Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is a great time to re-purpose old objects, dig through that recycling bin and get creative! Here is my little recycle-robot, who's costume was made mostly from items that would have been trashed/recycled. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Freezer Paper Stencils

Looking for a great new craft? Freezer-paper tees are super easy and look really cute (see above!). Click here for some easy-to-follow directions on how to make your own freezer-paper t-shirt.
In addition to the directions included on the link, I would add a few comments of my own:
  1. Make sure to move the brush from the stencil onto the shirt. If you paint the opposite way, there is a chance you could push paint underneath the stencil, which will mess up your design.
  2. Put at least 2 coats of paint on and (this is the hard part) make sure to let it dry completely in between layers. If you don't do multiple coats, your paint will be more likely to crack after several washings. And if you don't let it dry in between coats, your new layers won't really stick.
  3. If you are painting onto a dark fabric, make sure to get paint especially designed for this. Otherwise, your deisgn will not stand out against the fabric.
  4. Iron the design onto the shirt before wearing or washing. Even if the instructions on the paint say to only iron the inside of the shirt, iron both sides. If you don't, your paint will run in the wash, ruining your new creation and possibly your other laundry (hmmm, do I still sound annoyed about that one?). And, just as a common courtesy, if you are giving this as a gift, you should wash the shirt before painting (to prevent shrinkage and cracking the design) and wash it again after your paint is dry and set. Then, on the off-chance that something went a muck and the paint didn't set, your gift did not ruin someone else's load of laundry.
Be forewarned, this really is addicting! But, it is a great way to make gifts for new babies, birthdays or holiday gifts. Pin It Now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Enjoy Fall 's Bounty

Fall has arrived and has brought beautiful colors with it! The leaves on the trees are starting to change and the local markets have squashes in all hues of orange, yellow and green. Fall is the harvest season and your local farmer's market will have lots to offer. So, support local agriculture and bring some of fall's colors back home with you.
This time of year is also a wonderful time to stroll through your neighborhood with your children. Changes are happening everywhere, and the more you are out, the more you will notice! Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gingerbread Pear Muffins

Fall is here and pears have arrived! We went to our neighborhood farmer's market last Thursday and got a big ol' bag of pears. I decided to try out a new recipe for gingerbread pear muffins. These are super tasty, although if you are not a fan of gingerbread, don't bother. But, if you are a fan of molasses, like me, then you had better double up on this recipe!

What You Need:
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (or substitute 1/8 cup agave syrup for 1/2 of the sugar, or 1/4 cup agave syrup for all of the sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk (can sub rice or other non-dairy milk if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup backstrap molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small to medium pears, peeled, cored and finely chopped or pureed
What to Do:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease muffin tray.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into large bowl.
3.Combine milk, oil, molasses and egg in medium bowl. Stir in pear. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until moistened.
4. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
5. Bake 20 minutes, remove from oven, cool on wire rack and eat!
Makes 12, very yummy, regular sized muffins. Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Sticker-Glue Blues

My almost 2-year old son is infatuated with stickers. Stickers can be loads of fun, sure (I am in my 30's and still have a box of MY, I repeat, not for my kid, but MY stickers) but when they get forgotten on clothes, and then thrown into the washer and dryer......the adhesive they leave behind is a gooey mess.
I recently had my first struggle with forgotten-sticker crisis. My son left a sticker on his brand new dinosaur shirt that I made and it went unseen until I pulled it from the dryer. There was a huge sticky-gross mark on the top center of the shirt. Ugg. So, I began my internet research for a technique that a) was non-toxic b) did not cost money and c) did not involve making a bigger mess than the one that had already occurred. That left me with one good-sounding solution, which I tried, and it worked.
Get out your iron and a paper towel. If you are like me and do not keep paper towels in your house, go to the nearest coffee shop, sit and drink a tea, and steal a paper towel on your way out. Once you get home, turn the iron onto a dry heat, put the paper towel over the spot of sticker adhesive and press the iron down. Voila!
In my attempt, the adhesive did not all just stick to the paper towel in the magical way that the internet posting I read had declared, but it did remove most of it, and the rest I could scrape off with my fingernail while it was still warm. Good as new, and I did not have to buy anything or use any questionable products. Pin It Now!