didn’t know his sisters too well at that point and his brothers were too young to tell just yet). As a result, I was very hesitant to embrace the idea. So I started digging into homeschool vs. public school to find out how this might work in my world…

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Parabens in Lotion: The Slippery Truth

Lotions in medicine cabinet

I have always considered myself to live a pretty healthy lifestyle. I eat vegetables, I exercise regularly and drink one cup of coffee a day. I have also considered my beauty regimen to be pretty low maintenance. I take a shower, apply body lotion afterward and face cream. Then I usually call it a day. If I’m headed out somewhere special, I may put on a little make-up, nothing too fancy. So, imagine my surprise when I started learning about harmful chemicals being used as ingredients in most of my personal care products. There I am going about my daily life thinking I’m doing the best for not only myself, but my family (husband and two little girls), only to find out that the personal care products I’m using may be causing more harm than good, especially in the long run…

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Surrogate Pregnancy: A Nerve-racking Experience!

Surrogate mom selfie

The surrogate pregnancy process has been both more stressful than I ever could have imagined, but also more rewarding and meaningful to me too. It has been such a blessing to know that I am growing a person for another family to raise. A family that, without me, wouldn’t have had this chance. That feels pretty amazing. I will update once the baby is here and my emotions are all sorted out, but I’ll leave off with this quote that I love regarding surrogacy: “I make families! What’s your super power?”

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My Beautiful Surrogate Baby Birth Story

Surrogate baby belly

Overall, surrogacy has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I would do it again tomorrow if I could. When people tell me what a wonderful thing I did, all I can think of is, selfishly, how wonderful it was for me too. What a blessing it was for me to be able to help, in such a huge way, create a family!

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Encapsulating Placenta: A DIY Guide and Benefits

Encapsulating placenta pills

The placenta is full of iron to help new mom’s body recover after birth but should you encapsulate your baby’s placenta? I’ve encapsulated several placentas now and I don’t always find out whether the clients found it helped them or not. I figure the ones it did help will probably contact me (and they have). No one has come begging for their money back…

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Becoming a Surrogate: Try, Try Again

Home pregnancy test

Where did we leave off in this journey? I had completed my first transfer in May and we were hopeful for a quick, painless success. My intended parents have been through so, so much that I so badly wanted this to be easy for them. I hadn’t had ever had a problem getting pregnant in the past (3 out of 4 babies were surprise blessings!) and I had never had a miscarriage. Failure, honestly, wasn’t on my radar at all…

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