Raising Green Kids

I haven’t been writing much the past month, I’ve been busy being a mom. I’ve gotten started on a major “Green Living” project with one of my daughters and it’s been a fun, crazy adventure and taking lots of my time,more about that later. But I do not doubt for a moment that my priorities are in line.

I love teaching others how to be healthy, and I’ve been doing plenty of that one on one directly the past several months. I’ve been doing life in person and have been a bit unplugged. I’ve been considering some next steps in my path to continuing education, how to make the best use of my gifts and most importantly, how to raise caring, healthy, confident kids.

My kids are my inspiration, they are the reason that I teach what I do, and I’ve been considering many opportunities I’m presented with and have had to say “no” more times than I’d like. I could easily convert my SAHM status to WAHM in a heartbeat and fill my days with personal training, yoga sessions and teaching. I realized a while back that if I can’t raise my own kids to be healthy, happy and able to deal with stress then I will have failed at my most important calling. It’s a short window and I don’t want to look back and see missed opportunities with my kids. I’ve realized that if I spend all my time away helping others and abandoning my own family, then I will have failed to help my most important “clients”.  So, I’ve put my focus on shepherding my kids in the way they should go, giving them more of my time and less of my own personal agenda. It hasn’t been easy, but I am willing to invest in them. I’ve spent many years learning how to be healthy and teach others to do it. My family has been part of that for a lot of it, but they need my coaching just a step further.

That takes time. hiking, nature

My daughter loves writing and also has some American Girl Dolls. We’ve opened a shop on Etsy selling doll clothing and accessories, many of them made from reclaimed and upcycled fabrics from gently used clothing. I’ve been determined the past year to avoid buying things made in China, purchase less and invest in companies Made in the USA. That’s what’s cool about Etsy, most of the businesses are U.S based families like ours trying to make nice quality items at a fair price. We’ve combined my daughter’s love of writing and my sewing skills to create a business that supports local artists, relies less on overseas manufacturing and supports a nurturing environment for kids.

TOMS style shoes for American Girl Dolls

TOMS style shoes for American Girl Dolls, made from reclaimed denim jeans

 I have friends involved in ministries that support the rescue and rehabilitation of women and young girls pushed into human trafficking, I’m grateful my daughters can play with dolls, learn to sew and have a life that is relatively normal. In an age when kids are having sex in middle school, I’m thankful my 5th grader still loves to care for her dolls. It seems like a simple thing, and some would probably even tease girls this age for “playing with dolls”, but what is the alternative? Pushing young girls to grow up? I’m loving this opportunity to offer fun, trendy doll clothes that keep girls engaged with their dolls. I’m teaching my girls to sew and give them satisfaction in accomplishing something they set out to do. I’m raising 2 girls to one day be a grown woman, and hopefully a mom when the time is right. All that said, here’s the fun part of our Green Doll Clothing line. Appropriately, we opened on Earth Day April 22nd. 

clothing for American Girl and 18" dolls

It’s called LakeMeadow, that’s one word, not two. And it should just roll off your tongue all together. Lake and Meadow are fun “natural” names, my daughter came up with it. She has a youtube channel with a little series, and I was surprised to learn quite a following on Instagram. While I don’t want to be overcontrolling, I want to encourage her in video creation and hope to even use it on occasion to teach the viewers (young girls) about natural living, even if just through videos of our herb garden and planting seeds. These children are our future and teaching them healthy living will make our world a better place. Our Etsy shop is LakeMeadow Boutique, stop on by for a visit. Look below for some fun items we just posted. 

Washed linen backpack, reclaimed from a linen dress. Lined with a cute swirl print and tied off with a tie dyed cord of silk.

Washed linen backpack, reclaimed from a linen dress. Lined with a cute swirl print and tied off with a tie dyed cord of silk.


Can doll clothes and accessories be Green? You bet they can! If you’ve followed my articles at all, you won’t be surprised to know that I try and choose natural fibers for our clothing and accessories and always repurpose fabrics from adult and children’s clothing when possible. Linen, cottons, wools, cork and leather are all pretty common in our line. I did re-use some vinyl purses to make some doll sandals and coincidentally (or not) my hands got super achey from handling the materials. I’ve put the vinyl away for now and am focusing on the natural materials for the time being.  Some items in our store will be included in the Uruhu line, items made from hand dyed batik fabric from Ghana. I get the fabric from my friend Terry who brings it back from the ministry there. IN Network – Ghana has built a ministry that includes a vocational school in the Adidome Region of Africa. There is a vocational school that teaches women life job skills like hairdressing, baking, sewing and batik fabric design. There is a school for children as well. The fabrics I have were created without running water or electricity!IMG_0993



Hand stamped designs give each piece of fabric a unique print

Hand stamped designs give each piece of fabric a unique print



Dyed fabrics are heated over a rustic fire to set colors.

Dyed fabrics are heated over a rustic fire to set colors.

My husband and son had the opportunity to travel to Ghana and help out at the school where the children attend. Here are some recent creations we listed:


The Uruhu Batik Maxi dress, our first sale at LakeMeadow!

Peplum top in batik fabric from Ghana

Peplum top in batik fabric from Ghana, Skinny jeans from a remnant of organic cotton and hemp denim.


 If you know anyone sensitive to chemicals, doll clothes made from reclaimed fabrics may be a good option to reducing chemicals in your home. You won’t have to worry about contributing to worldwide pollution from purchasing goods from China or other countries where chemical regulations are even more relaxed then in the USA. Chemical issues aside, kids need play to grow up into healthy happy adults. I’m glad I can contribute to this simple activity that can have a huge impact on lives. Happy Mothers Day to all the women who are making a positive impact on the lives of children, teenagers and adults, your worth is above Rubies!


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2 Responses to Raising Green Kids

  1. Lisa G. June 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    What a blessing to read your post! So encouraging to hear your heart for your family and your realization that this is a moment in time that you won’t get back. That you are cherishing and appreciating where God has you right now. It’s a role that can certainly be underrated and under appreciated. From experience, I don’t think that you’ll look back and regret your choice for even a moment. Best wishes for your new endeavor and prayers for you and Brad as you sow into the lives of your kiddos.

  2. Susan P June 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Oh thanks so much for the encouragement Lisa! I’m so glad you stopped by and took time to comment. You are such inspiration to me to follow God’s lead, which often takes us in directions we don’t expect :). I look forward to time when we can really catch up again like the other day. Blessings to you and your family, too.

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