Photo Friday | Gulf Brew Recycling

This weekend is Lafayette's annual beer festival, known as Gulf Brew. It always draws a huge crowd, where attendees can sample a ton of beers from local, craft and larger breweries. The proceeds benefit Acadiana Center for the Arts, helping to continue Lafayette's strong arts culture.

Photo via Gulf Brew


Photo Friday | Cleaner Laundry and Closet Organization

For last week's Photo Friday post, I shared one peek into Baby Girl's tiny wardrobe from my afternoon of sorting her clothing by size, and I can't help but share a couple more photos today!

We've been making a lot of progress over the past couple weeks in putting together the nursery as these weeks begin to really count down, and I'm excited to take some pictures soon and do a more comprehensive post on the room and the eco-friendly elements in it.

I'll also be sharing some of the eco-friendly items we've registered for and have received secondhand, along with sharing some photos from my upcoming shower.

As I've stated before, the majority of the clothing we have so far is secondhand, either from local stores or handed down to us from friends with girls of their own. As part of my nesting/Type A tendencies, I've been working to get all of our items organized, so that when the shower gets here, I'll be ready to organize the rest of Baby's gifts without feeling AS overwhelmed.

I've had more fun washing Baby's clothes than I ever do washing my own, and have all of her clothing so far washed and put away in the closet. (And let me say, I'm already fully aware I will never enjoy washing baby clothes as much as I do now, once I've got endless piles of dirty onesies in the laundry room!)

This is where I've got to give a shoutout to the perks of a helpful online community of mamas. Awhile back, I was researching eco-friendly baby clothes hangers, thinking I would easily find some made of recycled plastic. However, those don't seem to be a thing, although the most eco-friendly thing I could find was sturdy cardboard hangers. Not exactly what I had in mind, and our local secondhand shops also didn't have hangers for sale, which surprised me. So I took to Instagram stories to ask for advice on where I could find a hanger that worked for me.

My friend Stephanie with Lafayette Moms Blog messaged me to say she actually had a bag full of coral and pink baby clothes hangers that she was needing to get rid of. HOW perfect is that!?

A few weeks later, she dropped off the clothes hangers to me, and into the closet they went. Stephanie was able to clean out, and I was able to get a ton of reused hangers for free. Thanks again, Stephanie!

I mentioned last week that I'm using an eco-friendly baby-safe detergent on her clothes, blankets, towels and sheets. After doing some online research, I ended up choosing Charlie's Soap laundry powder, which I bought off Amazon. 

Baby detergents should ideally be chemical-free, fragrance-free, brightener-free and hypoallergenic. Because their skin is much more sensitive than ours, it's best to be as clean as possible in detergent ingredients. There are numerous detergents available that fit the bill, and I plan to try a few of them over the years of washing baby and toddler clothes.

I chose to start with Charlie's Soap because of the high reviews on both of the above lists, and from a friend's personal recommendation (thanks, Kari!). The soap is very highly recommended for washing cloth diapers in, which was the deciding factor for me.

From Parent Guide:
Free from sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and other nasty ingredients, and cleans like it is the superhero that your laundry needs. No more looking at your baby's freshly washed clothes and wondering, "Why didn't that come out?"

From The Bump:
Charlie’s was originally formulated as an an industrial cleaner, so it really gets the poop out, and it removes any residue your previous detergent left behind on clothes—and the machine. Amazingly, it’s tough yet gentle, hitting all of the baby-friendly notes: It’s hypoallergenic, biodegradable, non-toxic and chemical- and paraben-free. Don’t be fooled by the scent—it is, in fact, fragrance-free, and baby’s clothes, sheets and towels will emerge from the washer completely odorless. And because it’s so concentrated, it’s a great value too.

The powder form is also concentrated and lasts a long time, making it a value over time. (Also, the powder comes with a measuring scoop...something I did not discover until my third load of baby laundry...)

Don't forget to visit me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes of our nursery and baby preparations!


How to Dispose of or Recycle Car Seats

A few months back, my friend Claire asked me for advice on where and how to dispose of car seats. "Hmm...that's a really good question," I thought as I got to doing some online research.

