Tag Archives | Father’s Day

Urban Forest Soap – Shaving Bar Review

This article has been writing itself since I read Alicia’s post over at The Soft Landing regarding traditional men’s shaving cream containing Teflon. Great information in this article, especially for those people that shave with a gel! With Father’s Day approaching I think it would be a great token of love to de-tox the products that surround the important men in your life. Before taking the easy route and buying dad new cologne or traditional after shave lotion, take the principals that apply to women’s and children’s personal care products. Men should be trying to live a more organic life-style but ofter we forget about them. Start to slowly replace personal care products as they run out with those that contain more natural ingredients…and last time I checked, Teflon was anything but natural!

So when a Mommy Footprint reader mentioned the company Urban Forest Soaps and that they sell Shave Bars… I was very interested. It turns out having my husband spend time reviewing a product is a slow endeavor – but he reported back with a thumbs up for using the shave bars on his very thick and stubborn stubble. It took him awhile to get used to the lack of lather from the bars, but a more seasoned ‘greenie’ wouldn’t be as surprised by the lower amount of sudsing.

It occurred to me a few weeks after receiving the shave bars that I could be testing them too since I the rare occasion I do shave my legs. <grin> The first thing I noticed was a difference in my skin’s texture, like a barrier on my legs after I applied and shaved with the shave bar soap. The owner of Urban Forest Soap explained it’s the Kaolin clay that provides the slip…it is a very important ingredient & reason the shave bars are bestsellers for men.  Also important to note is the cucumber extract provides a cooling & anti inflammatory affect on the skin which helps eliminate red bumps. The ingredient list is lovely to look at – all recognizable names and the EWG rates the Urban Forest Soap bath salts a perfect 0 for being a safe product!

This little Canadian company is growing and always posting new yummy products so keep in touch by checking out their fan page here.


Ingredient List for Urban Forest Avocado Shave Bar: Ingredients: olea europaea (olive) oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, aqua (water), persea gratissima (avocado) oil, prunis dulcis, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)



Father’s Day Collection of Stories

It’s Father’s Day this weekend and because I’m lucky enough to know some very artistic, resourceful, and Eco minded mamas  – I asked for stories to create a group article. My two top father’s day ideas are at the end of this article but thanks to some great ladies, there’s something for all dad’s listed in this post.  I would like to thank Lindsay, Fiona, Tracy, Annemarie, & Rebecca for being guest contributors for this special article.

First up is Lindsay, David Suzuki’s Queen of Green. She answers your questions about everyday green living with tips and recipes to make your life a little easier on the environment. It’s all about green living made easy. Lindsay has incredible DIY recipes and is an amazing resource.  I love this DIY after shave recipe…just in time for Father’s Day, this Men’s Herbal After Shave only takes 10 minutes to make and it will last about 2 months.


3/4 cup distilled or sparkling mineral water
1/4 cup witch hazel (make sure it’s pure, without parabens)
2 Tablespoons vegetable glycerin
1 Tablespoon aloe juice or gel

Optional essential oils:

4 drops rosemary
3 drops clove
2 drops bergamot

Add to a bottle and mellow for 2 days. Apply after shaving.

*Note: always try a test patch and omit essential oils if you or someone in your home is sensitive to scents


Our next contributor is Fiona, the owner of Pip ‘n’ Milly Creations. She continues to nurture her love of handmade and specializes in creating beautifully practical, one of a kind handbags, incorporating core product values: Handmade. Well-made. Uniquely you.

After Suzanne asked about the best Father’s Day gift I had been a part of, I spent a fair bit of time pondering. I have to admit that my thoughts kept returning to a gift I had made for my father when I was a child, rather than to something amazing I had done with my own children for their dad. Perhaps it is because they have always made gifts at school and preschool that I have not had to think much about it! Whatever the case, the gift which sprang to mind was a simple embroidered felt bookmark I made when I was 7 or 8. Handmade gifts were a part of my Mum’s upbringing, but not Dad’s, so he never had quite the appreciation for handmade that we might have liked. Or so we thought. Sadly, my beloved Dad passed away 5 years ago at the age of 59. When we were able to come to terms with sorting his belongings, Mum found the bookmark in his drawer. I treasure it greatly for the memory it holds and the reminder not to judge a book by its cover.


