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On Planning a Green Wedding - Selecting a Caterer

August 23, 2012 | posted by Emily | 0 Comments

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When we selected our venue, we were excited about supporting a local, sustainable organic farm that has a community supported agriculture program. In keeping with the theme of staying local, we discovered that our venue had three recommended caterers who are committed to using local ingredients from the Maine coast. After a lot of consideration, we decided to go with Belle Fete Group, whose founder Lori Kinkade has been an absolute pleasure to work with.

While our menu hasn't been finalized, we know that it will include whatever veggies are being harvested at the time of our big day, as well as Maine-brewed beer. In addition to the local ingredients, Belle Fete values providing guests with a taste of Maine. Somehow we will incorporate lobster as well as blueberries, since the lovely Pine Tree state is known for having the largest blueberry and lobster harvests. 

Not only does Belle Fete prefer to keep it local but they are also a green caterer with a green policy that includes:

  • Composting their scraps from the kitchen
  • Recycling all plastic, metal and cardboard containers
  • Using biodegradable plastic at their events
  • Using Bamboo plates
  • Donating leftovers to the Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program

For more info see: Belle Fete Events & Catering

I'm excited to be working with such a lovely catering company that not only provides excellent customer services but is also eco-friendly.



On Planning a Green Wedding

June 20, 2012 | posted by Emily | 0 Comments

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Last month I got engaged. (Thank you! Thank you!)

The past month has probably been the most exciting time of my life filled with love, joy and a lot of planning. Initially I had the mindset that I was going to enjoy our engagement for a while and wait to begin planning our big day. But when husband-to-be began the conversations about picking a wedding date before my head even hit the pillow the night we got engaged, I knew I was in for it.

Luckily, we have the same vision for a theme for “the” day - rustic, barn wedding. I had spent a significant portion of my life on a dairy farm that not only had cows but also raised chickens, pigs, produce and hay. Most of my adult life has been spent living an urban lifestyle in Boston, MA but I have always held a special place in my heart for country living.

The day after he proposed, Chris began scouring the web for weddings on farms, trying to find any place in the northeast that was a barn venue and wasn’t outrageously priced.

One place we considered was the Peabody Historical Society’s Smith Barn - a venue located in Peabody, MA that is surrounded by 250 acres of orchards and conservation land. Rental fees support the mission of the Society in preserving and promoting Peabody’s history.

Photo courtesy of Geneve Rege

Another place we considered was Wells Reserve at Laudholm in Wells, Maine.

Located on coastal Maine, Wells Reserve at Laudholm is an estuary research reserve that is listed on the historic places register and offers its land and barn as a wedding venue.

Photo Courtesy of C.A. Smith Photography

While these venues are beautiful and met our vision of getting married outside and in/near a barn, what we really wanted was a D-I-Y type of venue.

Chris went back to the web, scouring it for hours until he finally found it: Broadturn Farm.

Photo Courtesy of Broadturn Farm

Located in Scarborough, ME, Broadturn Farm is a community supported agriculture farm that grows organic vegetables, strawberries, some poultry, turkey, lamb and pork. They also grow flowers - one of the more exciting crops for me since Stacy, who runs the farm with her husband John, will use the  flowers from the farm's gardens for beautiful wedding flower arrangements.  

 Photo Courtesy of Broadturn Farm

Along with including the farm’s own cut flowers on the wedding day, there are three recommended caterers that use local ingredients in preparing the food for the event. The companies ensure that when possible, they use ingredients from Broadturn Farm. Next on our list to do is taste all the yummy food these caterers have to offer, and then make our selection!

Wedding planning is so fun! I’ll be sure to keep you updated as our plans evolve...

 

Emily

Emily - Guest Blogger

Emily lives in Boston, MA with her fiance Chris and their furry child, Stoli. Newly engaged, Emily is planning her wedding on an organic farm with the goal of making as many eco-friendly decisions as possible. Besides wedding planning, Emily enjoys working out, reading, and blogging.



My favorite eco-friendly baby items: Meal Time

June 11, 2012 | posted by ecomodish | 0 Comments

 Categories: Baby    Tags:

I wanted to write, one of my first posts in quite a while, about a topic that has pretty much consumed my days for the last 11 months - baby products! I recently had my first baby in the spring, and while taking a break from posting on Ecomodish, I have been spending loads of time finding non-toxic and eco-friendly baby gear for my son, Eli. So I've compiled a list of baby products that I own or use, to share with you. I have lots to share, so I'm going to break the list down into smaller themed installments - this first is all about...meal time!