Properly disposing car seats is a tricky but important subject to be familiar with, because safety is the top priority here.


Photo Friday | Preparing for Baby

With just about two months left to go, I'm probably in a state of what most people would call "nesting", but I term more as "Type A panicking to get everything done".

We've been making a lot of progress on our little girl's future space in our house, and I'm excited to see different elements come together.

I've got some more in-depth posts coming soon on our registry, my upcoming shower and baby's (extremely adorable already) wardrobe. But today, I'll just share a couple sneak peeks!

We've collected a great assortment of hand-me-down clothes from friends, a small collection of secondhand clothes from a local nonprofit, a few pieces made of sustainable fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton and some clothing gifted from family members. I recently went through all of the clothing and organized it by size, and washed the smallest pieces with some baby-safe eco-friendly detergent.

Talk about excited to see all of these tiny outfits on our tiny human!

I'm also extremely excited about the prospect of using this gorgeous baby wrap to go for walks around the neighborhood or even just for cuddles. I've had my eye on Solly Baby wraps for months, thanks to my friend Laura, and even though I've only practice wrapping it once, I'm not disappointed.

All of Solly's wraps are made of certified Lenzing modal, a sustainable fabric sourced from Austrian beechwood trees, and everything is made in the United States. This fabric is seriously soft and lightweight, plus it's breathable so Baby and I won't get too hot. I also appreciated that there was no plastic in the packaging when it arrived.

There's still plenty more to do, but I know we'll get there. I can't wait to share more about our nursery and other eco-friendly and secondhand items that are helping us prepare for Baby.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Green Around Acadiana | EarthShare Gardens

In an unassuming area on the outskirts of Lafayette, there's a "secret" garden, one that grows tons of organic produce almost year-round. This space is known as the EarthShare community garden, and it's been growing for more than 10 years - first in a space off Louisiana Avenue, and now off Renaud Road (with I-10 in the background).

EarthShare Gardens is a true community effort. Those interested in reaping the benefits of the garden's produce sign up to become members/shareholders before each season begins, but there's also the opportunity to offset your membership fee with a little sweat equity. EarthShare members can volunteer their time to tend to gardening needs and prepare each week's harvest for pickup.


Photo Friday | Plastic Free July

So here's something I've seen floating around this week, as we finish up the first week of Plastic Free July:

Did you know that every piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists in some form on our Earth today? Despite recycling efforts, only 9% of that plastic ends up in new products.

Think about that, and think back on all of the single-use plastic you've used in the past. The toothbrushes you used as a child still exist, even if you threw them away 25 years ago. That Styrofoam takeout container from a restaurant 10 years ago is still around somewhere, whether it's in a landfill or somewhere out in nature. The thousands of straws you've used over the years are all still on this planet.

When you throw plastic away, it doesn't disappear. Because plastic doesn't biodegrade, it either sits in a landfill, or becomes litter and pollution. When you recycle plastic, sometimes it becomes a "new" product, and sometimes it still ends up being thrown away if it's contaminated. And not all plastics are recyclable.

Plastic Free July is a global initiative that focuses on reducing single-use plastics and improves recycling worldwide. 

This month, I'm aiming to look at where I can reduce more plastic in my own life. I'm in the habit of not getting single-use coffee cups or straws, but there are still plenty of areas where I can improve.

For example, I was recently out and about near lunchtime and needed to pick up some food to bring back to my office. I ended up going with the Whole Foods hot bar, where I was able to avoid getting lunch in a plastic or Styrofoam container. My tea can is recyclable and I had a reusable fork at work that allowed me to skip the plastic cutlery.

When you have a choice, choose to refuse single-use plastics. And of course, it's understandable if sometimes you slip up - it happens to all of us! Plastic Free July is not an all-or-nothing approach. It's about becoming more aware and putting in more effort to reduce your plastic waste. 

If you end up with a plastic iced coffee cup, keep it until you can rinse and recycle it. If you forget to ask your waiter not to bring a straw, just remember the next time you're out. If you left your cloth bags at home or in the car, see if it's possible to go without a bag at all.

Read my Times of Acadiana column all about Plastic Free July!

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