Next up is Tracy, the Ops Manager at Mighty Nest that is a store devoted to helping families find safe, healthy, non-toxic products for their home and family.

Since my daughter is 10 months old this is our first Fathers Day!  We’ll actually be spending the day at airports/on airplanes on our way to vacation with his family so I don’t have any plans but I am working on a special gift – my husband loves reading to our daughter so I’m making a book just for the two of them.  It will contain pictures of them doing various activities together such as eating, sleeping, making funny faces, etc. and each page will have a caption as if it were written by my daughter – I love when my Daddy reads to me.  It makes me laugh when Daddy makes funny faces.  I don’t like green beans, just like my daddy!  Hopefully it’ll be a big hit…and hopefully I’ll finish it in time!

Next is Annemarie – the amazing mama behind yoyomama.ca, an e-newsletter for mums that aims to make their lives less yoyo-like!

I know that all mums secretly (or not so secretly) want to sleep in and have time to themselves on Mother’s Day, which goes against the grain of what the day is meant to be. But I recently read a survey where I found Dad’s also want the same time. The sleeping in I knew, the time alone, not so much! So this Father’s Day I’m going to take the girls out in the morning – if I can pry them away from the idea of making breakfast in bed for their Dad (they’re five and seven so you can imagine what breakfast in bed looks like, though they excel at presentation) – and stay out so he wakes up at home all alone and has some time to luxuriate in silence before we return bearing gifts.

My last guest post is from Rebecca who is just an absolute pleasure to know. Rebecca is the mom of two, a blogger, foodie and social media lover.

Here’s one gift idea that I did the first Father’s Day after my son was born, and again the first after my daughter: For $1.50 at Michael’s I bought an unfinished wooden frame and painted it.  I then took the children’s feet (they were still babies), painted them and stamped them on the frames.  Then I put a picture of the baby inside the frame.  Daddy now has the footprints for each of the kids and a special token from each of his first Father’s Days with them.

And me!  I’ve written about it in the past, so there ideas are not originals, but I love having them in my back pocket for ‘Father Day’ emergency gifts. They are right up most dad’s alley & very affordable!

Pick dad’s favorite sports team and purchase a new T-shirt (preferable with a white background). Have your children put hand or foot prints on the back of the t-shirt with their name and age (with fabric paint). I’ve done this gift for the last two world cup soccer tournaments and it’s been a really cool way to document the growth of my family over a 4 year period and just how much they’ve grown. And – Dad gets a great t-shirt that he’s proud to wear with his team on the front and his even more beloved team on the back.

A favorite gift that both my father-in-law, my dad, and my husband have all loved receiving in the past are Shutterfly photo books. This company has the easiest and most attractive design layouts on the market and you don’t have to be a ‘techie’ to figure it out. You simply select a design background, upload pictures, then give the photos captions that dad will enjoy. You may be thinking its too late to order and receive a photo book by Father’s Day. Well you are correct.  BUT – you can still make the book, order it, and send dad a link to the album where he can view all the wonderful pictures and captions and enjoy online for Sunday. He’ll be so excited to receive the photo book later in the month to enjoy for many years on his coffee table.

Thank you to all the guests that took the time to share their Father’s Day memories, ideas, and even a recipe! I hope you enjoy your Father’s Day this weekend and remember to relax and just enjoy the moments.

