Category Archives: Family & Parenting

Safe Face Paint

Face Paint: Is it Safe?

naturally beautiful

Lead, Nickel and other Toxins in Face Paints!

Safe Face Paint

Too Close to the Eye!

Face Painting epitomizes childhood joy. Their smiles are big as they dive into the fantasy land that face painting evokes.

Safe Face Paint

The question is – should we be concerned about potential toxins contained in these often cheaply made, deeply pigmented face paint products? In this video we cover toxins the EWG has found in the face paint they tested… along with other known allergens. Lyra  Face Painting Pencils made in Germany is a good option.

Another option worth checking out is Elegant Minerals, they let you chose your colors and are even made in the USA!

Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE – very important –  also add PND as your YouTube friends too!

Has your child had a bad reaction to Face Paint?

Waste Free Lunch

Packing a Waste Free Lunch

naturally beautiful





Waste Free Lunch – Why It Matters & What You Need to Pull it Off

Waste Free Lunch

There are a number or reasons for families to choose to send their children to school with a waste free lunch.
This video discusses some of the key reasons a waste free lunch might be the right choice for your family, and the tools you’ll want to have on hand to make lunch packing simple and efficient.

Waste Free Lunch Video 

Part Two is a detailed look at the tools we use for packing lunches in our family.

What are your families favorite healthy waste free lunch ideas?

PND Sharing the BEST Parenting Advice She Ever Received for #vlogmoms

naturally beautiful

Parenting Advice

The minute we announce the baby is coming, the parenting advice starts to flow.   Thanks to my newly shrunken brain – it’s a fact your brain shrinks when you are pregnant, on average 5%!  They say it comes back… based on results… I’m not convinced.

I digress … We were talking about parenting advice and thanks to my now more compact and efficient brain – I can’t seem to recall any really terrible advice… so for this weeks #vlogmoms topic I focused on the good.


This advice may seem simple when you first hear it, it’s easier said then done! Especially when you have two toddlers attempting to take one another out.. But with patience, the dividends are AMAZING.  After a few years of following this advice I attribute the closeness of my lil’s largely to the team philosophy it fosters.

Next weeks topic – It’s a mystery to me too!  You’ll have to check back to find out!

Share Your Best and/or Worst Parenting Advice with Us?

The Best Family Present

naturally beautiful



What Makes a Family Present Great?

One of the best family presents we’ve gotten recently has been a trampoline.  Truth be told, when we decided to move forward and get a trampoline – I really looked at it as a gift for the children.  Something they would love combined with a great physical activity. Win. Win.

What I didn’t anticipate was how much fun it would be for the whole family!  Our family consists of a 4, 6 & 14 year old and all 3 loved the new addition to our back yard!   And while the lil’s all enjoy trampoline time… I’ve found that mama loves it too.  Sometimes I’ll just sneak out without the lil’s catching me and I’ll jump until I’m breathless.

I also didn’t anticipate how much the lil’s would want to jump together as a family, and how much fun it would be to jump with them – talk about heart prints.

Family Present

Great Family Present for All Ages


I asked friends to Share their Favorite Family Present EVER !

Fitness & Fun

I  discovered – I’m not alone in LOVING the trampoline!

Kadi Cobb Prescott mom of 7 (yes 7!!!)  said they bought a giant trampoline. “Our kids got it from Santa five years ago and still use it all the time!”

Gena Martinez Morris from the Morris Bunch said “My dad got our family a trampoline a couple years ago. It was the best gift ever and the reason my 3 year old daughter hops everywhere she goes!”

Amy Benton Bradley from Freaky Perfect even  bought a mini tramp  for my son’s Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It helps calm him down when he gets worked up. But we ALL love it!


Kate Canterbury from The Guavalicious Life got her family a membership to the zoo for her daughters’ first Christmas. “We used it almost every week. Not only did it help create some wonderful family memories, it also motivated me to get out of the house since we could just duck in for an hour or so whenever we wanted. Plus it wasn’t another toy that cluttered up the house when the girls got tired of it”.


Katja Presnal of Skimbaco Lifestyle took her immediate and extended family on Ski trip to Park City Mountain Resort for Christmas with extended family was the best family gift we ever got!

