10.19.2013

green baby fair miami

Today was the Green Baby Fair Miami! It's been an event I've been looking to for a while, hosted by The Gathering Place. Miami is a good hour from me but with all of these unique and amazing vendors, it was a no brainer to make the trip.

I made the trip with Heather from And Then My Name Was Mama and her super cute little girl, Starr! Fun fact: Heather's son is part of my new in-home tot school co-op!

We arrived to the Little Haiti Cultural Center and I was totally impressed by how organized this event was from the get-go! A lot of love and time very obviously went into making this event the success that it was. Both inside and out were lined with vendor tables -- many of which were pretty unique to the baby fair event circuit.

One of those unique vendors that we were immediately captivated by was doTERRA Essential Oils. DoTERRA consultant Helen was extremely knowledgeable about essential oils. I picked her brain about using them to help with Ethan's asthma and respiratory issues and she was quick to offer recommendations. One whiff of the peppermint oil she offered and I felt my (still clogged up after having been sick three weeks ago) sinuses just clear completely. These oils are so powerful and it's really incredible what they're capable of doing naturally. Heather and I were also equally intrigued by Helen's homemade hand sanitizer which uses no chemicals or toxins just essential oils to get the job done. Helen sent me home with a sample of lavender essential oil to hopefully bring some relaxation to my little sleep striker. I can't wait to give it a try!

Mother Earth Diapers were also present at the event. They're a cloth diapering service that helps take the grunt work and cleaning out of using cloth. Mother Earth Diapers actually covers Miami-Dade all the way up to Palm Beach county, so it was nice to meet another vendor who worked up in our area as well. Mia, Mother Earth Diapers owner and operator, was great at tackling all of our cloth questions about how their laundering system works.

Ava Anderson is an extremely eye-opening natural product line that I hadn't heard of prior to this event. The thing that impressed me most was that they offer everything -- sort of like a one stop shop for products that work without the aid of harmful chemicals. From floor cleaner to pet shampoo to mascara to deodorant to diaper cream, Ava Anderson has it covered. I was extremely impressed after browsing the labels of their products. Since Ethan's birth, I've refused to buy anything if there is something on the label I'm unfamiliar with. This has left me with very few options in a world where "green" and "organic" are thrown around way too easily. Every last product of Ava Anderson's that I picked up and browsed had ingredients that were known, healthy and completely non-toxic. There weren't any "if ingested, call poison control" warnings because you don't need one. I mean, in a household with a child and pets, that's a pretty sweet option to have for cleansers and personal care products. Their laundry detergents are even cloth diaper friendly!

Heather and I also attended a seminar by Ava Anderson's consultants called "Eat My Shampoo." The name sold us completely!

There were some startling facts presented, like the fact that the US only bans 9 products from personal care products -- compared to Europe's 1,342. The President's Cancer Panel revealed that only 10% of cancer is genetic -- the other 90% is caused by environmental factors. Scary stuff. Ava Anderson's presentation was incredibly thought provoking and informative. Learning more about the wide array of products they offer is definitely on the top of my to-do list.

Green Eggs and Kale, aside from having the cutest business name ever, is an awesome holistic health and wellness consulting company. Green Eggs & Kale offers a wide variety of services from workshops for small businesses to nutrition counseling during pregnancy and beyond. We sampled some pretty delicious oatmeal raisin raw treats and I can't wait to whip up another batch this week myself.

Photographer Studio by Carmen was present with her beautiful array of breathtaking art and super adorable itty-bitty baby hats. Did I mention that attending an event like this makes your uterus burn with baby fever? Because, I mean, come on. Those little hats!

I was also in love with the beautiful photography by Three Plus Photography. Their work was absolutely gorgeous and their maternity and birth photos especially warmed my heart! I loved how each photographer present definitely had their own unique style and no two were like the other. Such a cool thing to see!

Wean Green were there with their beautiful tempered glass food storage options, too!

Babywearing was obviously a huge deal at the Green Baby Fair and these vendors were some of the ones I was most excited to see! Pictured above is a mommy we kept running into and I couldn't get over how cute and snuggly her little one was in the ring sling. Totally cute, right? Heather and I were both interested in the ring sling as it's not a carrier we ever had with our littles and that's when we ran into Amber of Rainbow Slings.

Turns out Amber is awesome at even making a bag of rice look snug and cozy in a ring sling! Amber was also gracious enough to show me the workings of the amazing Tula carrier and give me some tips on getting Ethan in a back carry easier since it's something we struggle with.

Can we all take a minute to discuss how much I love this Tula carrier in Folk Birds? Totally beautiful, right?

Next on our list of must-to-see was the Playapy table.

I'm a little bit (okay, maybe a lot bit) obsessed with play-based learning. Playapy is a great resource for people who share my obsession a little bit and use play to increase special and life skills. Playapy has every aspect covered, from gross motor to fine motor to self care and sensory play, and they even offer printables online as well as an online shop for parents to buy developmentally appropriate toys, books and play therapy equipment. I loved everything that Playapy had to say and it was a blast browsing their display and learning more about this amazing company.

Credible Cravings was present to let us sample some of their delicious and healthy snacks. Their mission is to provide healthy foods for moms and moms-to-be. As moms, we get so distracted sometimes that we don't remember to make time for ourselves to even eat something and that usually turns into the kind of snacking we would never let our kids do. I love that Credible Cravings keeps moms in mind! Their organic, whole food bars are great for before, during and after baby and are organic, kosher, soy free, gluten free and contain no artificial sweeteners or preservatives!

Peapod Essentials came to be after moms needed a place to pick up all of their eco-friendly, natural products in one simple store. I may or may not have heard angels singing just walking up to their amazing display table at the Green Baby Fair! All of my favorites were present -- including Earth Mama Angel Baby which is all we've used on Ethan in the two years he's been on this planet -- and it was great to discover new, green brands, too! Peapod Essentials friendly staff were knowledgeable about every last item they sold and were great at answering my million-and-a-half questions about everything. I also left with one pretty sweet wet bag from Planet Wise, too!

Heather and I both left this event filled with information and truly wanting to go home and read all of the literature we took home. I consider myself a pretty naturally minded mom but still managed to have my eyes opened and my horizons broadened by speaking with some of these fabulous vendors. The Gathering Place truly outdid themselves with this amazing event. Did you miss it? Not to worry, because you'll get a second chance in the spring.

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