Saturday, February 19, 2011


The decision to add beanbags to the Etsy store offerings was a fairly simple one. My son loves them and, truth be told, so do I. How can you not like a toy that's made to be thrown?

Quality materials were a given. Quilting cottons, so they'd be nice and sturdy and available in awesome patterns. Deciding on a filling was trickier than I'd expected it to be. I wanted something that felt nice when you held it, had a nice weight but wasn't too heavy, and wouldn't hurt so much if someone accidentally got beaned in the head. (Because, at the time, my son was two and his aim wasn't quit on par with his enthusiasm.)

I tried rice. And pinto beans (ouch). And split peas. And, finally, lentils. LOVED the lentils. They feel just a little slippy, but the bag doesn't creep out of your hand. It stays put where it lands, more or less. The beanbags are light enough for little kids to toss them, and don't turn when you catch one with your temple.

We have one Etsy listing (or available via email or Facebook, if you'd rather), with other fabric options in the works.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Girl's Skirts

When it comes to clothing, I have to admit that skirts are probably my favorite things to sew. There are just so many options. And skirts for little girls are really fun, because there's room to do some really super cute things and so many fun fabrics to work with.

In the Etsy shop, we've currently got a few classicly styled girl's skirts in some really cute fabrics. All cotton, so they're easy to wear and easy to clean in addition to being super comfortable, just spinney enough and versatile for varying weather conditions. They work great as-is in summer, and look great with tights on cooler days.

Green Hippo - size 18 mos

This green hippo skirt is available and ready to ship in a wide range of sizes. In stock from an infant's 12 month to a girl's size 5. (Larger and smaller skirts or to specific measurements available on request.) The cotton is a nice heavy weight, but not so stiff or heavy as to impede spinney-ness.

Meow skirt - size 5

This awesome skirt is ready to ship in a girl's size 5 and can be created in additional sizes by request. The fabric weight is similar to the hippo skirt.

Girly Floral - size 4

This sweet little floral skirt is currently available in sizes 18 months and girl's size 4.

Turquoise and Chocolate Flower - size 3

This pretty little turquoise and chocolate skirt is ready to go in a toddler size 3. The fabric is nice and lightweight, heavy enough to keep the shape of the skirt but light enough to make a really fabulous skirt on those hot summer days.

Etsy Treasury!

Well, THIS is exciting! A frog loves monkey item has been featured in an Etsy treasury for the first time ever! Woo!

Thanks to Mariel for including our Hemp with White Tea and Lemongrass in her "HEMP the magical plant" treasury!

ChicoBag Original

When it comes to reusable bags, it's hard to beat the original ChicoBag.


These bags are amazing. They're made from a really lightweight (a mere 1.5 ounces), really durable woven polyester. They take a LOT of abuse. (Trust me on that one. Our son and our cats think they're toys. Ours have been put through their paces and still look amazing!) They easily hold up to 25 pounds of groceries, toys, laundry or whatever else you can think of to stuff into them. They're washable and the colors don't bleed on the rest of your laundry. (ChicoBeg recommends washing in cold and hanging to dry. Ours go in the dryer and have suffered no ill effects, though treating them kindly will obviously lengthen their lifespan.) They're big enough to hold a LOT of stuff, but stuff into a small, attached pocket quickly so that you can tuck them into a purse or the glove box of your car for when you need them.

When open, the bags are roughly 18"x14.5" and they close up to a neat little 3"x4". There's even a little carabiner attached so you can clip the pouch to whatever else you're carrying.

Amazing, I tell you.

And if you're worried about the recent news of lead in reusable shopping bags, worry no more. ChicoBag bags were NOT affected. To quote ChicoBag directly:

"ChicoBag is a leader in upholding rigorous lead testing standards, exceeding government regulations, to ensure consumer safety. ChicoBag™ utilizes third party testing on every single order. In fact, our products are lead tested three different times before they ever enter your home or business. We adhere to testing standards even more stringent than those set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for children's toys. In addition to the CPSIA standards, we go one step further to ensure our products also adhere to the more stringent lead standards for children's toys set forth in ASTM F963-07. "

These bags come in some really great colors. Unfortunately, frog loves monkey doesn't carry the entire range of colors - they've added some since we got ours - but we have a nice selection to choose from!



Pale green
















These bags are $5 each, and currently available via email or our Facebook page.

Hemp Oil Soaps

Keeping on the subject of soap, I'd like to talk about the soaps that I make myself for frog loves monkey.

Years ago, on a whim, I tried making soap. The glycerin-based melt-and-pour kind that you can pick up at pretty much any craft store. It was kind of fun and we ended up with a small stash of neat shaped and brightly colored soaps. Eventually, we used them up and went back to buying "regular" soap from the grocery store. I didn't really think much about it again until after our son was born. I'd been researching what was actually IN the soaps we were using and the ingredients lists were pretty horrifying. My husband suggested that I try making soap again. (I had no idea that he'd actually really liked the soaps I'd made that first time. That was a cool discovery!) Off to the craft store I went...and came home empty handed. Turns out the glycerin stuff that you can pick up at the craft store is pretty much garbage and just as full of scary stuff as the mainstream, chemical-laden soaps that we were trying to avoid.

Thus began an exhaustive search for GOOD glycerin-based soap ingredients.

Eventually, I stumbled across what we were looking for. (Yay!) Plant-based glycerin that wasn't stripped of all the good stuff. In fact, the company that I found added MORE glycerin to their soap base. This makes the finished soaps feel fabulous. Really luxurious. (Yay!) Everything was all-natural, vegan (with the exception of honey and goat's milk), hypo-allergenic, biodegradable, non-comedogenic, detergent free, surfactant free, sulfate free, and there was no SLS in sight. (YAY!)