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School or Teacher Year End Gift ~ Rain Barrel

Wow did I ever stumble onto some magic yesterday.  Our preschool decided to give the school a rain barrel as the year end gift for the school.  Well – it’s turned out to be the best project ever and this idea could easily double as a gift for grandparents, father’s day, gift for a school or teacher because it has nothing but positive elements.  I love giving practical, Eco-friendly, educational, affordable, and naturally beautiful presents and this project was all of these as the finished product is amazing. 

Did you know that many city municipalities in North America subsidize composters or rain barrels?  I contacted the Parks and Environment Division at the local city office and purchased a huge rain barrel with the down spout converter and tap kit for $40.  The city pays $50 for them and then subsidizes a percentage of the cost to make them so affordable.  Best of all, the material our rain barrel was made from is recycled food containers. 

So being the outgoing, graduating class from our preschool the gift was this rain barrel but the magic started happening when the painting and personalization of the barrel started.  I could hear Jackie, our very patient coordinator for this project, telling the children that the barrel would collect rain water for everyone to water the garden at preschool ~ all while helping each child paint their hands and fingerprints to personalize the barrel with the garden/flower/bug theme. This turned into a perfect eco-activity to educate children on the importance of water conservation, reusing, and helping the environment.

I’m so glad we took before and after pictures of the barrel.  To personalize, the children painted their hands and fingers to leave prints that Jackie turned into magical butterflies, flowers, bugs and the end product is gorgeous!  It started out as a very plain blue barrel and now it’s something decorative and functional for a school to water their garden.  Even if you just purchased the barrel and just put hand prints of all your children it would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift ~ all for under $50.  Use paints that will stand up against wet weather and you are good to go!

Here are the before and after pictures of our barrel.  I hope they inspire you.



Note: Jackie gasping in awe of perfect handprints!




Greener Father’s Day

It doesn’t matter the age of the father you are celebrating this Father’s Day, most likely he’ll own a cell phone, ipod, camera, GPS, etc.  The coolest gift idea I’ve seen comes from The Ultimate Green Store with two products that harness the sun’s energy to power or charge handheld devices using a solar backpack and solar messenger bag.  Both styles have solar panels and 11 adaptors for easy connection to handheld products.  Also, the outside fabric of the bags is made from recycled soda bottles, making these products light weight and water proof.  The solar panels make these products so unique because they are functional to carry supplies, a laptop, etc. while dad is out for a hike, walk, bike ride, romp at the park, or simply walking to work! 

Both the backpack and messenger bag don’t output enough power to charge a laptop, but contain sleeves for laptop storage and are reinforced and padded for extra protection.   It’s cool to think only 4-6 hours of direct sunlight would fully charge a cell phone and when it’s not in the sun, the battery can be charged using the AC travel charger or DC car charger.  What a perfect gift for the dad that cycles to work or enjoys outdoor family time with kids.

Pictures from The Ultimate Green Store site:

Messenger Bag Style:

For those dads that need to be nudged gently into ‘green’ gifts- try a custom little eco package and show dad that the greener way is still fun.  Buy dad a cloth bag and fill with a Klean Kanteen bottle, organic wine or beer, biodegradable golf balls (go the extra mile and find corn starch tees), a bamboo tshirt and sock set.  Dad will be thrilled with the soft alternative of bamboo material and you can explain how it’s eco-friendly because it’s a highly renewable resource and produced without pesticides.  He’ll never go back to drinking out of plastic water bottle again after trying his 27 oz Klean Kanteen bottle while working out or hitting golf balls. It can be a whole new world opened up to Dad this Father’s Day and he can be proud to join the green movement.  Happy Father’s Day planning!

Related Articles: 

Father’s Day Green Gift Ideas (Father’s Day gift ideas from 2008)



My In-laws Are Eco!

My in-laws are Eco! With every passing week I remember things I’ve watched them do over the 15 years I’ve known them and by god, they are probably two of the greenest people I know! It’s a time in their life they probably didn’t expect to be so hip!

My very Italian father-in-law is the king of the 1 mile diet. Continue Reading →



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