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Archive for September, 2011

Nana’s Rice!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Hannah is having so much fun in the kitchen helping us prepare our meals! It’s amazing to see her kitchen skills improving each time! At first it was a bit scary to see her using a knife so close to her cute little fingers :) But like most things practice makes progress!  I’m sure one day she’ll be chopping and dicing like a pro!  Learning how to cook and how to use kitchen gear is such a valuable skill to pass on to our kids!

Washing and drying our hands is always the first step to any meal!

Fresh from Nana’s garden!

Chopping chopping chopping!

Adding chopped onions with a little help from daddy!

In goes the rice!

Stirring it up!


Passing down special family recipes is a wonderful benefit of cooking with kids!  Now that we know Nana’s rice recipe we think of her every time we make it!

Happy Healthy Eating

Kia Robertson is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Kia is passionate about creating tools that help parents raise healthy kids!

Craft: How to Make a Halloween Tree

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

By Lynn

Last winter, with my husband’s help–OK, OK, all I did was supervise, i.e. tell him what to do–we made a dowel Christmas tree. At the time I thought we could use it for any holiday, but of course, I forgot about most of them until last weekend when we were celebrating my two granddaughters’ birthdays.

I brought out the tree and a mass of pre-used items including:

  • bottle caps
  • silver foil
  • pipe cleaners
  • paper
  • “jewels”
  • wooden beads
  • wire
  • paperclips
  • bolts

..and lots of other odds and ends.

I set everything on the table and the kids (and a few grownups), had a ball making ornaments for the tree.

Here’s the overall result:

And here are just a few of the ornaments:


Everyone had a ball! Even our grandson who isn’t usually into art projects, spent at least an hour hunched over his work and came up with, among other items, the skeleton above.

If you have a Halloween party coming up and you’re thinking about activities, consider something like this. You don’t have to make the tree. Just get a branch, put it in a bucket filled with rocks and start decorating!

Corey did a segment on the news here in Seattle, that included the Halloween tree. And I’m already thinking about repeating this activity for Thanksgiving!

If you have made something similar, we’d love to see pictures!

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

Halloween costumes to DIY for!

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

by Corey

Remember when you were a kid and Mom made your costumes each year?

… That is until she determined that you were old enough to craft your own.

OK, so my first attempt at costume design left a little to be desired, but at least my get-up made a big impression.

Over the years, we’ve shared posts of our favorite handmade costumes, but now we invite you to share yours! Post your pics on our Facebook page and inspire others! Imagine the memories you’ll be helping to create.

Celebrate Green’s DIY Costume Round Up

DIY costume: Little Viking

DIY for Mom, Dad & Baby: Griffin Family

Goodwill Get-Up: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Celebrate Green’s fave picks for DIY costumes for grown-ups

… And one of my all-time favorites… This Adorable (upcycled) Owl Costume

Green Halloween® is a nationwide non-profit initiative started by mother-daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell. In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom® Alliance and has events in cities across the U.S.


Craft: Easy Halloween Countdown Calendar Banner

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

By Lynn

I love countdown calendars like the one that has become a Christmas tradition in our family, because they allow the excitement before any holiday or celebration to build and also can help families create a bit of together time in the midst of busy lives.

For Halloween this year, I decided to combine a count down calendar with a banner/bunting, for a unique, interactive decoration.

I made 31 paper pockets, each with a number between one and 31 (for the days leading up to Halloween). Each can contain a “love note,” an idea for a family activity or a small healthy treat or treasure. All are attached to a length of ribbon with clothespins. String the ribbon like a banner in a child’s or family room.

Each evening, gather the family, pull the slip of paper from the dated pocket and unclip the pocket from the ribbon. Store everything to be brought out next year on October 1.

In making the banner, I wanted to use only what I had on hand. So while I’ll give directions for the calendar banner below, know that you don’t have to do it the way I did. I’ll even point out alternatives to some of what I used. Hopefully there will be no need to hit any stores to complete your own masterpiece!


16 pieces of black heavy weight 8.5×11 paper cut into 31 pieces 4″x8.5″  I was fortunate in that a friend of mine had stopped scrapbooking and gave me lots of paper including an unopened package of black cardstock which is what I used. Of course you can choose other colors or designs from what you have on hand.

