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Monday, August 30, 2010


Packing a school lunch sounds simple, but it's not. Moms and dads are supposed to come up with something that's homemade, flashy and cold, yet nutritious. On top of that, it should be tasty enough to be scarfed down by a small, picky child in 10 minutes tops. Getting kids to eat what's good for them is not always an easy task. Impossible at times. Which is why we called our friend Samantha Saffir Barnes, culinary coach and owner of LA-based Kitchen Kid, for help with the picky eater conundrum and some lunch packing inspiration.

Samantha shared these tips for getting kids more involved in the kitchen and more interested in trying new foods:

• Encourage children to taste throughout the cooking process, introducing them to new textures and ingredients in small quantities along the way. It's okay if the ingredients are eaten before the recipe is complete!

• For pickier eaters, give them lots of healthy options, and empower them to make the choices. For example, I pour warm minestrone broth into a bowl and let the kids choose how to finish their soup. On the counter I’ll place heaping bowls of corn, kidney beans, alphabet pasta or orzo, shredded carrots, spinach leaves, green peas, tofu cubes, and Parmesan cheese.

• Sometimes I meet a child terrified of new foods, especially those that are green. Instead of sneaking them in, try giving them an alias. One of the children I cook with is an 8-year-old self-proclaimed zucchini-hater. However, she loves it when we grill “frigaloni” (a special Italian vegetable with an uncanny resemblance to the familiar green squash).

Samantha further suggested thinking outside the (sandwich) box when packing your child's school lunch. Pasta salad is a veggie-packed recipe that's a perfect lunch alternative to sandwiches.

"Allowing kids to customize what goes into their pasta gives them ownership over the recipe, and empowers them to make healthy decisions about what they are eating at home and packing for lunch," said Samantha.

With a pasta salad making activity, kids have the opportunity to prepare fresh veggies (for example: cucumbers, red peppers, olives, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli) and herbs by ‘cutting’ them with child-safe craft scissors and plastic picnic knives. Mixing the veggies with a noodle of their choice, (udon, penne, stars or even grain, like couscous or quinoa), they then get to stir in a favorite dressing.

Activities and recipes that could transcribe well at home? Sign us up! After all, if there is one thing that can unite families it's food. And a little less pressure on Mom to pack the perfect lunch recipe doesn't hurt, either.

Bon appétit!
xx S+S

Kitchen Kid believes the benefits of encouraging kids to be confident in the kitchen and excited about cooking are endless. For more information and additional recipes please visit

Sources: Samantha Saffir Barnes,

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Friday, August 27, 2010


Keeping Suz's son's remote control Sand Stormer (truck) and battery-powered gadgets in working order is sucking her expense account at Fairmount Hardware dry. At the rate she goes through AAs, she could have a controlling stake in Energizer. Keeping Sarah's husband away from video gaming post-work is practically a part-time job. At the rate she tunes into Rock Band, she could be the next American Idol.

Imagine our relief when we heard all we needed was a recycling bin and a few household items to keep our "kids" (back-to-school or not) creative, crafty, and clever. In her book Make These Toys: 101 Clever Creations Using Everyday Items, Heather Swain offers dozens of simple how-tos for making magic out of household materials, including rubber-band shoe-box guitars, milk carton sailboats, and puppets that roll on thread spoons.

Says Swain, Make These Toys is "perfect for parents and teachers. These projects enable families to spend less while keeping entertained. Because fun doesn't always have to come in a box-sometimes, it's the box itself."

Other reasons to love Make These Toys:
1) Making toys saves money
2) Making toys conserves resources
3) Making toys means fewer toxins in your home
4) Making toys is entertaining
5) Making toys makes kids happy = what playing is all about

Brilliantly simple and fun. $13.95... and no batteries required.

xx S+S

Today's give-a-way has been moved to next Friday due to reorganization!