Three years ago  Maricris Guadagna from Zensible Mama bought her family a Plane ticket to visit family in the Philippines.  “It was the first time for my daughter and hubby to meet the rest of my family. It was one of the most expensive purchase but totally worth it.”

Resourceful Mommy, Amy Lupold Bair surprised her family with a getaway to Disney World! “I didn’t even tell my husband when I booked it!”  Lisa Douglas from Crazy Adventures in Parenting also took a surprise Disney trip last Christmas. Andrea Peskind Katz of Great Thoughts  also planned a surprise family trip to Disneyworld.  They gave kids wrapped Minnie Mouse shirts with a poem telling them we were going. “Screaming ensued! Awesome!”  It sounds like Disney and surprises go hand in hand!

Quality time together and memories that will last a lifetime.

Handcrafts & Creativity

Kelly Kinkaid from Kellyology said “My Grandmother-in-law makes hand crafted quilts for every baby born and for every new family member added by marriage. It’s a fantastic tradition, and each quilt some how represents perfectly each person it is made for.

Lolli Franklin from Better In Bulk has embraced her craftiness, “One year I made fleece blankets for each of my kids. I purchased the fabric (personalized for each… child) and cut and tied the blankets all in secret. I would wait til the kids were in bed before pulling everything out each night. I was an awesome surprise and I loved that I not only made them something personal, but that their big gift from me was not a toy. That was 5 years ago, and all 5 of my kids still use their blankets.

Rajean Campbell Blomquist was creative in announcing baby news and making a treasured gift, “Right after I was married we found christmas ornament frames and I put the ultrasound to our baby girl inside for my parents, his mother, our two oldest daughters. We hadn’t announced yet that they’d be grandparents again and big sisters. It was really sweet & surprising.”

All in all it seems the best family present is one that encourages family time together and naturally the lasting memories follow.

Love Letter to the FTC – I was sent a trampoline to review by Jumpsport – writing this post was not a part of the agreed upon review – although having the trampoline was the inspiration behind it.

So… Travel, Something homemade or will your family bounce into the new year on a Trampoline?  As you get ready for this season of giving are you considering a family present…?





This Week’s Mail! “Learner” Chopsticks, Teres Kids Clothing & Children’s Vitamins

naturally beautiful

Almost every week – things arrive on my doorstep. Some are sent via PR and some I order online… not always the greenest way to buy, but it is a tool in this busy mom’s toolbox.

This week from my sister’s store – Indigo Baby we have items from Teres Kids & Moonspoon.


What's In The Mail? Image from Brian Matis

I decided to share what comes from PR because they often send great natural eco savvy choices for me to try and when they are good, I want you to know about them.

Sharing things that I order, ties in naturally because another way to for readers & viewers to get insight into how I make the choices for our family.

Be sure to Subscribe to the Pure Natural Diva – PND Living Channel on YouTube – and while you are there add us as a friend too!

Birthday Wish: Strawberry Themed Party Menu

naturally beautiful

Birthday Wish:  Healthier Party Food

Just because you’re serving up cake doesn’t mean you can’t treat your guests to healthier choices next time you throw a party.  For inspiration – check out this menu from Lil Diva’s recent Water Celebration 6th Birthday Party!

Birthday Wish Birthday Girl

Birthday Wish: Summer Inspired Strawberry Theme

Strawberries are Lil Diva’s favorite fruit. They are also gorgeous and the perfect fruit to feature for the fete. We placed heaping bowls everywhere. They made a stunning edible focal point and the perfect healthy summertime snack option for our guests. We kept the strawberries chilled & fresh all day by placing a cup full of ice in each vase – the glass was then hidden by the berries.

Birthday Wish:  Healthier Menu

Birthday Wish

Healthier Snacks,

  • Featuring Strawberries… everywhere.
  • Watermelon and Grapes.
  • Veggie Platter with Baby Carrots, Snap Peas, Mushrooms & Baby Tomatoes
  • Whole Grain Pita Chips, Organic Tortilla Chips and Veggies Straws
  • Dips; Hummus, Guacamole, and Salsa.


