June 1, 2007

Weekend Reading: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus

51b4dNyoX5L._AA240_.jpgRuss and I spent time last weekend cleaning the house from top to bottom, preparing for our "new arrival." I wish we'd had a copy of Green This: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

According to the description on Amazon,

Deirdre shows how cleaning house the environmentally responsible way can be as effective and often cheaper than the more traditional, toxic, means. This volume includes:

* Simple, efficient cleaning methods for every room of the house

* Spotlights on everyday products (all purpose cleaner, glass/window cleaner, laundry detergent) and the toxic ingredients you should be wary of

* Summaries of the latest research on the toxic effects of ordinary chemicals

* Resource lists of widely available "green cleaning" products and retailers

Filled with tips and testimonials, Greening Your Cleaning will show you how to streamline your cleaning products and practices, and how easy it is to make "living green" your way of life.

Buy Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 25, 2007

Weekend Reading: HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

As folks know from previous posts, we're reading all we can about natural childbirth methods. (Check out our recommended reading list and also our post about Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.)

The latest book on our bedside table? Marie F. Mongan's Hypnobirthing Guide. Taught in classes around the country, HypnoBirthing is gaining in popularity as more and more women try to reduce their chances of having an unnecessary C-section by trying for a natural childbirth. Developed by Mongan, a mother of four, the HypnoBirthing method is designed to help women and their partners get through (and escape) the pain of childbirth through self-hypnosis.

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing
includes a full introduction to the HypnoBirthing concept, the science and history behind the movement, how it should be practiced, and practical instruction for pregnancy, labor, and the birth itself. It's not meant to take the place of Mongan's classes and tapes, but it provides an excellent taste of the HypnoBirthing Method, and a great introduction to useful techniques and exercises that any woman interested in natural childbirth can employ.

Buy HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 11, 2007

Weekend Reading: Itty Bitty Hats: Knitting Patterns for Baby Hats

51JVQ6ET3ML._AA240_.jpgHas the baby bootie knitting bug bitten any other pregnant women out there? I've been itching to start knitting something adorable for my baby-to-be.

Luckily, I've got a co-worker who works at a Yarn Store, and she just brought me Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. It's full of easy-to-knit patterns for all kinds of cute-abulous baby hats. The photos are terrific and the instructions are easy to follow.

I picked up some Manos Del Uruguay cotton Stria yarn and am on my way to a striped stocking cap in itsy-bitsy size. Can't wait to meet the little person whose head it's going to fit on.

Buy Itty Bitty Hats.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 8, 2007

Natural Childbirth Recommended Reading

pregnancy2.jpgWe went to our first natural childbirth class today at Isis Maternity. Susan, the teacher, was terrific. A midwife by training, she'd planned a homebirth for her own child, but , after three days of labor, had ended up delivering at the hospital and having a C-section. (Oddly, I found her story incredibly reassuring - further confirmation that babies come out in all different ways despite the best planning, training and intentions.)

Anyway, here are Susan's recommendations of some of the best natural childbirth books. Some -- like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Thinking Woman's Guide -- were familiar to me; others were new. We'll have to check 'em out.

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin - So many of the books on pregnancy and natural childbirth are focused on the mother's experience. This book is written for her partner -- spouse, significant other, friend -- and focuses on preparing for the birth, helping labor get started, early labor, the stages of labor, strategies for special situations, the medical side of childbirth, and ways to assist after the birth.

Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz - England is a registered nurse and certified nurse midwife. She developed the "birthing from within" approach in a series of birthing classes to help mothers reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. Her book is a collection of methods that have been used for class participants. A lot of folks recommend this book in conjunction with Ina May.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - I blogged about Ina May last month and am so grateful to Julie for telling me about her. The first half of the book is dedicated to women's birth stories -- positive, empowering stories -- the exact opposite of what you're probably getting from well-intentioned friends and family and depictions of birth on TV. If you're at all worried about what childbirth will be like -- what it's actually like -- and want to read something that will give you positive images to inspire you, get this book immediately.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

April 20, 2007

Weekend Reading: Amazon's Earth Day Reading List

Earth Day is big this year. Amazon has celebrated by creating a list of planet-friendly products from throughout their store.

I like their list of eco-friendly books and magazines, including This Moment on Earth by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, Design Like You Give a Damn by Architects for Humanity, and The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy.

Check out Amazon's whole Earth Day reading list. Browse through their whole list of planet-friendly products at Amazon .

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

April 13, 2007

Weekend Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

0553381156.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIlitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_SH20_.jpgYou won't be surprised to learn that Russ and I are hoping for a natural childbirth. Other than pre-natal massage, my best discovery so far (thanks to Erin and Julie!) is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery, is one of the country's best known midwives. She practices on The Farm, a Tennessee commune where she and her colleagues have attended more than 2000 births. Their cesarean rate is among the lowest in the country; they're also one of the only places that delivers breech babies vaginally.

But that's not what makes Ina May's Guide to Childbirth so fantastic.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

April 6, 2007

Weekend Reading: Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry

1580086187_01__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_SH20_.jpgA Really Natural reader recently recommended Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian. We can understand why.

Vegetarianism is the new Prius, right?

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

March 30, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

0060852550.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_V42265610_-1.jpgI'm a fan of several of Barbara Kingsolver's novels, including The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and Pigs in Heaven. And now, together with her daughter, Camille, she's written her first non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, a recounting of her family's move from the Arizona desert to a family farm in Appalachia.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

March 28, 2007

Five Favorite Organic Gardening Books

Spring is here! Planning your summer garden? Here are a handful of our favorite natural and organic gardening books.

1. Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener - The Bible of organic gardening. They don't call it an encyclopedia for nothing.

2. Eliot Coleman's The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener (A Gardener's Supply Book) - I had the opportunity to work with Eliot when I was in high school at The Mountain School in Vermont. He's a living legend in the world of organics, and with good reason. (If you already have a copy of The New Organic Grower, pick up Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long (Paperback). If Coleman can grown vegetables year-round (in Maine, no less!), you can, too.

3. The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy Without Chemicals (Paperback) - A great reference, focused not only on how to keep pests and diseases out of your garden, but how to get rid of them if they're there.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

March 27, 2007

Latest Harry Potter Goes Green

0545010225.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_V24367846_.jpgNormally I like to write about books whose topics are eco-friendly. But in this case, I'll make an exception. Grist reports that the new (and seventh) book in the Harry Potter series is going green.

Is Draco Malfoy green with envy, or is it just the paper he's printed on? With only 121 days until the last Harry Potter book hits the shelves (not that we're counting), U.S. publisher Scholastic has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to green up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The 784-page book will have a first printing of 12 million copies in the U.S., and nearly two-thirds of the 16,700 tons of paper used will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as coming from sustainable timber.

Pre-order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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