New Designs - Organic Cotton Canvas & Hemp

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Link to Fabulous blogger Everythingmomandbaby

Thank you to Erica @ Everythingmomandbaby for a shout out about Maxwell Designs and its new retailer Baby On The Hip in downtown Toronto - Read here

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Becoming an "Ecoholic"

Its only been in the last few years (since I had children) that I have really started to question where everything I buy, use and cook comes from. I used to LOVE going to Wholefoods in Kits when I lived in Vancouver. So many wonderful choices. The produce was amazing with so much variety, so many colours and flavours. I miss it VERY MUCH. There is no such thing here in the North. We are now, however, doing what we can by shopping at a different supermarket in order to get more organic produce and more variety. We also have a small but fairly decent health food store.

I am now starting to take this organic thing very seriously (my husband is not too keen and fights me most of the time) and I know with time and results we will all see the benefits. I am also spurred on by the most amazing book I just got, you may have heard of it "Your guide to the MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY information, products and services in Canada - ECOHOLIC (When you're addicted to the planet)" Adria Vasil, copyright 2007, Random House. It covers everything from hair dyes to food to clothdiapers to cellphones. There is also one called "Ecoholic Home: The Greenest, Cleanest and Most Energy-Efficient Information Under One (Canadian) Roof " which is next on my list of must haves.

Over the past few months I have been so tired burning the candle at both ends that I had been drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day (thats not a lot I might hear you say, well it is if you only ever drank 1). I thought the extra caffine would give me a boost and help me cope with the tiredness, but it only made me feel even more tired! So I forced myself to go back to 1 cup a day.
I decided that if I was only going to have 1 cup then it would have to be the best cup of coffee I could find. I had no idea there was so much to coffee. According to Adria Vasil "As a nation (Canada), we consume 118 million kilograms of roasted coffee beans each year" and that there are 7 different coffee lables to look out for, I will be as brief as possible.
"Certified Organic: no chemicals used in the growing or processing, composting done, weeds pulled by hand...GMO-free...
Certified Fair Trade: Grown by small-scale farmers who are fairly paid...ecologically sensitive ensure product is sustainable and conservation-orientated..but not guarenteed to be organic...
Shade-Grown: Planted the traditional way, under the forest canopy, which attracts migratory birds
Bird-Friendly: Shade-grown and certified organic...
Rainforest Alliance-Certified: Shade-grown by family farmers using integrated pest management practices..
Green Coffee: Not necessarily eco-friendly - this term just means you roast it yourself..
(and this one is my favourite)
Biodynamic: Take organic coffee, fold in the cycles of the moon and stars, sprinkle in some crystals and complicated rituals and you've got..a cup of holistic biodynamic joe"

To cut a long story short amongst other organic delights I bought today (more on them later) I did manage to find this treasure. I think I covered a couple of the most important basics (and the man on the packet looks quite happy too!) such as: Direct Fair Trade (read more about this at British Columbia Certified Organic and apparently "this coffee boasts a nutty, chocolate flavour, citrus and honey notes and a long pronounced finish". I have to say I am very impressed with the flavour and smoothness of this coffee and will now be on the look out to try to fill all the above criteria in once cup - does that coffee even exist?

There are so many gems in this book that I urge you to get hold of a copy from your local library, borrow it from a friend, find a good used book store or maybe I will have a giveaway soon - its a must read and one book you will find hard to put down.

Do you have a favourite coffee or a coffee that others would love to know about?

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Customer Appreciation at Maxwell Designs

We have been in business for 3 years and we feel its time to give back. Check out our "Ready Made" section of your website to see our incredible pricing of $64.95 on our medium Eco-friendly Diaper Bags/Purses. *website only pricing, does not apply to "make your own" at this time.

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New Designs - Organic Cotton Canvas & Hemp

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Cooking with the kids

I am always trying to think of healthy snacks for everyone but especially for Maxwell my pre-schooler and I found the perfect one at Todays Parent.
I am not in the habit of posting recipes (although I was a Pastry Chef in my previous life so they will show up from time to time)so they have to be MM good for me to post them and super quick and easy. Trust me, this one is REALLY good and good for you! I am gradually going all Organic (or as much as I can get hold of in my small town) so I will let you know what I used as Organic below.
These really are so delicious - so delicious in fact that I didnt have time to take photos - they were gone that quickly!!! Shia, my 17 month old loved them, as did I. Note: if you are not planning on eating them all in one day its best to put some in the freezer and get them out as you need them - that way they will stay fresher longer.
I also have an AMAZING zuccini bread recipe that was given to me by my best friend so if anyone wants that one just let me know.


