Holiday Twitter Party Sponsor: Natural Joy Beauty

Natural Joy Beauty helps do the research for you and doesn’t carry any products that contain bad things like- Phenoxyethanol (a.k.a. Optiphen), Parabens, Germall or Germaben, Japanese Honeysuckle (preservative form), Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, FD&C Colorants or Synthetic Fragrance, Toluene, Formaldehyde or Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone or Diazolidinyl Urea, Talc, Nano-Particles or Aluminum, Bismuth Oxychloride, Petroleum, Mineral Oil or Paraffin, Triclosan or Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates or Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

They carry everything from mineral makeup to jewelry. There are even items for men. It’s a great store for Christmas shopping, you will even find some gift sets. Lots of holiday products as well that are great for gifts or gifts to yourself. If you happen to live in Sandy, Utah they do have a store there as well. Otherwise you can order online.

Natural Joy Beauty is one of the sponsors for the Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party on Sunday. They will be giving away a fun prize and sharing lots of great information on their products. There will be other great sponsors there as well so you don’t want to miss out. Be sure you go RSVP for the party so you can be entered to win a prize from Natural Joy Beauty!

*Disclaimer: I’m paid to host the upcoming Twitter party. This doesn’t effect my views on the products.

 

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Holiday Twitter Party Sponsor: PeopleTowels

PeopleTowels are a great way to reduce your waste. It’s an idea that is borrowed from the Japanese that have used reusable, personal hand towels for decades. They are bring that idea to the US. I personally have several. I keep one in my purse, one in my gym bag and have several back ups so I always have a clean one.

In the US we create over 3000 tons of waste just from paper towels, everyday! That’s a lot of waste and a lot of trees. These great and affordable cloths can help us reduce all of that waste and save some trees.

You can use them for drying your hands when out, a cloth napkin when eating out, and so much more. They come in several great designs and are made from organic cotton and use eco-friendly dyes. They make great little stocking stuffers. You can even make your own custom design!

PeopleTowels is one of the sponsors for the Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party on Sunday. They will be giving away a fun prize and sharing lots of great information on their products. There will be other great sponsors there as well so you don’t want to miss out. Be sure you go RSVP for the party so you can be entered to win a prize from PeopleTowels!

*Disclaimer: I’m paid to host the upcoming Twitter party. This doesn’t effect my views on the products.

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Green Holiday Blog Carnival Intro

It’s almost time for the Green Holiday Blog Carnival. Any blogger can join in. You can post recipes, gift ideas, homemade gift ideas, decorating ideas, anything that has to do with having a greener holiday season.

All you have to do is write the blog, send it to retrohousewife05@gmail.com and be sure to link back to the blog so your readers can see the other posts. You can also use the image above. Posts are due December 8th at midnight central time. The carnival will be live on December 10th.

YouTubers feel free to send in your videos as well!

Don’t forget to also RSVP for the Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party, which will be this Sunday, December 2nd. 

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Eco-Friendly Holiday Decor

I love decorating for the holidays. Our tree goes up just after Halloween. The house just feels so nice and cozy when it’s all decked out. Many decorations are cheap plastic and sometimes even toxic, but trying to live a green life doesn’t mean your house can’t be decked out, below are just a few great eco-friendly holiday decorations.

These cute mugs are from Crate & Barrel. They are glass and made in the US. The small mug is $3.95 and the big one is $4.95.

This bowl from Bambeco is made from recycled glass and is sure to look beautiful on any holiday table. It’s $74, there are also votives that match and are only $14 each.

This welcome mat is made from coir, which comes from coconuts. It’s also from Bambeco and only $28.

This beautiful wreath is made with sustainable materials, is California grown, and costs $84.95. It comes from Organic Bouquet.

These snowflake towels are beautiful and made with organic fabric. They are designed by Lisa Price, she sells them on the Etsy store artgoodies. The towels are $18.

These beautiful stockings are sold on the Etsy store Sunny Lee Studio. They are made out of  organic hemp fleece and quilted hand painted fabric. They are $45 and there are other styles as well.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer for more. Photos from the  stores are property of the shop owners.