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Most kids consume 25% of their calories from junk food, according to a recent study, and French fries are the number one vegetable source in their diets. Is your child eating right? Studies indicate that kids who consume diets lacking adequate nutrition perform poorly in school. Poor nutrition can negatively impact a child’s immune system, bone growth, and overall physical development. But have no fear. Shakleekids® Incredivites® is here to put your worries to rest! Incredivites® is the first (and only) kids' chewable multivitamin in the U.S. with immune-supporting lactoferrin. It is packed with 600 IU of vitamin D3 and other critical bone-building nutrients.

Recent findings also indicated that kids are not getting enough vitamin D. This has prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to double for children its recommended daily intake. To help kids achieve adequate levels of vitamin D, Incredivites® delivers 600 IU per serving, along with vitamin K and 200 mg of calcium.

To help ensure that kids get nutrients they need for proper growth, Incredivites® is formulated with a comprehensive assortment of 23 essential vitamins and minerals. Each serving features 100% of the Daily Value of all eight B vitamins, as well as vitamins C and E, which play crucial roles in supporting immune function and personal growth.

As the #1 natural nutrition company, Shaklee has been delivering quality products for over 50 years. By quality, we mean they leave the bad stuff out (no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives are in Incredivites®) and they put the good stuff in (naturally sweetened with xylitol thereby tooth-friendly).

Get your kids on Incredivites® today so you can stop worrying tomorrow!

xx S+S

Stay tuned for a give-a-way this Friday!

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Monday, August 23, 2010


It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end, and school will be back in session before we know it. We've gathered together a list of eco-friendly school supplies to get your pre-schoolers to high-schoolers back to school in style, all the while being kind to our planet.

Backpacks: Avoid backpacks made of nylon or new plastics, especially PVC (vinyl), and look instead for bags made from recycled materials or natural materials, such as hemp (pictured here). EcoBodyWear has great hemp options, while Simple Shoes offers bags with eco-friendly features such as recycled PET straps and coconut buttons.

Notebooks: One free way to be kind to the earth and your wallet is to dig out those old notebooks from last year, and carry over any unused paper to this year’s folders and notebooks. When new paper is needed, choose recycled paper made from post-consumer waste, the market for which prevents used paper from going into landfills. Staples and Office Max both offer recycled paper and notebooks, or try EcoJot’s stylin' notebooks, made from 100 percent post-consumer waste and vegetable-based dyes.

Pens and Pencils: Mechanical pencils are a good choice, since they can be reused, but tree-free pencils are the eco-friendly option. Look for disposables made from recycled materials, such as old denim or newsprint. For pens, refillable ones are a better choice since they produce less waste, but many options exist for disposable pens, as well. Look for pens that have been made from recycled materials. Big brand Pilot has gotten in on the act with their BeGreen line of pens, made from recycled materials.

Lunch Boxes: Hold the brown bag. If possible, pack your school lunches in reusable bags with reusable containers. Try Kids Konserve for all-in-one options.

Back to school can be fun, fashionable and friendly-for-Earth! Let us know your favorite school supplies or any other tips that you and your kids are using this year. And stayed tuned this week for more reusable lunch/snack options and a fabulous back to school give-a-way!

xx S+S

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Friday, August 20, 2010


Going green has spread to the kitchen!

Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle is a climate-conscious cookbook, ideal for both skilled and still-learning-how-to-boil-a-pot-of-water cooks. Food and health expert Jackie Newgent R.N. reveals simple, practical, and cost-saving solutions for choosing and preparing food in planet-pleasing ways. Newgent's book offers everyday meals that maximize flavor while minimizing environmental impact. It's loaded with sustainable recipes that makes seasonal cooking effortless. Okay, well, easier at least. Inside Big Green Cookbook you'll find:

-A green kitchen checklist
-Over 200 delicious-sounding, seasonal recipes that feature fresh, all-natural foods
-Guidelines for going organic and tips for buying locally
-Nutritional information and and easy-on-the-earth cooking techniques
-Clever, new techniques for low-carbon cooking (for example: cutting food into smaller sizes so it cooks quicker)
-A shopping guide and seasonal produce guide
-Ways to "love your leftovers"

Big Green is divided into seasons and features everything from snacks to salsas, to soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, meat based dishes, drinks and dessert. Each recipe comes with nutritional information, along with “little green cooking” tips, and other eco-friendly tips about eating local or recycling. The book also has a section on party tips, tools every green kitchen needs.