OXO Tot Sprout Chair

When Eli turned 6 months old, we decided it was finally time to get a high chair. And I knew I wanted to get one that would not only be safe, but would also fit in with our decor and grow with him. The OXO Tot Sprout Chair met all my requirements, plus more - it is BPA-free, phthalate-free and PVC-free, has a space-saving, modern design with wood legs and it holds children from six months to 5 years. The chair was very easy to assemble, and as he grows, the quick release buttons will allow me to easily adjust the seat height and footrest without tools. But right now, my favorite features are the one-handed tray removal/adjustment and the easy to wipe clean seat cushions, straps and tray - which make this highchair so easy to use on a daily basis.

 

Mimi the Sardine Coated Organic Cotton Messy Baby Bib with Sleeves

Daily after meal wardrobe changes and piles of food-stained shirts got me searching for a better bib alternative. While browsing Amazon.com, I came across the Mimi the Sardine Coated Organic Cotton Bib with Sleeves and knew that we needed to try it - and I'm so glad we did. Eli's first meal wearing his new coated sleeved bib was a total success - no food on his shoulders, neckline or sleeves - and no new outfit needed! The coated organic cotton wipes clean for upcoming meals - and it also washes well. Although it takes a little extra effort to put this bib on a squirmy infant and it takes a little elbow grease to wipe clean, its totally worth it to cut back on all the extra soap and water needed to wash all those food-laden shirts.

 

OXO Tot Feeding Spoons

We have several different types of feeding spoons, but these are by far our favorite. The OXO Tot Feeding Spoons are a perfectly angled and weighted for easy feeding - the food wipes off the spoon easily into my son's mouth and it balances steadily in the bowl between bites. The soft silicone is gentle on Eli's baby gums and teeth - and it works like a teeny tiny spatula to softly clean food off his face, as well as out of the bowl. And now that he likes to try to self-feed, the wide handle is easy for him to grasp. 

 

Do you have any green baby products for meal time that you can't live without? Leave a comment and let us know what eco baby products are your favorites...



Follow Ecomodish on Bloglovin

June 10, 2012 | posted by ecomodish | 0 Comments

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If you are familiar with bloglovin', and use it to follow your favorite blogs, you'll be happy to know that Ecomodish blog is on bloglovin'!

bloglovin

If you aren't familiar with it, and you have a list of blogs that you read daily, here is a brief overview of why bloglovin' might be helpful to you:

"We created bloglovin´ so you wouldn’t have to visit un-updated blogs, open ten windows in your browser, or forget your favorite blogs web-addresses. With bloglovin´ we wanted to make your blog reading fun and easy. Sign up, add all the blogs you want to follow, and then you’ll get notified every time one of your favorite blogs has written a new blog post. Both on the web and on your iPhone or Android phone."

So check out bloglovin', and be sure to follow Ecomodish blog!



Get Pampered While Staying Green in Massachusetts: Green Spas Near Boston

May 17, 2012 | posted by Emily | 0 Comments

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Eco Spas & Salons in Boston Area

We all like to get pampered now and again. Wouldn't it be nice to indulge in spa services while being a little gentler on the environment? If you're in the Boston area, here are four spas that operate a little greener:

 

1. Roffi Salon & Day Spa

134 Newbury Street
Boston, MA
617-536-9600
www.roffisalon.com
info@michaelroffi.com

The Roffi Salon is located right on Boston's enchanting Newbury Street. Not only does the spa offer eco-friendly products, but it also addresses other earthly concerns such as energy conservation, eliminating waste and supporting free trade products.

Services:

Hair Coloring, Cut, Perm, Highlights, Updos, Straightening
Skin Facials, Makeup, Eyelash Application
Nails Manicure, Pedicure

Other Green Features: (taken directly from the website)

  • Operate on 100% on wind-generated energy
  • Recycle newspapers, cardboard, magazines, plastic, paper & metal
  • Recycle hair coloring materials such as color tubes, canisters & foils
  • Energy efficient washer, dryer, dishwasher
  • Eco-friendly cleaning products and filtered water (not bottled)
  • Electric hand dryers instead of paper towels
  • Energy saving light bulbs & low voltage fluorescent lights
  • Serve 100% free trade coffee
  • Glasses and porcelain mugs for water & coffee

Products:

Aquage, Bio.Ionic, Minardi, Davines, Dr. Hauschka, JOICO, Goldwell

 

2. Daryl Christopher Wellness Salon and Day Spa

840 Winter Street
Waltham, MA
781-890-9211
www.dchristopher.com
office@dchristopher.com

Situated about 30 minutes west of Boston, Daryl Christopher Wellness Salon and Day Spa offers an array of services for the hair, face, hands and feet. Their green services include but are not limited to natural Keratin treatments, paper hair highlighting (rather than foil), and organic hair facials.

