Dagmar*s Home

http://DagmarBleasdale.com

One of the Top NY Moms 2012, Dagmar blogs about motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green & frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She breaks for thrift stores and documents her adventures on Instagram.

Dagmar is a winner of Top 25 New York Moms - 2013

What do your kids love most about living in New York?

We live in beautiful Westchester, NY, an hour by train away from NYC. It's so green and beautiful here. It's no wonder the rich and famous live here, so many great things to do but away from the fast life of NYC. Just how I like it :)

What's a great destination for a family vacation in New York?

We don't have to go far -- Westchester and the Hudson Valley offers hiking, farms, great restaurants, flea markets, etc. No need to go anywhere.

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

Go for a hike!

What's an easy, eco-friendly habit that could help families save money?

Dagmar

- learn to make your own, cheap, non-toxic household cleaners - shop less, shop local! - need something? First check Freecycle.org and the "Free" section on Craigslist - buy multi-functional furniture pieces - get moving boxes for free from stores like Starbucks or Panera - use the kids programs your local library offers for free - recycle cardboard, free address stickers, and toilet paper rolls for fun, green craft projects - before you shop, go online and find coupons and discount codes, and use store cards - no garden? Consider gardening with a single hay bale - getting something at Starbucks? Also ask for a large cup of filtered, free water... Should I keep going? :)
View All Answers

What's a great cleaning product you've discovered?

Dagmar

Aside from just using vinegar and baking soda, I love the whole line of BabyGanics cleaners (created by two dads who didn't want any harsh cleaners near their babies) and Shaklee cleaning products. Mrs. Meyer's countertop spray in Geranium makes the whole house smell divine. For laundry, I love soap nuts - for so many reasons. I just bought enough for a whole year of loads - for about $20. My husband was impressed :) There is no need for harsh, toxic laundry detergent.
View All Answers

Can you share a favorite Valentines Day project or recipe that moms can do with kids under the age of 6?

Dagmar

I just wrote a whole blog post about 10 Cute and Easy Valentine’s Day Cards and Crafts For Kids These are so easy to make, even with little kids, include different materials (crayons, paper, even celery!) and are just adorable: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2012/01/10-cute-and-easy-valentines-day-cards-and-crafts-for-kids/ And here are even more ideas that can also be made by kids: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/02/valentines-day-crafts-and-decorating-ideas/
View All Answers

What is your best tip for keeping the bathroom clean?

Dagmar

I do a little bit of cleaning every day and only clean with natural cleaners. There are so many hidden toxins manufacturers don't have to tell you about! Make sure your "green" cleaning products are really green! More about that in this post: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/11/is-your-green-cleaning-product-really-green/
View All Answers

If you had to get dinner for your family at a fast food restaurant tonight, which would you choose and what would you order?

Dagmar

We have a fast food Mexican restaurant here, Salsa Fresca, that offers healthy food, and I can get yummy vegetarian food there. What I love most about them is their green commitment: they offer compostable, corn-based to-go containers, and deliver with a Smart car. SFMG is an eco-conscious business and supports sustainable and renewable products whenever possible (from recycled equipment and materials to low VOC paints.) Can't beat that combination - sustainable practices and healthy food we all like.
View All Answers

Do you have any tips for managing the mail so that it does not pile up?

Dagmar

Get on those no-junkmail lists, google it. I don't get junk mail anymore, but my husband does (who hasn't taken himself off), so it really works. I put all my mail in one spot, and the bills in the front. I only have three bills to pay every month, so it's not much to keep track off. If you have a lot of bills, but the due date on the outside of the envelope to keep track of what needs to be paid first. Set aside one day a week as the "mail" day. Having a comfortable, organized spot to do your mail makes a difference! Here is a link to great home office ideas: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/02/my-dream-home-12-creative-home-office-ideas/
View All Answers

What's your family's favorite recipe for weekend breakfasts?

Dagmar

We love organic buckwheat (plus banana, sometimes) pancakes, made with an organic egg and organic milk. I like eating them with cottage cheese and apple sauce or strawberry Xylitol syrup, and my husband and son like it with maple syrup. I now sweeten/bake everything with Xylitol. It's the best natural sweetener, and doesn't harm teeth: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/05/xylitol-natural-sweetener-with-many-health-benefits/
View All Answers

How do you keep your children's rooms organized and clean?