1½cups (375 mL) whole wheat pastry flour (organic wholewheat flour)
1cup (250 mL) oat bran
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
3/4tsp (4 mL) salt
1 omega-3 egg (organic free run eggs)
¼cup (50 mL) canola oil (organic)
2/3cup (150 mL) unsweetened applesauce (organic baby apple sauce - perfect size)
2/3cup (150 mL) agave syrup or honey (organic honey)
1/2cup (125 mL) toasted, chopped pecans (optional) (loved adding these)
1½cups (375 mL) fresh or frozen raspberries (organic fresh - taste was amazing)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg and oil. Whisk in applesauce and agave syrup.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet in thirds, combining until just mixed. Add nuts, if you’re using them, then gently fold in raspberries.

5. Line muffin-pan compartments with paper cups, or oil lightly, and spoon in batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and tester comes out clean. Cool on rack.

6. In 1 muffin: 198 calories, 4.4 g protein, 5.9 g fat, 35.5 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g dietary fibre

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New Designs - Organic Cotton Canvas & Hemp

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Giveaway to help raise awareness of SIDS

I found this blog whilst on Twitter and couldnt help but ball my eyes out! why you might ask? It was certainly nothing to do with the writing but all to do with the subject! (Thankfully) I have no idea how it must feel to lose a child , I can only image. The two ladies who run this blog are raising awareness of SIDS and having their first fantastic giveaway. I have been asked if I would spread the word about it, of course I said yes!
 The blog is:
City Mom, Country Mom: Who wants free stuff? - A GIVEAWAY!
here is the direct link

And here is what you could win.
Option 1: Earth Mama Angel Baby - Light of My Heart Candle
Nurturing Aromatherapy Candle
Option 2: Halo Innovations SleepSack Wearable MicroFleece Blanket
HOW TO WIN: Mandatory - Leave a comment on the blog with your name and email address, along with two simple words "I PROMISE"

What's this promise we speak of? It's a simple one really... a promise that you will share a website (no, not CityMom-CountryMom), but THIS ONE: with just ONE other person out there. Why? Because the only way we're going to help reduce the risk of SIDS and the number of babies gone too soon is by spreading awareness. So, won't you help in our fight? We hope you will!

Oh, and that's it! We don't want anything else - well, maybe just a hug :)

BUT HURRY THIS GIVEAWAY ends March 18th! - Spread the word

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Winner of Bramble Bean Wool Diaper Cover


The winner of the Bramble Bean Wool Diaper Cover is lucky number comment 118 according to Congrats!!

March 14, 2010 12:06 PM

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Maxwell Turns 3 - Its Wiggle Party Time

Yes, its true. Maxwell turned 3 just yesterday - he is a running, jumping, laughing, cheeky, chatty, odd sometimes, loveable little boy. I did say in my first post on this blog that I probably wouldn't go all out and do a theme party and all that work again - WRONG. I blame my significant other, Steve, for planting the seed. While watching Maxwell's favourite show he pipes up "Hey, I could dress up as Captain Feathersword for Maxwell's birthday - how tough could that job be!" Oh little did he know what that would mean.
So I set about making his costume. It all went really well--I think. The only thing I couldn't make or get was the hat! I looked everywhere. But I think it turned out quite well....I also thought about the 'loot bags', and how I could make them different. So this time I decided to make everyone a t-shirt with the Wiggles logo on it and deliver them the night before - that way everyone at the party would look the same and they would have a nice t-shirt to remember the day. Everyone got some bubbles at the end too.
I made the cake again, but this time it was an organic chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and cream, with chocolate frosting..yummmm.
I convinced Steve to answer the door to all our new guests and greet them as Captain Feathersword, which he relunctantly agreed to do ( I believe he secretly enjoyed it in the end). The kids had mixed feelings - the little ones crying at first but they soon got used to it. It is definalty a party we will all remember for a long time and one I have very fond memories of - Happy Birthday Maxwell - we love you! Oh no! how am I going to top this one!!!