  • Hamburgers made with Grass Fed Beef, and micro Diced Veggies on Whole Wheat Buns – Recipe Posting Sept 22, 2011!
  • Hot Dogs made with all natural uncured beef hot dogs on Whole Wheat Buns.
  • Tossed Salad with Dressing
  • Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese & Fresh Strawberry, served with a raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Macaroni and Cheese made with 100% whole grain pasta, and real sharp cheddar.
  • Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries from Alexia Natural Foods.
  • Vanilla Cake with Custard Filling and Butter Cream Frosting.


We borrowed 2 – 3 Gallon Drink Dispensers from a neighbor and filled them with:

  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Water


Birthday Wish Strawberry Themed Menu

Strawberry Spinach Salad


Birthday Wish: Edible Centerpieces

Because we were raising funds for Charity Water.  The California Strawberry Commission sent gorgeous strawberries.  They truly inspired the theme and became a gorgeous focal point for the event!






This event was made more successful due to the participation of our brand partners.


Birthday Wish Thank You



What is your Birthday Wish?

Birthday Wish: A Celebration of Water


naturally beautiful

Charity Water: A Birthday Wish

I’ve officially recovered from all the fun EVERYONE had at Lil’ Diva’s 6th Birthday Party, and I’m thrilled to share it was a great success.

Lil Diva asked for a Pool Party, and in an effort to bring more meaning to the occasion, we decided to take advantage of our water theme and raise money for Charity Water.

Birthday Wish

Lil Diva Celebrates


The invites were sent, the pool glimmered and the sun was out for what promised to be one of the last lazy days of summer.  We set a goal to raise $1000 for Charity Water.

The Cause

We chose Charity Water largely because it fit with our pool party theme, but there were other good reasons too!  100% of all funds raised to go well building projects.  They cover their administration costs through other means.

Why is Clean, Safe Water Such an Important Cause?

Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.

90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are of children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

Birthday Wish Birthday Girl

The Plan

We carefully worded the invitation, inviting guest to consider a donation to Charity Water,  without obligating them to do so.  Now… I’m keenly aware that my child is no more altruistic than the next, she wanted presents, cake and friends.  While the idea of raising money for Charity Water wasn’t her idea – it did teach a valuable lesson.

The response from guests was heartwarming!

  • “Happy Birthday! what a fantastic idea.”
  • “Happy Birthday, Lil Diva, and thank you for being so generous and helping others!”
  • “You’re the coolest! Great idea helping the villages.”

We reached out to brands, as a family we made a $380 donation to Charity Water for items that were provided for the party that we didn’t have to purchase.

The Results

We raised a total of $1285 for Charity Water!  These donations mean 64 people will have clean, safe drinking water… from a birthday party!

The feedback from the party has been amazing.  It only takes a glance at the pictures to see that everyone had a great time…



Birthday Wish Granted:  Fun For All

The Details

Check out more of our the Strawberry Inspired Decor – Posting Sept 19, 2011

The Food

Check out our Strawberry Inspired Menu – Posting Sept 19, 2011!




Birthday Wish Thank You

What is Your Birthday Wish?

A Birthday Wish: Seeds of Change

naturally beautiful

A Birthday Wish:  Is It More Than Cake & Stuff?

Lil Diva is SO excited about her 6th birthday party.  She has been asking for a pool party for months.  So that became the plan.

What is a Birthday Wish?

Birthday Wish


Every parent wants to have a wonderful celebration for their child and create lifelong memories.

Yet a part of me is keenly aware  that birthday parties in general have gotten a little out of control.  Didn’t the whole tradition of birthday really take hold during a time when families made do with less stuff altogether?   A time when you waited  all year for your birthday to get those few elusive gifts that would otherwise never come your way.

These days those same wishes might be granted on a routine trip to target.  Life has changed, but that hasn’t made the birthday party,  presents, or extravagance that go with it fall by the wayside… instead parties have gotten more elaborate and complex.  Children’s expectations have risen and as parents we don’t want to disappoint.

I wracked my brain, I wanted to do something different.