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Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party

This coming Sunday, December 2nd, is the Eco Holiday Prep Twitter Party. It will be a fun party all about getting ready for the holidays and staying green. The sponsors are PeopleTowels, Natural Joy Beauty, and Eco Bay Home. You will learn more about these great sponsors this week. Be sure to follow the directions below to join in.

When: Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 at 8 pm/EST

Where: On Twitter, I recommend you use TweetGrid to keep up with the party.
To learn about using TweetGrid for Twitter parties check out their how-to video.

Hashtag: #ecoholidayprep (What is a Hashtag?)

How to Join:

  1. RSVP in the comments with your Twitter name. (You don’t have to RSVP to join in the fun but you can only win a prize if you RSVP)
  2. Follow @Retrohousewife5 @peopletowels @ecobayhome @mynaturaljoy
  3. Use the hashtag #ecoholidayprep in your tweets.
  4. Be on Twitter at 8 p.m. eastern time on December 2nd.

Sponsors: PeopleTowels, Eco Bay Home, and Natural Joy Beauty

Prizes: To Be Announced

Remember to RSVP below to have a chance to win the prizes! You also must be present at the party to win. While everyone is welcome to the party the prizes can only be shipped to addresses in the continental US.

Disclaimer: The prizes come from the sponsors and not from me. I was paid to host this party but all views stated by me (@retrohousewife5) are my honest views. The sponsors and Lisa Sharp are not responsible for the content at the Twitter party. The prizes are open to the continental US and 18+ only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The number of RSVP entries received determines the odds of winning. Winner will be selected at the party and will have 7 days to respond or a new winner will be picked.

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Quick Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cake

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk

Streusel

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease a 8″ square pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl, cream the sugar and butter.
  4. Beat in the egg.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, alternating.
  7. Combine all of the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and stir until blended.
  8. Spread half of the cake batter in the pan, spread streusel on top and spread rest of cake batter on top.
  9. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Let cool before icing.
  11. Spread the cream cheese icing over the top.

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl beat all ingredients until smooth.
I started making this for the morning of Thanksgiving a few years ago. You can make it ahead and everyone loves it. It also helps keep people from asking non-stop when lunch will be ready.It would be great for Christmas morning as well. Not the healthiest breakfast but very yummy!

This post is part of Leanne Penny’s Cookie Exchange.  

Recipe adapted from- http://www.food.com/recipe/quick-cinnamon-coffee-cake-188828

 

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A Meaningful Holiday

Do you find yourself stressing about getting everything done for the holidays and finding enough money for all the gifts? I’m already finding myself stressed about finishing decorating the house, sure I want to go ahead and get it done but it’s not worth stress. And I only have a few gifts so far but I keep reminding myself that there is still plenty of time.

Last Christmas was spent mostly in bed as I was very sick. I’m working very hard to keep that from happening and it also has me wanting to enjoy as much of the season as possible. I still got the same number of gifts last year even though I was sick, that’s not what I missed, it was the time with my loved ones.

While I’m not suggesting anyone stop giving gifts at all, I am suggesting we rethink how many we give and what kind of gifts. Homemade gifts with meaning, Fair Trade gifts that give back to struggling communities, and donations as gifts can all be gifts that have a lot more meaning. Many years my family has done something fun together around the holidays in place of some gifts. One year we went to a Flaming Lips concert, a couple of years ago we went to a Thunder basketball game. I remember those trips far more than I remember what gifts I got. And my favorite thing on Christmas is going to my parents house in the morning and having waffles and mimosas. That is what I was the most upset about missing last year, we just postponed it but it was pretty sad to not go on Christmas day.

I have shared this video the last couple of years but it is very good so I’m going to share it again. It’s religious but the meaning goes past religion and I’m sure all of us can gain from it.