I put in a small order to test out some soap just for us...and fell completely in love. After much testing, I've found a few soaps that I really, really enjoy - and enjoy making.

Across the board, the hemp soaps tend to be my favorite. The hemp oil soaps have a really nice amber color, a very light, naturally clean smell and lather beautifully. And every combination seems to make a finished soap that I (and my skin!) like. Of the hemp-based soaps, the Hemp with White Tea and Lemongrass are my favorite. After some friend and customer feedback, frog loves monkey carries two versions.

soap,glycerin,glycerine,hemp oil,white tea,tea,lemongrass,lemon oil,essential oil

The exfoliating version has rather large chunks of dried white tea and lemongrass suspended in it as an exfoliant. I love this, but some people can find it a little off-putting. The dried leaves are somewhat large, so the soap will shed a little bit with use. It can also be a shade rough the first use. I like it. But I understand wanting the benefits of the ingredients without the exfoliants.

soap,glycerin,glycerine,hemp oil,white tea,tea,lemongrass,lemon oil,essential oil,olive oil,palm oil,coconut oil,safflower oil

The non-exfoliant version tends to be somewhat lighter in color, and offers the same yummy, natural scent and rich lather without being the least bit scratchy.

These soaps are shaped to fit very nicely into the hand and weigh in between 2.6 and 3 ounces each. You can find them in the Etsy store, or order via email or our Facebook page. $3 each, or less if several soaps are ordered at once.

Ingredients: Grade A extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, kosher glycerine of vegetable origin,hemp seed oil, purified water, sodium hydroxide, sorbitol (from berries), sorbitan oleate, soybean protein, dried white tea leaves, dried lemongrass, lemon oil. This is a vegan, all natural soap.

Cold Process Soaps

I love handmade soaps. And I love to make soap, but cold process soaps are something that I'm not quite ready to tackle in my house right now. With a baby and a three year old who likes to be very hands-on with whatever I'm doing, messing around with lye just seemed like a bad idea.

Luckily, there are some very talented people out there who make some really fabulous all-natural CP soaps! Our supplier uses organic and vegan ingredients when possible (noted per type of soap) and essential oils instead of chemical alternatives. I love, love, love these soaps and had a really difficult time deciding which flavors to carry. In the end, I chose five that I felt offered a nice balance to the soaps made in-house. I'm looking forward to expanding our offerings at some point.

soap,cold process,oatmeal,goat's milk,milk,olive oil,cocnut oil,palm oil,soy,sunflower oil,shea butter

Unscented oatmeal goat's milk soap - Exfoliating ground oats blended with, our rich three milk soap recipe make this bar perfect for scent-sensitive skin. Ingredients: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Oil, Soy Oil, Fresh Goat Milk, Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, Oats. May Also Contain Tocopherols (natural vitamin e) and Stearic Acid (vegetable source). This is an all natural soap.

soap,cold process,chamomile,aloe,neroli,palm oil,coconut oil,shea butter,sunflower oil,vegan

Chamomile neroli aloe - Sweet, floral chamomile and soft neroli essential oils will uplift you to sweet dreams of blooming hills. Sweet and complex. Ingredients: Organic Palm Oil, Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Sunflower oil, (Natural) Fragrance, Chamomile Powder. This is a vegan, all natural soap.

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Citrus cedar sage - This essential oil blend will have your mind racing through fields of lemongrass and oranges, with sweet petitgrain, cedar and sage in the passing wind. Made with organic vegetable based oils, this natural handmade soap contains 85% organic ingredients. Ingredients: Organic Palm Oil, Water, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Olive Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, (Natural) Fragrance, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Rosehip Powder. This is a vegan, all natural soap.

soap,cold process,honey,almond,olive oil,coconut oil,palm oil,soy,vegan

Honey almond - Rich bitter almond and sweet honey and citrus notes make this natural Essential Oil Blend a treasured classic. Natural almond blends tend to fade over time, so please expect a more mild almond scent than synthetic fragrances. Ingredients: Olive Oil, Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Oil, Soy Oil, Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, (Natural) Fragrance, Turmeric Powder. May Also Contain Tocopherols (natural vitamin e) and Stearic Acid (vegetable source). This is a vegan, all natural soap. (Note: This is a vegan soap despite the title. There is no honey in this product, this is just the "title" because it smells like honey and almond.)

soap,cold process,sandalwood,essential oil,olive oil,coconut oil,palm oil,soy,shea butter,vegan

Sandalwood - This all natural eo blend is earthy, mildly sweet and aromatic, with rich woody notes of sandalwood and frankincense with mildly exfoliating rosehip powder. Ingredients: Olive Oil, Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Oil, Soy Oil, Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, Fragrance. May Also Contain Tocopherols (natural vitamin e) and Stearic Acid (vegetable source). This is a vegan soap.

Currently, these soaps are available from frog loves monkey via email or message to the Facebook page. Each soap is $5 per bar, or discounted if multiple soaps are purchased at the same time.

Hello, Hello!

It's time, I think, for frog loves monkey to have a blog. I love Etsy and Facebook, but this just seems a little more personal for some of the stuff that seems a little more...chatty?

I'll be writing up some posts as time (and the kids) allow, sharing some stuff that's in the works. Your feedback is always welcome!

If you haven't checked out the shop yet, the dedicated website is down for the time being but the Etsy store is currently open on a limited basis. You can see it here. And for items that aren't appropriate for the Etsy store, there are pictures and descriptions on Facebook. Be sure to "like" the page while you're there!