She wants a pool party, but what could I do to make it better, more meaningful in some way.  The idea of tying her birthday to a charity popped into my mind, and I though – perfect!  That’s what we’ll do. The next question was how… and which one.  It wasn’t too long before I locked on  Charity Water.  A great cause that tied in to our pool party theme perfectly.

I settled Lil Diva &  Dude down to watch the video on the Charity Water site,  In the video the founder discuss’ how he gives up his Birthday, shares how he asks friend to come to a party and they donate to Charity Water, more importantly it also shows a glimpse into life without clean water.  … they complain the video is boring.  They’re 4 & 6..

I proceed with the plans and sent up the “campaign” on the Charity Water site and start reaching out to brands that might be able to make the party and fundraising efforts more successful.

A couple days later, I broach the idea with Lil Diva… I mean… it is her party… shouldn’t she buy into the idea just a little?  I ask her  “What do you think of helping some of the people without water?”  Almost immediately I have crocodile tears, “I don’t want to!  Someone else can do it!!!”  This was not the reaction I expected. What was I going to do?  The plans were in motion, there was no turning back now!

I mentally playback the video in my mind, thinking like a six year old…  I understand the problem.  She thinks she really has to “GIVE UP’ her birthday.  I quickly explain to her that she would have a cake, and presents (perhaps fewer… shhhh) and a super, fun pool party.  “Maybe my friends can each buy their goody bag for a dollar” she says… coming around a little.  “I’ll give some of my money, like two dollars” she agrees holding up two fingers.  I breath a sigh of relief.  I feel better having her support. I know I can work with this.

Back on track I began to share Lil Diva’s Charity Water Campaign on twitter and facebook.  Thanking  brands as they agree to support the event.  Donations begin to come in… as they do I share with Lil Diva.  INSTANTLY she wants to know how many people are going to get water.  Each time I tell her she gives me a huge high five.  The extra effort is worth it already.

How can we get more (money) she wants to know?  She offers more of her own money.  She asks how many people we will help all together?  I tell her that our goal is raise $1000 and that will help 50 people have clean water.  She says why not 100 or 1000.  Amazing to be 6 years old and full of possibility.  I tell her that is a great idea, but we want to start with a goal we an achieve and I believe we can help at least 50 people with her party this year.

The Plan

  • I asked guests to consider supporting Lil Diva’s Charity Water Campaign, instead of gifts.
  • I approached  network of brand relationships and contacts to enlist their support in the party/event.
  • I decided to put together gift bags and in lieu of  a product placement fee , I asked them to make a donation to Charity Water.
  • I asked people for things that would need to purchase for the party.   We agreed that anything we could get donated would enable us to donate the retail value  to Charity Water.

The Goal

Raise $1000 to help 50 people have clean water.  Funds Raised to date:  $340

Brand  Supporters

We could still use your help!  If you have a great natural food, natural brand that is perfect for 6 year old email – Let’s talk!


October 22 –  we’re aiming higher.  Someone… I’m not saying who… will be turning 20… AGAIN.  The celebration should be a good one!  DIVA 4.0.

The goal:  Bigger and Better.

We’ll need:  Raffle Items, Gift Bag Items, Spirits, and… details are in the works!   Email with your ideas!

How Could You Combine Giving Back For Your Birthday Wish?

Importance of Sleep For Children

Natural Organic Green Lifestyle







Importance of Sleep For Children


Going back to school should not be just an excuse for kids to get new clothes and school supplies. Instead, say University of Alabama at Birmingham experts, it also should be a time to get them back to healthier sleep schedules.

Long summer days lend themselves to later nights and fewer hours of restorative slumber, something pediatricians say is especially necessary for kids to have to succeed upon their return to the classroom.

Importance of sleep
“Sixty percent of kids feel tired at school and 15 percent fall asleep.  Adolescents need nine solid hours, but most are sleep deprived.”  Say Ms. Avis

“From memory to judgment, attention span, emotional stability and even immunity, sleep deprivation negatively affects school-age children,” explains Kristin Avis, M.D., UAB assistant professor of pediatrics and a sleep specialist.