It’s pretty amazing to think about what we could do with even a small percent of the money we spend on Christmas. The number of people we could help is amazing. Those of us in the US and other developed countries are quite lucky but that doesn’t mean there isn’t poverty all around us. In my small town 32.4% live below the poverty line! Shocking isn’t it? It sure makes me rethink the holidays. Here are just a few ideas of ways we can make our holidays more meaningful.

Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie Together
My family has watched It’s A Wonderful Life for as long as I can remember. I think we all know every word. My husband and I also watch a few Christmas movies through the season. We always watch a Harry Potter movie when we put up the Christmas tree, which isn’t really a Christmas movie but most of the movies have Christmas in them. We also put up the tree right after Halloween so I guess it’s fitting, ha. One that I watched for the first time this year that was really cute is Arthur Christmas.

Bake Together
I love to bake and try to bake a lot during the holidays. I always bake some gingerbread cookies and if I go to parties I almost always take some kind of baked good. Decorating cookies together can be a fun family activity that doesn’t cost much money and you don’t need to be very creative for this craft since you are just going to eat them.

Make Decorations
Kids and adults can have fun making decorations. With Pinterest you can find all kinds of ideas! I will also be posting ideas on here.

Give Back
There are so many ways to give back to your community during the holidays. “Adopt” an angel off of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, take toys to a toy drive, make toys and blankets for animals at a local animal shelter, volunteer at a soup kitchen, offer to clean an elderly neighbor or family member’s home, offer to put up a elderly or disabled neighbors Christmas lights or tree, the ideas are endless.

Have a Handmade Christmas
Make a rule that at least one gift for each person has to be handmade. This can mean either by the person or from a store like Etsy. It can be fun to see whatever one comes up with. I try and do as much of my shopping as possible from stores like Etsy and also from handmade Fair Trade goods that help those that are making the items.

Look at Lights
One of my favorite things to do is make some hot chocolate or pick up some from a local coffee shop and drive around and look at Christmas lights. You can also check to see if any nearby towns have any really big displays. The town of Chickasha Oklahoma has a HUGE display at their park each year. I went several years ago and it was pretty awesome, so look for big displays near you.

There are many other fun things you can do as a family or with friends over the holidays, have a party and have a White Elephant exchange, play games, do a puzzle, host a cookie exchange or decorating party, whatever you and your loved ones enjoy doing. These memories are far more special than any gift.

Are you trying to have a more meaningful holiday this year? Have you started any holiday traditions? Will you be starting new ones this year? Share below or on the Facebook page.


Redhead Can Decorate

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Green Holiday Guide


Thanksgiving is over, Christmas trees are going up, and it’s time to get your Christmas shopping done. It’s also time for the annual Green Holiday Guide! The Green Holiday Guide is full of everything you need to green your holidays this year. There will be giveaways, a Twitter Party, a blog carnival, DIY ideas, gift guides, recipes, and more.

Posts will start tomorrow and run through Christmas. The Twitter party will be on December 2nd and the blog carnival will be on December 10th so if you have a blog and want to be apart of the carnival start thinking about your post.

This year posts and ideas will also be shared on Pinterest so be sure to follow the Green Holiday Guide board. Be sure to spread the word and check back each day for more posts.

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Turn Black Friday, Green

Today is Black Friday, the day people camp out for “deals” and sometimes go a little crazy. This year avoid the busy big box stores and shop locally owned stores, which also have deals but are often less busy, shop online for green products, or celebrate Buy Nothing Day and skip it all.

Many of us are trying to save money, times are tough for many of us but you aren’t saving money if you aren’t buying things you were going to buy anyway. I sometimes do a little online shopping on Thanksgiving weekend for Christmas gifts but you won’t find me in any lines. After this post goes up I’m leaving dirty dishes in my sink and going to bed and I will be sleeping in! Sounds wonderful after less than 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night.

There are some great eco-friendly deals out there and these can be used while you stay in your PJs and you can get it all done quickly and get back to spending time with your family. I will be updating this post all weekend as I find deals so keep checking back. And let’s not go nuts this year and instead use these deals to save us money and time, not to buy junk we don’t need and take us away from our family.