Pumpkin and cat stamps (Again, choose or make stamps with a Halloween theme.)

1 piece each, orange and yellow heavy weight paper

Black stamp pad (or paint)

Stapler (Or use tape or a glue gun.)

Small embroidery type scissors

Pop dots (Or something that will make the pumpkins and cats stand 1/2 inch off the paper. I had some of these dots, but when I ran out, I used small pieces of cardboard as spacers.)

31 spring type clothes pins (I have these and use them regularly. I don’t care whether they’re decorated or not so I just used what I had on hand. If you don’t have any, you could punch a hole in the pockets and add a ribbon or string to hang or maybe you have some clip type curtain rings or bent paper clips.)

Burnt orange paint

1/2″ wide paint brush

Variety of orange and black ribbon

Number stickers from 1 to 31. (I had an odd assortment of number stickers so I used those. You could also write the number with a white pen, cut them from magazines and newspapers or stamp with white paint.)

Other stickers and ephemera like sparkly gemstones, buttons, feathers etc.


How to:

1. Fold one piece of cut paper into a cylinder with a diameter of about 1.5″-2″ .

2. Staple once inside where paper overlaps, then on the outside, press down on the bottom of the cylinder and staple twice. (If you prefer something neater you could use double stick tape or glue inside. Personally I like the look of the staples.) Make 30 more cylinders. (By the way, you also could use toilet paper roles and paint them as was done on this wonderful countdown calendar from Maya Made which was an inspiration as I made this one. Unfortunately for me, the TP we buy sticks to the tube making it difficult to impossible to remove it and interfering with the painting idea.)

4. To make the pumpkins and cats, decide how many you want of each, then stamp on yellow and orange paper and cut out with embroidery scissors making sure to leave a little bit of the paper at the edge as you cut. If you cut without that edge, when you glue them to the black paper, you won’t see the whole shape.

5. Attach pumpkins and cats to pockets using pop dots.

6. Stick numbers on the pockets and add other stickers and ephemera as desired.

7. Paint one side of clothespins with burnt orange paint. Let dry.

8. On some clothespins, tie bows. On others, glue ribbon the length of the pin over the paint. You also can add rhinestones, buttons or anything else that fits with your theme.

9. Lay out the 31 pockets side by side and stretch a piece of ribbon or string the length of all the pockets adding about 12″ at each end.

10. Tie each end of the ribbon to 2 post or nails, then attach the pockets in order.


If you make a similar calendar banner please share it with us.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.



Join our National #CostumeSwap Day Twitter Party! 9/27/11

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011


Kick off the Halloween season with a

National #CostumeSwap Day Twitter party!

Save money, reduce waste & have F-U-N.

Hashtag: #CostumeSwap

Follow: @CostumeSwapDay

September 27, 2011  6-7pm PST

Get tips & tricks:

  • How to host a costume swap
  • Getting the most out of attending a swap
  • Ideas for a waste-less, spend-less holiday that keeps all the fun

WIN: Great, green prizes from Kiwi magazine, Nature’s Path, Revolution Foods, Celebrate Green! and Angell Bar. (To be eligible to win, you must enter your Twitter handle in the comment section, below.)


Special Guests:

Hosted by: The Smart Mama


How to join the party:

1. RSVP by adding your Twitter handle (@YourName) to the comment section below (only those who RSVP are eligible to win prizes)

2. Join or log on to Twitter

3. Follow @CostumeSwapDay

4. Use hashtag (#) #CostumeSwap to “chat” in the party and to follow other participant’s posts

Hint: You may find it easiest to use a (free) program such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck to participate. New to twitter parties? Do a quick Internet search for “how to participate in a Twitter party” and you’ll find dozens of tutorials.

RSVP by adding your Twitter handle in a comment and enter to win great, green prizes*!

*One entry per Twitter Handle. Most prizes will ship only to Continental U.S.; some may ship to Canada. If you are unable to accept the prize, another winner will be chosen.

National Costume Swap Day™ is a partnership of Green Halloween®, & Kiwi magazine. National Costume Swap Day is celebrate the second Saturday in October each year – in 2011, on October 8th. To find a swap near you, visit

And check out our events page for more virtual and real-live events from now through Halloween, including a #GreenHalloween Twitter party on 10/13/11!