While overall fabulous, we wish the book came with photos so we could see what the finished dishes looked like. But four-color pages would have added to the carbon footprint of this book, which is printed in just green and blue soy-based inks on 100-percent post-consumer paper. Instead we'll refer to the cookbook's website for pictures and reader submissions.

A luscious, low-carbon kitchen is something we can all strive for this year. Treat yourself to good for you-and-earth recipes and find Big Green Cookbook at a local bookstore near you or online. Prices range from $16.47 to $24.95.

xx S+S

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Monday's post shared some tips to greenify your grilling technique and now you're sizzling. But what to do about all that greasy, charred post-party mess? Before you get out your bio-hazard suit we suggest you try a well-to-do favorite: Shaklee’s all natural Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste.

Scour Off is a scouring cleanser that sets new standards of cleaning and sets the bar high. It’s a paste great for tough jobs: it cleans stuck-on messes on the grill in no time and burnt-on food in your oven, too.

Not only does our beloved paste have the muscle to get the job done, its natural mineral abrasives and cleaning agents (cherry pits, people!) are gentle on the planet. Scour Off contains no chlorine, bleach or dye, and is biodegradable and nontoxic. Did we mention it also has a yummy cherry scent? So delicious our friends frequently ask permission to taste it (but are not advised)!

Scour Off is not just for the grill. Take it inside and around the house for many additional household uses. Some of our favorites include: ceramic cooktops, sinks, tile grout, and shower and tub soap scum. To use: simply apply with a wet sponge or soft cloth and plenty of water. Wipe or rinse off. On the grill a heavier brush can be used on the grates.

So there you have it. A scouring cleanser with natural ingredients that can remove the toughest stuck-on messes without the harsh chemicals. Now your grill can be clean and green this summer! Imagine that.

xx S&S

Sources: and many, many personal experiences with Scour Off

Well-to-do's search for "Green Goes with Everything" party hostesses continues - nationwide. We're also looking for people who are interested in joining our well-to-do team. Contact us if you'd like to learn more at

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Monday, August 16, 2010


Barbecuing: a summer favorite. Bar-b-green: a sustainable favorite. A favorite of ours especially after learning all of those sizzling charcoal grills that ignited over 4th of July weekend released 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which could have powered 20,000 homes for a year. So before summer comes to an end, consider incorporating these five eco-friendly tips into your grilling routine. Good for you. Good for Planet Earth.

Grill Power: Opt for a cleaner-burning propane or electric grill over one powered by charcoal, which contributes more to poor air quality. A solar oven or stove avoids emissions altogether. If you do use charcoal, look for lump brands (briquettes may contain coal dust or other additives), and switch from lighter fluid, which releases smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), to a chimney starter.

Lean and Green: Minimize health risks (from carcinogenic substances that can form when meats are grilled or broiled at high temperature) by choosing lean meats and trimming fat before cooking. When possible, grill organic, hormone-free meat and mix it up with fish, veggies, or fruit.

Go Local: BBQ season coincides with the time many locally grown fruits and vegetables are at their best. Local produce typically means fewer chemicals were used to grow and preserve the food, and since it doesn't have to travel long distances, less energy is consumed in transportation. Visit your local market to find out what's growing near you.

Set the Table: A biodegradable party kit makes any get-together more earth friendly. Better yet, bring out your own serveware, dinnerware, flatware and table linens... and employ your friends or family to help dry dishes!

Clean Up Your Act: Finish the job with natural cleaners like Shaklee's Basic H or Scour Off (more on that Wednesday).

The Mother Nature Network said it best, "You don't have to walk across hot coals to grill out sustainably." You, too, can become a green grill master before summer's end. Share this post with friends to help make this grilling season a greener one!

xx S + S


Congrats to Kelly Kokoska and Jessica Bloch Whitehill - winners of the Enfuselle Lip Treatment giveaway!