Here are some deals that will be taking place online on Green Friday (and some will go on all weekend).

Conscious Box– get 20% off of a yearly subscription.

Ecomom– $20 off orders of $50-$99, $40 off of $100-$199, $80 off of $200+
And other great deals!

100% Pure– Free Gifts with orders and free shipping.

ReUseIt– Lots of great sales.

GreenCupboards.com– Black Friday Sale – Get $10 Off $40+ PLUS FREE Shipping All Weekend! Starts Friday use Code ‘BLACKISBACK10′ at GreenCupboards.com.

Gaiam.com– Lots of sales.

Soda Stream– Free Shipping and a special gift with the purchase of any home soda maker. This Thanksgiving weekend only, every soda maker purchase will include a limited edition 12ct Holiday Taste Sampler Pack. While supplies last.

OnlineShoes.com– Save 25% when you spend $100 or more. Plus FREE Shipping. Shop hundreds of gifts, from snow boots to slippers. Use code 2THANKFUL.

CleanWell– Save 25% on All CleanWell Orders for Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Nimli– Black Friday amazing deals with gifts & fashion accessories starting $9.99

Gifts with Humanity– Site wide 25% off sale.

Abe’s Market– 50+ brands on sale for 25% OFF

Only Pet Natural Store– 10% Off Holiday Gifts for your pet with code HOHOHO. Expired 11/30/12

Natural Candy Store– Lots of sales on candy.

WeeDecor– Sample sale, lots of great deals.

Envirosax– 50% off sale.

Ma Snax– November 23 thru 26th. Use coupon code CYBERSNAX at checkout. Min $30 purchase to qualify. Applies to retail orders with ground shipping.

Purrfectplay– Great deal on their Facebook page, click for more info.

Bouncing Woolies– Sale on dryer balls.

New (11/23 5:15 PM/CT)-

Natural Joy Beauty–  SAVE 15% during THANKSGIVING SALE. Online sale starts Now – midnight MST Sun, 11/25. Use promo code: BLESSINGS

Kelly’s Closet– Lots of sales.

Hugo Naturals– 35% off and free shipping. Use code BLACK35

Crunchy Betty’s Natural Market– SAVE 20% AT CRUNCHY BETTY’S NATURAL MARKET – NOW THROUGH SATURDAY ONLY.

New (11/23 7:20 PM/CT)

Alex+Von – Lots of great deals.

New (11/24 3:00 PM/CT)

Nourished Kitchen– 40% off all weekend long

New (11/26 8:00 PM/CT)

Bags, Beads, Jewelry, & More– 10% off with coupon code BAGS10

Earth Divas– 25% Off on all retail orders using the code, EARTHDIVA2012. Good through Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ChicoBag– 40off40 and get 40% off of orders of $40 or more.

Good Greetings– Get 20% OFF Your Holiday Card Order with code: SAVE20NOW. Expires 11/31/12.

Remember to keep checking back for more deals and if you have found one please post in the comments below or share on the Facebook page. Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer for more. Photos from the Etsy stores are property of the shop owners.

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A Day of Preparation

Today has been a very busy day and even though it’s past midnight and tomorrow starts early, it’s not done. I cook the whole meal for my in-laws and my husband and myself. So far I have made two batches of homemade rolls, one for tomorrow and one for a meal with my family on Saturday, homemade cranberry sauce, and two pies. I have also prepped a few things for tomorrow’s cooking. And I have done two loads of dishes and have one more, plus hand washing left. AND a coffee cake to make for the morning.

It’s a lot of work but yummy and only once a year, thank goodness. I will need to get up tomorrow around 6-7 (I HATE mornings so this is quite early, and I likely won’t be in bed until 2-3 a.m.), depending on if the turkey seems thawed before I go to bed. I will be making mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (with homemade alfredo sauce in place of canned soup), and the turkey. It’s so nice to get so much done today so I have less to make tomorrow.

I’m very grateful to have so much food to put on the table and of course I’m also very thankful for my dishwasher! I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving prep and what your plans are for Thanksgiving. Just share in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

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