Organic Baby & The Healthy Home Workbook

Success Through Play™ is pleased to bring you this interview with Kimberly Rider, who is the author of the books Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living and The Healthy Home Workbook, which we are featuring today. The books are published by Chronicle Books and we thank them for sending us the review copies.

Kimberly Rider is the founder of Atmosphera an interior design firm dedicated to blending sustainable materials and modern style for homeowners, developers and business owners. Kimberly is a frequent guest on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” and a host of its “100 Sizzling Summer Ideas.” She lives in Marin County, California, with her family.

Success Through Play™ had the opportunity to interview Kimberly Rider.

Have you books been well received and do you think that consumers are moving towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle for both themselves and their children?

People respond very enthusiastically to the books, and they demonstrate true appreciation for my concern and simple approach to the topic, as they’re presented in the book. Consumers are absolutely aware that eco-friendly options exist. I try to show how those options can be just as stylish, if not more so, than their conventional counterparts. This way of thinking is truly starting to catch on, particularly among my interior design clients. Some of the eco-friendly design alternatives are a little hard to find, and my clients get so excited when I show them the
latest and the best. They feel privileged to get an insider’s glimpse into the industry and get to have the most recent advances in their homes.

What was the inspiration behind writing your book: Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living?

Preparing to have my own baby proved a challenge when I really got into it. I found that collaborating with a spouse and surrounding family members was more work than I thought it would be. Everyone wants what’s best for your new arrival, but we all have different viewpoints about what matters most. I needed to sift through my recommendations from the first book and find the ones that were particularly budget-friendly. And, navigating the pressures to buy all the things that were being thrust upon us as “must haves” was a bit overwhelming. My husband and I really focused on true essentials and made it a priority to take care of our relationship just as much as we made lists of things to do and buy. This book presents many of our experiences, including the pregnancy, labor and first week home— it distills what I felt was truly the most important information to consider when preparing for a new baby.

Can you offer our readers 10 Organic Baby Tips?

Top Ten Organic Baby Tips:

* Choose a eco-friendly crib mattress made from organic cotton
* Remove your shoes when you enter the nursery.
* Select a low- or no-VOC paint for the nursery walls.
* Investigate new, easy-to-use styles of cloth diapers and biodegradable liners.
* Dress your baby in organic cotton and wool processed without chemicals.
* Use coconut-derived or castile soap, plus baking soda, to keep clothes, bedding, and diapers fresh without bleach.
* Look for baby soaps and shampoos with essential oils.
* Make your own baby food by pureeing cooked organic veggies and freezing individual portions in an ice tray.
* Use an organic cotton grocery cart liner to protect your baby from germs.
* Be sure to let friends and family know your preference for non-toxic and organic products.

What was the inspiration behind writing your book: The Healthy Home Workbook: Easy Steps for Eco-Friendly Living?

It was the culmination of years of studying industrial design materials and chemicals, being inspired by my work as an interior designer and starting to see the not-so-positive connection between industry and human health. I knew that people had an interest in the subject matter, but many of those people were already experts in the field or so immersed in the nuts and bolts of green design that they knew exactly what I was talking about. They didn’t need any more proof that a green lifestyle could be a healthier one. The book came about because I wanted to share the knowledge with a broader audience, especially those so influential in the decisions of the household—like people doing the grocery shopping and decorating. This book is for everyone, especially those who are interested in changing some of their habits.

Book descriptions:

Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living

Record numbers of parents are choosing organic foods and non-toxic products that are healthier for their children and kinder to the planet – to the tune of $50 billion dollars spent worldwide last year. But many parents are still mystified about the best ways to integrate organic products into their children’s lives. Organic Babyfrom Chronicle Books, is an easy, step-by-step guide for parents to create an eco-friendly environment for little ones.

Author of The Healthy Home Workbook, interior designer and new mother Kimberly Rider offers parents dozens of organic, non-toxic and eco-friendly solutions that fit their priorities and their lifestyle – as well as their budget. From cribs to bubble bath to baby’s first foods, Rider highlights health concerns, navigates the range of available products and guides the way to safe and appealing choices. Kimberly’s advice, tips and resources are invaluable tools for any parents that would like to incorporate organic materials into their baby’s life, whether it’s a complete organic makeover, or just a few important details that ensure baby’s optimum health.