Dagmar

I love those collapsible fabric boxes from Target for storing my son's toys. And their ottomans - I bought 4 that we use for extra seating and for hiding a lot of his toys.
View All Answers

What's your family's favorite recipe for chicken or tofu?

Dagmar

I recently made this very fast tofu with quinoa recipe, thanks to Trader Joe's :) I just combined two Trader Joe's items: their frozen Quinoa Duo and marinated/ready-to-eat Organic Baked Tofu. Took 10 minutes and was so yummy. Recipe: A Fast Vegetarian Meal Thanks to Trader Joe’s http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2012/01/recipe-a-fast-vegetarian-meal-thanks-to-trader-joes/
View All Answers

What tips can you offer for closet organization?

Dagmar

To get more space to organize your closet, buy those expandable shower rods for an added row to hang clothes. I also love those see-through hanging shoe organizers - put it on the inside of the closet door to store small items like scarfs, sock, or even jewelry. http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/12/my-dream-home-10-cool-and-creative-storage-ideas/ http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2009/05/tips-on-how-to-maximize-space/
View All Answers

What's your favorite muffin recipe?

Dagmar

I love my healthy banana bran muffins - I make them whenever some bananas are begging me to do something with them before I have to throw them out: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2010/11/recipe-easy-healthy-banana-bran-muffins/ And with my whole wheat zucchini and carrot muffins, I get veggies into my son and he doesn't complain: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2009/01/easy-and-healthyzucchini-bread/
View All Answers

What are some creative ways that a bride can involve children in her wedding day?

Dagmar

I always loved this idea: if there are a lot of kids, why not have them all have one or two flowers and while she walks toward her groom, they could hand her the flowers. By the time she gets to the alter, she has her wedding bouquet! To keep the kids busy before the ceremony, have them draw bells or other wedding-related things on the walkway in front of the church. If it's hot outside, the kids could man a lemonade stand and pass out lemonade to the guests!
View All Answers

What are your tips for organizing a child's closet so that you can stay ahead of growth spurts and seasonal changes?

Dagmar

I buy clothes for my son at sales that are a year or two too large, and I store them in bins at the bottom of his closet. That way I never have to pay full-price for clothes when he grows out of one size. I like those fabric accordions that you can hang from the closet pole for extra storage for sweaters and pants, and the see-through shoe storage organizers that go behind the door for storage of small items. To fit more baby clothes into a small closet, buy a tension rod and add another row for clothes. http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2012/03/my-dream-home-easy-storage-and-organizing-ideas-for-every-room/
View All Answers

What's a fun birthday party craft idea? (Please include a link to a photo.)

Dagmar

I love this easy stamp made out of a celery stalk that makes flower! I mention them in my Valentine's post, but they would be fun and easy for every occasion: http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2012/01/10-cute-and-easy-valentines-day-cards-and-crafts-for-kids/
View All Answers

From peach pies and berry cobbler to lemon shortcake and watermelon popsicles, fruity desserts are perfect for summer. Please share your favorite fruit-based dessert, and include a link to the recipe and photo.

Dagmar

I have a recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins that are so delicious, easy to make, and so healthy! Your kids will love them! http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2010/11/recipe-easy-healthy-banana-bran-muffins/
View All Answers

Do you have a go-to hostess gift? Please share a link if you can.

Dagmar

I think candles are always a nice gift to bring. I started making my own, which adds an even more personal touch. I make them in vintage cups, and they have been such a hit with friends and family that I now sell them on my blog :)
View All Answers

What's your child's favorite thing to do in the snow? Please include a link to a picture if you have one.

Dagmar

L loves to sled down the hill in the front yard!
View All Answers

Are your kids hooked on a toy, clothing item, or style trend that makes you crazy? If so, tell us why and share a picture!

Dagmar

My son, who turned 6, has this new obsession with everything that has a Nike swoosh all of a sudden. Everything with a swoosh is cool. I'm still trying to figure out if that is him starting to have a style or peer pressure. I don't want to feed into peer pressure.
View All Answers

How do you keep stuffed animals under control? Do you corall them in a net, arrange them on shelves, periodically get rid of the unloved ones? Please include a picture of your solution.

Dagmar

I don't buy a lot of stuffed animals to begin with because they just collect dust :) We have a few sitting on shelves. I just recently organized L's playroom with a new shelving rack and storage bins, link below.
View All Answers