Services:

Hair Coloring, Cut, Perm, Highlights, Updos, Straightening
Skin Facials, Photolight Therapy, Makeup and Eyelash Application, Microdermabrasion, Peels
Nails Manicure, Pedicure
Body Exfoliation, Massage, Body Wrap, Bronzing
Hair Removal Waxing

Products:

302 Skincare

 

3. Skin Innovations

1149 Walnut Street
Newton, MA
617-332-SKIN
www.skininnovations.com
info@skininnovations.com

Located about 20 minutes west of Boston in Newton, MA, Skin Innovations partnered up with various eco-friendly products including Jane Iredale makeup (participants of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics), and Pevonia Botanica.

Services:

Skin Facials, Makeup, Eyelash Application, Peels
Nails Manicure, Pedicure
Body Exfoliation, Massage, Body Wrap
Hair Removal Waxing, Threading

Products:

Pevonia Botanica, Jane Iredale

 

4. Four Elements Salon and Spa

627 College Highway (Rt.10)
Ryan's Professional Center, Southwick, MA 01077
413-569-4004
www.4elementssalon.com
natural@4elementssalon.com

Four Elements Salon and Spa is dedicated to providing its clients with family and environmentally friendly salon by using only certified organic products and by promoting patronage of local businesses.

Services:

Hair Coloring, Cut, Perm, Highlights, Updos, Straightening
Skin Facials, Makeup
Body Massage
Hair Removal Waxing

Products:

Organic Salon Systems (certified organic ingredients, no ammonia, parabens, formaldehyde, plastics, SLS, or thioglycolates, 100% vegan friendly, fair trade) Earthly Body, Simply Organic

 

All of the above spas offer different services and boast their eco-friendliness by offering green beauty products and/or operating their facilities conservatively. Do you patronize eco-friendly salons or spas? Tell us about them!



Jess' Bee Natural Lip Balm & Shea Butter Lotion

Jess' Bee Natural Lip Balm & Shea Butter Lotion

I recently received some complimentary samples from Jess' Bee Natural, and started on my mission to test them out. I received 3 flavors of Natural Lip Balm and a sample of Shea Butter Lotion. I was excited to give them a try because: 1) I'm always on the look out for the best moisturizing lip balm and 2) my hands were super dry this winter - the skin was actually flaking right off!

I've been using Jess' Bee Natural Lip Balm and Shea Butter Lotion for just over 6 weeks now and am happily impressed. I'm also impressed that all of the ingredients used in Jess' Bee Natural products are pure and natural, chosen for their healing and moisturizing properties; they are produced in small batches and are hand poured to ensure their quality; and all of their 18 products scored in range from 0-1 in the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

Shea Butter Lotion

I started my testing by exfoliating my hands with some turbinado sugar and water to remove the dead skin, and while my hands were still moist with water, I applied the Shea Butter Lotion. Because the lotion is more of a salve or balm consistency, I found that applying the lotion to moist hands after washing really helps it absorb into my hands much better. The first few days I needed to apply the lotion after every hand washing – then after about a week the dry, peeling, flaking skin on my hands appeared healed and moist. Now I just apply twice a day, and my hands are soft - no flaky dry skin.

Natural Lip Balm

I had just run out of my current lip balm, so I was happy to get started on the three flavors of Jess' Bee Natural Lip Balm - Grapefruit, Peppermint and Natural. All three use the same simple, natural base of ingredients - sweet almond oil, beeswax, soybean oil, shea butter and vitamin E - which goes on smooth and softens fairly well. I use the Natural every night right before bed and it keeps my lips from drying out before morning. The Grapefruit offers a sweet, fresh scent that adds a little brightness to a winter day, but I think my favorite is the Peppermint. The Peppermint has a slight tingle when applied and a clean, cool scent which reminds me of minty toothpaste - I know this sounds weird but I really like it!

My Conclusions

Shea Butter Lotion - rating: * * * *

Although the Shea Butter Lotion isn't the typical creamy moisturizer that we have all been trained to expect, I really love the results I got from using it. The formula only includes sweet almond oil, raw shea butter, vitamin E - no water - which results in a balm-like lotion that creates a moisture barrier on the skin. On the same note, my only negative would be that when applied to dry hands it seems to sort of sit on the surface of your skin leaving a greasy layer. But its easy enough to just wet your hands right before applying, in order for it to work great. I would highly recommend this as a dry skin treatment. I rate the Shea butter lotion 4 out of 5 because it doesn't apply well to dry skin.

Natural Lip Balm - rating: * * * *

The Natural Lip Balm is a perfectly effective daily lip moisturizer. It applies easily and keeps lips hydrated for a worthy amount of time. I use lip balm many times a day, so I'm happy that it contains a short and simple list of safe ingredients. I rate the lip balm a 4 out of 5 stars because although it works well, I have used other lip balms that I like just as well.