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Friday, August 13, 2010


Pamper your nails with something safe... with a side of sass and a handful of fun. Meet the Ginger + Liz Colour Collection™!

Founded by model/author Sara Liz Pickett and entrepreneur H. Ginger Johnson, the Ginger + Liz collection is taking off and leaving a pretty path from Bangor to Bollywood. With a celeb-style color palette, amusing names like “Swagger,” “Hold The Drama," and “Put A Ring On It,” and a formula that's organic + vegan-friendly + toxin-free... what’s not to love and admire about this beautylicious brand? Cost is $12/bottle for this 'lil luxury.

We're such suckers for a good story. Here are three more brands that captured our hearts:

1) Priti nail polish is non-toxic with ingredients derived from organically grown sources. Promotional and marketing materials for the company are printed on 100% recyclable paper, their nail polish bottles are completely recyclable, and even their website utilizes ThinkHost, a web host that provides solar and wind powered energy. Priti nail polishes are available in over 100 colors and cost $12.50 per bottle.

2) Polished Mama water-based nail polishes were ultimately designed for moms-to-be. A true family business, Polished Mama was started by an RN, with help from her husband and his father, an organic chemist. The polish is available in twelve colors and retails for $8.50 a bottle.

3) Zoya is free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. It's the most recognized and easily found in nail salons, and was awarded as the longest wearing natural nail polish by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine. Zoya offers nail polishes in over 300 colors. Purchase them in packs of six for $36 for the best savings. Individually they sell for $7.

Go on. Lacquer up!
xx S+S

Sources:,, Zoe Report

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our love for beauty products started at a young age. Sweet Bonne Bell was so colorful and tasty. Sadly, it was a downward spiral from there. Seems a majority of lip balm manufacturers not only skimp on the all-so-important moisturizing but they use ingredients such as silicone oil and salicylic acid that actively dry out our precious puckers, creating more need for their product.

Most commercial brands, including "medicated" lip balms, have a potentially toxic petroleum base used to hold moisture against the skin. Add aluminum salts, preservatives, artificial flavors to the equation and the answer is an ugly combo of chemicals.

But it doesn't stop there. As far as chapped lips go, additives like menthol, camphor, and phenol are used as counter-irritants to give lips a cool, soothing sensation as lip balm is applied. According to Paula Begoun, "The Cosmetics Cop" and author of The Beauty Bible, these ingredients are used "to make the consumer think something is happening." But she says, "If you want a cooling sensation, drink some cold water."

For our lips we choose Shaklee's Enfuselle Lip Treatment SPF 15. Simply put: it soothes and smoothes! "Drenched with vitamins C and E, calendula extract, and moisturizing plant oil," this nourishing lip treatment helps smooth the appearance of fine vertical lines while softening, firming, and protecting against the elements. Wear alone or under lipstick. Slather on as much as you want, as frequently as you want!

Think your kisser is the fairest in the land? Then tell us the location of your most favorite lip lock. Comment below or on Facebook and we'll pick TWO lucky winners to receive Enfuselle Lip Treatments!

Go on. Kiss and tell!
xx S + S

Sarah's best kiss: Old Blue (boat) on Unity Pond, Unity, Maine
Suz's best kiss: Two Lights Lobster Shack, Cape Elizabeth, Maine


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Monday, August 9, 2010


You must be living in a deep, dark, dingy cave if you haven't already heard about the "Dirty Dozen", the Environmental Working Group’s list of the top twelve pesticide-ridden fruits and vegetables.

The "Dirty Dozen" are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides. Although we can’t always recall all of them by memory (this is a journey, remember), apples, blueberries and grapes were emblazoned on our brains because our families eat those all of the time.

We try to buy organic whenever possible, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. If Suz stops to think about the amount of pesticides her son has possibly ingested from all of that fruit, she gets nutty.