The Health Home Workbook

A healthy home is one that's free of toxins and stocked with natural materials that are as good for the body as they are soothing for the spirit. The Healthy Home Workbook leads the way to creating a space that is friendly to the environment, reflects the owner's personal style, and won't break the bank. With the same engaging approach and sophisticated style that makes her a such a popular guest star of HGTV's Curb Appeal, Kimberly Rider clarifies eco-friendly design and makes recycling chic. Dozens of projects, such as identifying and replacing harmful cleaning
products, caring for pets without chemicals, and choosing furniture and flooring made with sustainable materials, can be completed in a few hours, a day, or over a weekend. Room-by-room health specifics, from mold in the bathroom to electromagnetic fields in the home office, are addressed in a practical way, while informative reference sections help decode chemical additives in everything from bug spray to shampoo, and highlight earth-friendly materials. Gorgeous interior photography shows how to incorporate these healthful habits without sacrificing style. A concealed spiral binding and tabbed sections complete this elegant, handy reference guide. Inspirational and informative, The Healthy Home Workbook is the blueprint for a clean, fresh, and harmonious home.

These 2 books feature photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy who is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work can be seen in Real Simple, InStyle Home and Health magazines, as well as the book Nest, published by Chronicle Books.


Success Through Play™ Comments:

Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Health Living

Kimberly has partnered with a very talented San Francisco based photographer Thayer Allyson Gowdy, whose pictures depict happy, healthy babies and children who are exploring their environment and in a natural setting. This book is colorful and bright and an easy read. It features handy tabs which you can use to refer to content easily. The Organic Baby book will educate you about the dangers of chemicals in baby products and empower to you make eco-friendly choices for your baby thus enabling your baby to have the best start in life. Highlights include setting up a healthy nursery, a guide to selecting diapers for your baby (cloth vs disposable table included), selecting an eco-friendly carrier (babywearing), making your own baby food, selecting non-toxic toys, sound developmental advice about selecting shoes, sun protection for your baby, selecting baby bathing and grooming products, as well a variety of useful tips from an experienced mom. We were very pleased to see a reference to babywearing and advice about selecting an eco-friendly carrier.

Latex/Foam Rubber
The author recommends using latex rubber as an alternative to plastics (teethers, mattresses), however, as stated in our previous articles, our team of experts do not recommend that anyone, particularly babies are exposured to latex in any form, because the potential to develop a latex allergy later in life is all too real and can be deadly. Look for organic cotton options instead. In the next edition of this book, we would like to see a more comprehensive Resource Section that is more user friendly. We hope to see it expanded to include organizations such as the EWG and Healthy Car. The EWG offers a searchable database where parents can view how their skin care, baby care products, etc are ranked in terms of safety. Healthy Car is a fantastic organization and offers a "consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars". They rank different brands of car seats (and specific models) according to the amount of chemicals that off gas and have recently started to rate various models of cars in terms of toxicity! As for the clothing resources, we would like to see companies such as Walmart and Target included as they offer consumers an organic cotton baby clothing range at unbeatable prices.

Overall, this one of a kind, beautiful book that will offer parents tools that will empower them to make healthy choices for their baby and child.

The Healthy Home Workbook:

Studies have shown that the air quality in our homes can be up to 4 times more polluted than the air outside. We believe that every person deserves to be informed of the dangerous chemicals that lurk in our homes and be taught simple strategies and alternatives for reducing the amount of chemicals so that we lead healthier lives. Eco-style has undergone a huge transformation and you will be amazed by the beautiful eco-friendly options for home decor that are available to you these days!

Kimbery is uniquely qualified to write The Healthy Home Workshop, given her extensive interior eco design background. Kimberly is the owner of Atmosphera, a full-service interior design firm offering a broad range of services & products. They specialize in custom design for homeowners, developers, and real estate professionals.

To view the company's breathtaking portfolio please click here

This outstanding book will help you turn your home into a eco-friendly haven. The user friendly tabs will take you through every inch of your home, guiding you how to select toxic free alternatives in your home. You will be proud to display this book on your coffee table and don't be surprised if your guests become fascinated by the wealth of information and tips that lie within the book which are bound to lead into an intereting evening discussion!

Highlights include beautiful images depicting eco-friendly, functional, modern furniture and decor. We were pleased to see the inclusion of ergonomic tips for selecting furniture. Readers will be delighted to be introduced to "recipes" for making your own effective, natural cleaning products that are very cheap to make and are made from items such as baking soda and vinegar that are very safe alternatives to toxic cleaning products as well as natural remedies for controlling insects. We really liked the inclusion of tips to create an organic garden and tips to selecting decks and outdoor play equipment. Overall, this comprehensive book will educate readers about the chemicals that lurk in their homes and provide them with the practical tools to transform their home in a safe and healthy environment for their family.

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