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More New Designs

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Winner of custom made bracelet

The winner of the Fabulous Eco-friendly Find - a custom made bracelet is lucky number comment 11 according to Congrats!!

thecrunchywife wrote

I voted for you!!
March 1, 2010 10:36 AM

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New Designs - Organic Cotton Canvas

Here are some quick photos just to get a flavour of what is to come - I will add more content soon. Any comments would be welcome.

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New Designs

I am thinking about adding a new bag to my line - a small bag which can fit a diaper or 2, some wipes, a wallet, keys and phone. It would have an adjustable strap pockets too. Would anyone be interested in this type of product? What would be your price point? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you

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To celebrate Maxwell turning 3 this month Maxwell Designs is giving a limited time offer of
20% off your ENTIRE order
 Diaper Bags, Custom Made Diaper Bags , Change PadsCustom Change Pads, Baby/Toddler Slings and Onesies.
Please use max3 as your coupon code at checkout.
Happy Shopping
(price cannot be adjusted afterwards).


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Bramble Bean Wool Soaker Review & Giveaway (3/06)

When I first started down the road to finding the perfect cloth diaper for me I didnt know where to start. When I took a closer look at one of my retailers (Huckleberry Baby Shop) I came across these very cute wool covers and was immediatly drawn to how practical they were. I had been using pre-folds for a while but wasnt happy with my covers. So I purchased 3 covers just to try them out and LOVED THEM. I would throughly recommend them to anyone. I have found them extremely easy to use and clean. Shia looks super cute in them and just loves wearing them. As a side note, Melissa, the creator behind Bramble Bean, was in active labour when she was finishing off my wool covers! Way to focus Melissa.

Melissa had always loved to "give old things a new life" and started using cloth diapers when her middle son was born. With the help of her friend Cristi @ Huckleberry Baby Shop she started to research wool and how it could be used as a diaper cover. She made a pattern and set out to find a sweater to felt. Melissa likes to use only Reused-Recycled-Rescued or Repurposed materials in her projects. This is now a passion of Melissas and she is dedicated to creating eco-friendly products that are North American made.

SO MANY BENEFITS: Naturally anti-bacterial, breathable, able to absorb 30% of its own weight before it even gets damp. They are tempreture regulating and once lanolized they are water repellant, an excellent choice for sensitive skin, reduces and/or even eliminating diaper rashes. They need a little extra laundering care but do not require washing as often and are essentially self cleaning  - urine reacts with the lanolin to form a soap, only needing a gentle wash every couple of weeks, sometimes longer and are naturally odour resistant.

 How do you decide what size is right for your babies needs? Take a look at her simple sizing chart and see your options, while you're there check out her other wonderful designs and a handy guide on how to wash your covers. I personally use eucalan - a no rinse delicate wash enriched with essential oils. I use the lavender and grapefruit not just for my diapers but for sweaters too. They smell so good!
PRICE: 8/10  EASE OF USE: 9/10   LAUNDERING: 10/10
One lucky winner can find out how fantastic these wool covers are by entering to win one here.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Huckleberry Baby Shop and tell me what Bramble Bean soaker you would love - AND - visit this link and comment on another Bramble Bean product you would like to try for an additional entry.

More Additional Entries:
2. Publicly follow my blog and leave a comment telling me you follow.
3. Follow @maxwelldesigns on Twitter and tweet "I just entered to win a Wool Diaper Cover @maxwelldesigns ends 03/16 #giveaway #eco friendly #clothdiapers"
4. Subscribe to Maxwell Designs newsletter leaving a comment after you subscribe.
5. Blog about this giveaway and comment with the URL for (2) extra entries, make sure to leave seperate entries.
6. Add Maxwell Designs button to your blog or website and comment with the URL where it can be found for (3) additional entries.
7. Vote for Maxwell Designs Blog by clicking on this link Top Baby Blogs (1 entry per vote - you can vote as many times as you like) leave a seperate comment for each entry.
8. Follow Bramble Bean on Facebook leaving a comment telling me you follow.
9. Follow Maxwell Designs on Facebook leaving a comment telling me you follow.