Luckily, there’s a flip side to the "Dirty Dozen". The "Clean 15" are the fruits and vegetables that have the least amount of pesticides, according to the EWG’s study. Since the following have the lowest amount of pesticides, you can save money by purchasing the conventional (non-organic) options and focus on buying organic when it comes to the "Dirty Dozen".

So without further ado, the "Clean 15":

1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potato
15. Honeydew Melon

We know what you are thinking. How are you going to remember all of these and the "Dirty Dozen"? We've got your back! The EWG designed an iPhone app to reference when you are at your local market or grocery store. Just pull out your iPhone and both lists will be available to you while you shop. Don’t have an iPhone? Download the EWG’s PDF version of the guide here.

Happy shopping!
xx S + S


Photo: B. Burgess
Sources: and

Congrats to Michele S. of Brunswick, Maine - winner of our Summer Time clinQs giveaway!

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Friday, August 6, 2010


Cheers! Salud! Skål! Sláinte! À votre santé! No matter how you say it, raising a glass means there's something to celebrate. We're all for drinking to health and wellness. Especially when it involves champagne (Sarah) and PBR (Suz).

Today we toast the oh-so-fabulous Jenn Khavari, Mainer and brainsister of clinQs (rhymes with clinks), the reusable drink identifying stickers. Following a few too many dinner parties and a few too many neglected cocktails, Jenn and her sister Jeila stirred up clinQs to avoid future beverage mix-ups, stop the spread of germs, reduce party waste and designate drinks in a smart and stylish way.

Not only are clinQs reusable they're also sturdy. The cleaning instructions are simple if they get dirty: use warm, soapy water. The stickers can even be washed directly on a glass and then reapplied to the holding card for storage, and used over... and over... and over again.

Don't let us intimidate you. ClinQs are not only for the sophisticated but for parents and kids, too. Use the stickers on sippy cups or juice boxes to set personal boundaries and encourage pretend play. For example: "I'm a cupcake, what are you?"

Sold online at, select iParty stores and locally at Bangor Wine & Cheese for $5.50 a package, we'll leave it to you to decide how you want to make your social statement.

Care to try clinQs for FREE? Win a package of the Summer Time stickers by becoming our friend on Facebook or following us on BlogSpot! Make a comment on our post about how you might use your clinQs or what your favorite post has been so far and your name will be entered twice in the drawing! Giveaway is now closed.

Well-to-do and generous. Stick with us 'cause we'll take care of you!

Cheers to that. Cheers to clinQs!

xx S + S

Sources:, dinner parties, fundraisers, unsuccessful play dates and sibling rivalry

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Monday, August 2, 2010


Meet Monday. Our "How To" day. We're the first to admit that we have a lot to learn about being green. In fact, we'd probably score a dim, light green on a shade spectrum. So we start with gardening: (everybody else's) favorite summer past-time . Suz displays and uses a basil plant in her kitchen window and Sarah has... a nice yard.

We're good students, though, so we researched and found our favorite gardening trick, which requires little effort and doesn’t cost any extra green. Turns out two of our most used and enjoyed kitchen castoffs — eggshells and coffee grinds — are stacked with soil-enriching nutrients.

Eggshells are brimming with calcium that stimulates plant growth. As plants mature, they drink calcium from the soil, and they need replenishment to stay healthy and happy.

Meanwhile, coffee grinds contain nitrogen and other minerals with similar plant-boosting effects, especially for varieties like roses, azaleas, and tomatoes.

To get your eggshells garden-ready, give them a rinse, crush by hand, and mix them into your soil or scatter them around the base of your plants. You can also use eggshells in lieu of stones at the bottom of a flowerpot to help with aeration and drainage.

We've heard mixed things about the coffee grinds: one resource suggests drying them out in the oven to avoid growing mold, though we also read that you can sprinkle the used grinds in your flower beds before watering to give them a slow-release nitrogen fix.

Gardening is only for dark green thumb goddesses? Quite contrary. Seems like we'll be able to turn over a new back yard in no time. Apparently all we need is a good breakfast.

Go on. Feed your garden!
xx S + S

Sources: and

Comment below if you have any gardening tips to share with us! We can use all the help we can get.