Safe Cosmetics

Jess' Bee Natural is a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and are up-to-date on all requirements of a Full Member Status. This means that all of their products are free of the over 1,100 toxic ingredients banned from personal care products by the EU; they disclose all ingredients on product labels and on their website; they engage in at least one Campaign activity annually; and they comply with ingredient prohibitions and restrictions recommended or mandated by national health agencies overseeing cosmetics safety, including the U.S., Canada, the E.U. and Japan, as well as additional ingredient prohibitions and restrictions endorsed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.



Trade-up Your Old Bridesmaid Dress for a New Little Black Dress

May 10, 2011 | posted by ecomodish | 0 Comments

 Categories: Fashion, Green Weddings    Tags: ,

Little Black Dress

I wanted to share with you a new site that launched today, NEWLYMAID.com. They offer a unique way to trade up a bridesmaid dress after a wedding for a new little black dress that can be worn for any occasion. NEWLYMAID is the first service of its kind to offer women a way to enjoy savings, reduce their carbon footprint, help others in need, and get a fabulous dress they can wear for any occasion.

NEWLYMAID accepts bridesmaid dresses and special occasion dresses from ANY designer brand. In return, you get a special 30 - 50% credit value towards a new 'any occasion' black dress. The little black dresses can be styled to work for many occasions from a sophisticated office look to flirty looks fit for a night on the town.

The gently worn bridesmaid and special occasion dresses will either be donated to charity or recycled. Dresses which are suitable for reuse will be donated to Clothes4Souls. Clothes4Souls brings shoes and apparel to people in need around the world. NEWLYMAID will also work with UNIFI to recycle qualifying dresses that are 100% polyester. And, future NEWLYMAID styles offered will include REPREVE (R)- recycled fibers made by Unifi.

If you have an old bridesmaid or special occasion dresses just hanging around in your closet, visit NEWLYMAID and send in your old dress for credit towards a new little black dress perfect for work, brunch, or girl's night out.



Inspired Style: Vintage Wedding Dresses & Accessories

March 21, 2011 | posted by ecomodish | 2 Comments

 Categories: Green Weddings    Tags:

While browsing Etsy for some handcrafted goodies I decided to try out creating a Treasury List for you all, and opted for a theme of Vintage Inspired Weddings because there are just so many amazing vintage and handmade wedding dresses and accessories to choose from. Enjoy!

Twigs & Honey

Twigs & Honey - Handcrafted wedding hair accessories, veils, tiaras and garters.


Chloe AND Maddie

Chloe & Maddie - Vintage inspired wedding hair accessories, shoe clips and other wedding accessories.


Isadora Clothing

Isadora Clothing - Convertible dresses, for brides and bridesmaids, available in Eco Jersey (organic cotton and bamboo blends).


Primitive Pin Cushion

Primitive Pin Cushion - Antique jewelry and vintage inspired jewelry created with vintage beads and findings.

View all these vintage and vintage inspired wedding dresses and accessories on Etsy.



Eco-Chic Wood Bangles from Mango Tree

February 21, 2011 | posted by ecomodish | 0 Comments

 Categories: Fashion    Tags: ,

Mango Tree Eco Chic Bangles

Mango Tree offers hand-carved, hand-painted, wood bangle bracelets made from organic Grade A mango trees that are only timbered for use when the tree can no longer yield fruit. Mango Tree believes that every little bit helps, which is why they recycle and use natural materials for their eco-friendly, handmade jewelry. Mango Tree also donates a portion of their proceeds to various charities. Each month a different organization is chosen to donate to - February 2011 is The American Heart Association.

Each Mango Tree bangle bracelet is designed and painted using special techniques and colors. Colors and patterns vary from bangle to bangle, making every bangle bracelet unique. Mango Tree offers their eco-chic bangles in 3 styles, 50 colors and 4 sizes. The multitude of colors guarantees a perfect compliment to any outfit.

Mango Tree Bangle Bracelet Combinations

Check out Mango Tree's hot color combinations. Or try out their Mix & Match section, designed to allow you to play with endless color and style combinations. They even have an option to select skintone, so you can see what colors will look best on you.



Daily Deals from Socially & Eco Conscious Companies

Pure Citizen - Daily Deals on Eco-Conscious Products

It seems that sites offering daily deals are smokin' hot these days and Pure Citizen has added a cool twist. They feature daily deals on clothing, jewelry, handbags, makeup, home accessories and even stationery from companies that are making the world a better place. At Pure Citizen you'll find green products at up to 90% off that are organic, fair trade, vegan, sustainable, recycled, natural and handcrafted. Each sale only lasts for 72 hours with limited quantities from eco brands including Nicole Bridger, Good Society, Priti NY, Hovey Lee and more. Each sale can also benefit a non-profit organization of the featured brand's choice, so you can opt to donate a percentage of your savings to that day's non-profit.

You have to join Pure Citizen to access the deals, but such huge savings with the opportunity to give back are more than worth it.