The opinions expressed here are solely mine and I have not received any product or been paid for this giveaway.
This Giveaway will end on March 16th @ 12 noon (Pacific time). A random comment will be chosen. The winning comment will be verified at that time, so if you said you follow the blog in your comment and I don't find you in the follow list, we will choose another winner. The winner will be contacted by email the following morning and will have 48 hours to reply with their name and shipping address. If a response is not received within 48 hours the winner will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be selected. Sorry, no exceptions. Open to Canadian & American residents only

Subscribe to Maxwell Designs Blog by Email

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Save water bathe with a friend!

My littlest hobo Shia has been quite ill recently with a suspected broncial infection which has left with him with a very raspy voice, a runny nose and he is not happy AT ALL. The only time he seems to actually seems to rest is when he can sleep on Mummy. I feel like I have a newborn again which has its cute factor but also the no sleep factor that we were just getting out of.

We have always been eco-friendly when it comes to saving our water, we use a water filter, drink water from the tap, take short showers and since we have 2 small boys we bathe them together. Since Shia has been ill the bath has been a life saver for me, its a small respite from the crying and being generally unhappy. I think that we have been very lucky in that fact that both our boys love baths. There was a time in Maxwells life where he would cry the whole time he was in the bath and hated to be in it for longer than a minute. Luckily he has grown out of that phase and loves bathing with his little brother.
For me it is one of the happiest times with my boys. I don't think there is anything cuter than two of the cutest bottoms standing naked in front of a bath dying to get in and test the water. Shia is now at the stage where he is so eager to get in he lifts his leg up and tries to crawl in, we have just caught him before he goes head first into the bath on a couple of occasions as he just can't seem to wait to get in!!
I have found that no matter how sick my boys are a bath is a sure fire way to get a few minutes of no crying and perhaps a little laughter thrown in - and then I get to see the cute bums running away from the diaper afterwards which is another one of my all time favourite times with my babies.

Do you have a favourite time with your little one/s? Those first few minutes of eye rubbing when they wake up and are in your arms? waving bye bye and blowing you kisses when you have to run some errands and they watch you from the window? I would love to know.....

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Everything mom and baby: Eco Conscious Hemp Diaper Bag-Maxwell Designs

This was a wonderful review done on one of diaper bags. This bag was purchased so it is an honest and informed review. everything mom and baby: Eco Conscious Hemp Diaper Bag-Maxwell Designs

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Ahoy there my harties - fabulous shoe find

As a women I think I I lack one essential gene - I DO NOT HAVE A SHOE COLLECTION! I don't know why that is! Don't get me wrong I can appreciate a great pair of shoes as much as the next women but I maybe have 3 pairs of 'girly' shoes and 3 pairs of runners. My husband has more pairs of shoes than I do!! HOWEVER.....I am definatly making up for it with my two boys. I have lost track of the amount of shoes I have now bought them, and they are only 3yrs and 16 months. I just love the fact that (generally) they are under $40 and that I can buy good quality shoes that are actually good for my boys feet (unlike my high heels and wedged toes!).

This is my latest pair I bought for Shia, my youngest. I was immediatly drawn to the cool factor and the fact that they were leather and a great price (Jam Tots in Victoria, B.C). I absolutley adore them, and I was very surprised when they arrived in about 3 days!! I was also impressed by how super soft they were! To be honest my best friend had been talking about them for years but I had been fighting getting them as I had never heard of them before and loved my Pedipeds and Robeez. I love the fact that they actually fit Shia. I have found with every pair of my Robeez that they fit very long and boys have average size feet so when it says 16-20 months they still fit Maxwell at 36 months.

So I guess my "shoe collecting gene" was just laying dormant and waiting for my boys to arrive so I could live vicariously through them - I am loving my new gene!!

Do you have a favourite 'shoe designer' for your little one/s? Would love to know..

Features of these shoes are:
• A true soft-sole shoe that can be used Indoor and Outdoor • Non-toxic, breathable, premium 100% cowhide leather • Soft, flexible and skid resistant TPR sole • Genuine suede lining • 3mm cushioned soles and cushioned ankle protection • Ultra-light and flexible providing ultimate comfort • Velcro makes it easy to put on and stay securely in place • Perfect for pre and new walkers • Recommended by Podiatrists

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