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Sweet William’s First School Lunch

Sweet William started preschool on Monday. It was a huge success. He didn’t want to leave when I arrived to pick him up. [...]

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Clean Baby, Clean Bath

Darling Fergus is a water baby. He loves baths and likes to be splashed, and he doesn’t put up a fight when Sweet William pours water over his head. Fergus also loves to drink water out of the tub and stick his hands in the toilet — two more good reasons to clean the bathroom with non-toxic products.

TUB. Mix a scoop of baking soda with a few drops of unscented liquid castile soap in a jar or in the palm of your hand. Apply the paste to the dirt rings and scrub with a damp sponge. [...]

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My Little Valentines

Sweet William and Darling Fergus are getting ready for Valentine’s Day. This morning they made oat-corn muffins filled with berry jam, an allergen-free treat that Fergus can sample before we deliver them to our new neighbors. [...]

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At Home in New Orleans

My Sweet William is back from a hiatus and coming to you from New Orleans! We moved here from New York City a few days before Christmas and are happily settling into a beautiful new house that my husband designed. We’re tremendously proud of him and grateful for his demanding standards in building a non-toxic home. I’ll feature some of his techniques here at MSW.

In the meantime, here’s an update on how we pass our time when we’re not unpacking boxes, organizing drawers, or supervising construction. Mardi Gras and warm weather offer a pleasant distraction. [...]

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In the News

Do soaps with triclosan do more harm than good? (Chicago Tribune, 2/10/13) Laboratory studies show that triclosan, a common anti-bacterial ingredient in soap, disrupts hormones, interferes with muscle function, and promotes the growth of stronger bacteria. Plus, it’s “building up in the environment to the possible peril of wildlife.”

Related: How to properly wash your hands (with plain old soap).

California plans to alter rules on flame retardants
(Chicago Tribune, 2/9/13) The move could benefit consumers nationwide, lessening exposure to toxic flame retardant chemicals.

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What’s That Smell?

Stefano Gabbana announced via Instagram that Dolce & Gabbana will release a perfume “per i bambini” — for babies.

I think I just heard you say, “Ewwww! Seriously?”

Let’s skip past the discussion of why anyone would mask her baby’s delicious, natural smell. Instead, let’s review why perfumes and scented products are bad for babies.

Synthetic fragrances, identified on product labels as “parfum,” “perfume,” “natural fragrance,” or “fragrance,” contain phthalates. Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals that are used in the production of plastic, solvents, and cosmetics. They are endocrine disruptors, known to cause a broad range of birth defects…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m just a little overwhelmed by the work crews passing through my home, so I’m going to focus on one tip guaranteed to make your Thanksgiving a little happier.

When you warm those tasty leftovers, don’t use plastic in the microwave.

Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, along with numerous scientists and health experts, warn that microwave energy drives harmful chemicals from plastic into the food. That’s bad for babies, but also for mamas and daddies. Avoid the problem by never using plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave.

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LED Candles for Halloween

I bought this set of LED votive candles after learning that paraffin wax candles release benzene, toluene, and other toxic chemicals when they’re burned. That’s not good for indoor air quality and is especially bad for children, pregnant women, and asthmatics. [...]

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