If you think your child is different and does not need the required amount of sleep, think again. Of children under the age of 18, 60 percent polled by the National Sleep Foundation complained of being tired during the day, and 15 percent reported they fell asleep at school. To curb the feeling, doctors say, get kids to bed early, starting before the bell rings on the first day back.

“About a week ahead of school starting, begin to back up their bed-time and wake-up times. This incremental change may start off rough, but it will get easier and ensure they are not miserable on their first day at school,” says Stephenie Wallace, M.D., UAB assistant professor of pediatrics.

Importance of Sleep: National Sleep Foundation Guidelines


How much sleep do your children require?

  • 3 to 5-year-olds need 11 to 13 hours per night
  • 5 to 12 year-olds need 10 to 11 hours each night
  • Adolescents need at least 9 hours every night.

“As for adolescents, it’s a common myth that they need less sleep, and can handle only seven or eight hours, but they actually need nine hours of sleep. That’s typically the most sleep-deprived population in school,” says Avis.


A lack of one good night’s sleep can be made up for, Avis says, but going an entire school week without sufficient rest can be detrimental.

“You can sleep until noon on Saturday and feel caught up, but then you will go to bed later that night, sleep in on Sunday, and then have the cycle repeat itself into the new school week,” says Avis.

So the best bet is to make sure your child is getting suitable snooze-time every night. To guarantee their sleepy time is spent well, say both doctors, it is important to make kids’ bedrooms as tranquil as possible, which means getting rid of all those noise-makers.

Key Tips to Protect Valuable Sleep

  • “On average, there are three to four electronic gadgets in a kid’’ room. It’s been shown that even sleeping with a television on deprives them of 20 minutes of sleep per night, which may not sound like a lot but adds up over a week’s time,” says Avis.
  • “Cell phones are often used as an alarm clock, but for about five dollars you can invest in a real alarm clock so the phone can be turned off,” Wallace adds.

Via Newswise & University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Ms. Avis also is further examining what a bad night’s rest can do to a child. Working alongside David Schwebel, Ph.D., sleep deprivation and children’s pedestrian injury and general safety risk are being studied, with results expected by late 2011.

What steps have you taken to insure you protect the Importance of Sleep in your family?

TV and Toddlers: When Television Images Are Upseting?

Natural Organic Green Lifestyle

Marina Krcmar

TV and Toddlers:  Preschoolers Can Be Easily Upset

What Can Parents Do?

Newsiwise -Night or day, many images — not just the ones adults typically think of as frightening — can be disturbing to young children, says Wake Forest University communication professor Marina Krcmar, whose research includes studies related to children and television viewing.


TV and Toddlers

Preschoolers & Television Image Courtesy of Annalog85

Recent research published in the journal Pediatrics shows that the television viewing habits of young children, aged three to five, can affect their sleep patterns. Additionally, a U.S. News Health article reports that two-thirds of daycare centers have TVs available for children to watch during the day. Parents can benefit from knowing what their little ones might find scary and how to help.

TV and Toddlers: Areas To Be Alert

Characters that look benign can still be scary. “Any unusual image may be frightening to a preschooler,” says Krcmar. “Whether a character is ‘good’ or funny is irrelevant. For example, children may find the Count on Sesame Street frightening because of his fangs and unusual hair and clothing.”

Watching older siblings play video games can be disturbing. Younger children may be upset by violent graphics in video games. To preschoolers fighting is fighting, even if it is happening to rescue a princess from a castle.

TV and Toddlers: What To Do If Your Preschooler is Upset

Hug them, don’t talk to them. It is better to offer physical comfort to young children than to tell them that what they saw on television is make-believe. Young children have a hard time distinguishing reality from fantasy until they are about six, so is better to just ensure them they are protected.

Fear generally decreases over time. “If children see something right before bed time, it will be hard for them to settle down and forget about it — especially in a dark room,” Krcmar says. “It’s best to keep the television off in the evenings.”

Krcmar is an expert on children, adolescents and the media. Her research has appeared in Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and Media Psychology. She is the author of Living Without the Screen.

TV and Toddlers: Have Images Effected Your Lil’, If So, What Have You Done?