Jess is unplugging!

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Jess is unplugging from Fb for a month! It has been an amazing year for me, one that is going to be hard to top but I sure will try! I’m a low tech Blogger Mama, I do not have a smart phone, have not had cable TV my adult life (I’m 37), no ipad.. So when I decide to unplug, I truly do unplug. I hope many of you will do the same, even if just for a day or 2! It has been an amazing year, here are a few top highlights:

At the end of Jan I blew the whistle on Ava Anderson, the worst greenwasher in the history of greenwashing, in my opinion. I heard from a college professor who was teaching a lesson on greenwashing, and was using this as an example! It was something that was not just months in the making, but years in the making and was a huge weight to get lifted off my chest, even though there was a bit, Ok a lot, of drama surrounding the event. You can read a summary here:  http://www.swnews4u.com/archives/30214/

In May I was blessed to be able to fly to NJ & attend the Poofy Organics Annual Conference- As most of you know, I’ve been a Poofy Organics Guide for 2.5 years now. I 1st fell in love with the line 3.5 years ago, so it was amazing to be able to meet the founder & owner of the company,  her family, and many of my fellow Poofy Guides. I was honored to speak at the conference on the topic of Be the Change, something near & dear to my heart.

May was a huge month as I was also followed around by a producer from WI Public TV. A week after they contacted me to let me know they wanted to feature me on their WI Life show, they were here to film.  They followed me around for 5 hrs, and in Nov. this 5 min episode came out J It is truly one of the greatest honors of my life to be featured on WI Public TV. http://www.wisconsinlife.org/story/natural-and-organic-product-blogger-exposes-greenwashing

Summer was amazing, with late nights catching fireflies with my kiddos, lots of swimming, camping trips…. I hated to see it end & am eagerly awaiting this coming summer!

Annnnnnnd: we’re going to Mexico in 2 weeks! We do not live on credit, we only charge what we can pay off that month (and take advantage of the points earned for charging!), so we’ve been saving for some time to make this happen. I will be away for 2 weeks in January which is very exciting as Jan is a long, cold month here in WI. I flew 3 times with my Son when he was under 2. He’s now 5.5 & has not been on a plane since. My daughter who is 3.5 has never flown. So this is a big deal. Wish me luck J  We’re spending 4 nights in a super fancy all-inclusive outside of Cancun, then a week on more laid back Isla Mujeres. I majored in Spanish education, but haven’t used my Spanish much since finishing up my student teaching then having my Son & deciding to not pursue teaching. I’m in love with the language & the culture (I know, Cancun isn’t a highlight of Latino culture) & am looking forward to exploring the grand ruins & soaking up some sun, sand & lots & lots of family time. My Dad & StepMom will be joining us for our week on Isla, in their own room in the villa we’re staying at. So Hubby & I may even get a date night ♥

 

Projects I’ll be working on during my non-Facebook time:

Toys by age list—I have my Safe Toys master list, but I’ve been meaning to break it down a bit more with my favorites by age & by vendor. My kiddos are now 3 & almost 6, I have a 1 & 4 year old nephew & niece, so I have lots of great ideas & I know it’ll be helpful to those not sure where to start. Here’s the Master list at this time: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/made-in-usa-2/toy-list/

Companies to look into—I have a To Do list of companies to look into, company X comes up & I don’t always have time to look on the spot so I’ve been making a list & will be updating that Master list.

BUYING CLUB:  It is a ton of work but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. While they just take place quarterly, they end up stretching 2 months from the time I start taking orders, to the time I send out the last items from that order. I take orders for 2 weeks, spend days consolidating orders to then submit to the vendors. I have a few days of down time, then shipments start arriving daily. I start packing orders once I have all items needed from 25+ vendors. I spend days packing, invoicing, printing shipping labels, making trips to my post office. Then the paperwork, filing insurance claims for the few products that didn’t make it, having new product sent out… But the THANK YOU’S I start receiving when people get their box.  Being surrounded by all that great product & packing each individual box full of what I consider to be the safest products on the market. THAT is why I do it. And I look forward to 4 more orders in 2017! They happen in Feb, May, Aug, Nov, with delivery the beginning of the following month.

I’ve already secured 3 brand new, exciting vendors & am working on at least 1 more!

–Salonsolids, you can read my recent review here: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2016/12/10/salonsolids-review/

–Urban Baby Bonnets: http://urbanbabybonnets.com/

–Starlight Amber— She will offer a selection of her gorgeous jewelry to us, here’s an example of her work: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StarlightAmber

Also, I’m going to be looking into FedEx as well as other ways I can save money on shipping for the buying club. USPS rates are going up yet AGAIN in January (by some percentage, probably small but still, it is already quite expensive). I’ll be investigating Stamps.com & other programs out there that can hopefully save y’all some money getting your buying club box. I charge you exactly what it costs me to ship, and am hoping to bring that cost down.

I know this is a tough time of year for many. It’s not all cheer & joy. Families are struggling for a variety of reasons. Those who’ve lost loved ones can find this time of year especially difficult to cope with. My 1st cousins just lost their 1st cousin on the other side of the family who they were very close with due to a car accident. Syria and Standing Rock are both weighing heavy on my heart. While this has been an amazing year for me & my family on a personal, local level, there is a lot going on in the world that brings me great sorrow. I’m looking forward to down time. Yes, total down time. Completely unplugging for days at a time. Sled riding, hot cocoa, Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, train tracks, sheet fort building, new Christmas toys to play with… These are things I’m looking forward to very much. As well as many Birthday celebrations: My Hubby’s is on the 23rd, his Mom’s is the 25th, 2 good friends on the 26th, a few in early January. So many blessings!

I thank you all for taking the time to read this. For being involved in this wonderful online community we’ve built. At the end of February, on 2/22/17, my original page (the non-closed group), will be 5 years old! I’m approaching ½ a decade as a blogger, and that wouldn’t be the case if no one cared what I had to say. I truly believe it does take a village to raise a child, and for many of us, we’ve found our tribe online in addition to locally. My breast-feeding, baby-wearing days are over. Current topics I’m immersing myself in are treating Lyme’s naturally (after my Son was diagnosed and we’re on round 2 of antibiotics), homeschooling, safe toys for the 6+ crowd. There’s always something that needs more research, no matter how old our kiddos. I have no co-admins, it’s just me. If anyone out there who has young kids & has time (I know, doesn’t seem possible, but it is) to submit some of the hot, new products on the market, I’d sure appreciate it. There are so many topics of interest out there & just not enough hours in the day for me to cover them myself. I’d love for contributing authors to share what you’ve spent hours researching. Have a topic you’re passionate about? Put what you know into words & share it!   In the spirit of collaboration, community, peace & love, I look forward to all that 2017 has in store for us!

There is a TON of info on my blog: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/

My original Fb page, which they finally added a search bar to, yay! Or you can scan the timeline, going way back to my 1st ever posts if you want: https://www.facebook.com/Eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-MADE-in-the-USA-397517646930548/

I will be checking my email occasionally, except for while in Mexico, so if you NEED to get in touch, do so here: ecofriendlymamausa@gmail.com

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