The Good Old Days

I'm an old-fashioned type of girl. I remember the old Mom & Pop shops in the neighborhood, the old corner stores that would special order an item for you if you asked them, no matter the overhead. I think this is what drew me to the Esty experience in the first place.

One of the things that I like best about owning my own busineses is the satisfaction I personally can give customers. Knowing that someone actually "likes" a product I create with my own hands is still thrill-worthy for me as a person; hopefully, as I expand, it will always remain a pleasure.

I take pride in the fact that, a small business, GreenFamilyTree is far different from the cold, unfeeling approach some larger corporations give online. I've made many a purchase online and have felt, in some instances, like I'm dealing with a huge, faceless machine, that has no other concern than making the bottom line shiny. Terrible interface, cold customer service experiences... you name it, I've received it.

Joining the Handmade Community has been a very fulfilling experience for me.All of the experiences I've had with other family-run businesses, and other Etsians have always been pleasant and satisfying, from initiation to completion of sale.

All of the professional lingo aside, GreenFamilyTree is a family run business.
I hope each customer knows that, behind every purchase in my shop is a real person, who really cares about your experience with my products.

On the flip side, family run businesses are sometimes at the mercy of things that would normally cause the larger corporations to simply wince, re-organize and continue on with the beautification of the bottom line. However, sometimes, as much as we would like it otherwise, family run businesses run into family issues, that impact the day-to-day operations.

At the end of last year, I came very close to losing my 14 year old son in a car accident. He suffered a brain injury. I thank God every day that we can actually smile a bit and say he "scrambled his egg", yet suffered no further damage, other than the occasional headache and a little grief in the school work department. However, this did upset our GFT apple cart for a few weeks. Unfortunately, we have no corporate executives that can fill in for other corporate executives; no temporary staff to handle fulfillment, shipping, customer services. There is just me and the young man who wants to own his own business one day.

I'm very proud that GFT weathered this storm and managed to come out with only two bad feedback experiences. I'm also very proud that we can continue to offer a quality product, and a one-of-a-kind customer service experience.

I hope that any of you who make the step into our shop has an experience that they can take back with them and say, "I remember the days... and I'm glad those days have come back". If not, then know that transparency goes both ways. Let me know. GreenFamilyTree is always available. In fact, here's a bit more of that transparency... such a cool word, isn't it?

Questions, comments, rants, raves and reviews can be sent to: OR

Myrna Alvarado
c/o GreenFamilyTree
293 Turnpike Road #313
Westborough, MA 01581

Let see, now, to highlight my FAVORITE part of posting here...

The Etsy Shop of the Day!

Who can resist Frieda Kahlo? This is a shop that just "hearted" mine; after taking a look around, I had to give this mirror a shout out!

The Great Container Search!

So, I've got this great line of cleaning products and now I want to give them a spiffy look, so when you buy them, you won't feel like you bought them off some old lady in a house of 1000 cats.

I finally found a company that sells wonderful containers, the tops to match, and the ability to by them one at a time! Whee! I'm so easily amused.

I'm staying with the milk cartons for the laundry powders... I just can't resist the look. So, in case you're keeping track here's the lines that will be coming down the pike:

Grandma Helen Says Keep Your Clothes Clean

Laundry Powder (6, 12, 24 load containers, with a 92 load refill)
Laundry Creme (10, 20, load containers with a 40 load refill)
Laundry Dryer Sachets

Mamma Francie Says Take Care of Your Baby

Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent (30 load container)
Baby Wipe Liquid
Baby Wipes
Bottom Balm
Abuelita Lidia Says Keep Your Casa Clean
Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaner
Floor & Glass Cleaner (almost ready for launch!)
Toilet Bombs
Dishwashing Powder (for Hand and Machine Washing)
Furniture Spray
Carpet Powder
Tia Glaucia Says Make Your House a Home
Linen Spray

Next Post, I wax poetic about my bath and beauty lines!

If you use Cloth Diapers Lemme Hear You Say HO!

I'm currently formulating a laundry powder that is specifically for washing cloth diapers and infant wear and I'm looking for 10 mommies and daddies who would like to test this product.

I have two formulas. What I will do is send 5 families one formula and 5 families the other formula. There will be enough to do at least two loads of CLOTH DIAPERS.

After you use the formulas, you'll email me with your results, and I'll pick the formula that has the best results as the new product for the "Mamma Francie Says Take Care of Your Baby" line.

There is no other obligation to the test study. You won't be spammed or anything else. You'll actually receive for your trouble a gift card for $5 off any other product in any of my three shops!

If you're interested, email us at, comment here, or convo me at the GreenFamilyTree shop!


GreenFamilyGetTogether #1

Don't you wish you had it this good?

Or do you feel more like this when you look into the kitchen after a meal? (and don't scream, I'm not advocating domestic violence, by ANY means! crazy people, don't try this at home -- you may not like what you get if you do.)

Abuelita and I were having a talk -- well, not really, but it sure sounds better than saying 'I was talking to myself and said to myself, "self..."' -- and we realized that there are probably tons of people out there who do not know about the joy of washing dishes by hand.

There's probably a whole generation of young people out there who just have absolutely no idea that you can even wash dishes by hand without going completely crazy. Well, Abuelita Lidia and I are here to tell you that it can be done. I do it all the time -- running the washer is not eco-friendly, no matter how efficient the washer happens to be. I had to make a choice between beating my laundry on a rock and washing dishes by hand and guess what won?

So the Abuelita and I sat down -- again not really, see above -- and decided to come up with a product to make handwashing easier and more friendly to our poor little planet. After that was done, we had the amazing epiphany discussed above, and hence, here I am to give a little "dishwashing 101" course. Been washing dishes since I was 8, so I think I've come up with a method that not only saves your sanity, but keeps your dishwater relatively clean and keeps excess water use to a minimum.

Reading this, it may seem like a long, long, task, but in practice, it really is pretty quick. I've spent maybe a good 1/2 hour in the kitchen after meals washing dishes and cleaning up. That's minus the chasing part. If you're one of those who have a TV in the kitchen, check out your favorite show. If you have a radio or MP3 player, plug it in and make the time go faster. Trust me, after the 2nd time you do the dishes, you'll find out it's a breeze. If you're like me and like a little alone time, you'll get it here. Unless you can convince someone else in your house that washing dishes can be fun.

Really. It can. No, don't run. Trust me.

So, here we go:

1. Get those dishes together: This is probably the hardest part. I know looking into the kitchen after a meal and seeing the stacks and piles of dirty dishes and pots waiting for me still makes me want to run screaming into the night, but I promise as soon as this step is over, it's almost a cake walk from here. Get the glasses together, the silverware, the dishes, the pots, and put them on your counter. Scrape those plates (or get the kids or SO to pitch in), empty those pots, and you're ready to go.

2. Grab your dishpan: If you don't have one, go get one from one of the discount stores. They range between $1 - $2.50, depending upon how fancy you want to get. You do want to get one that's going to stand the test of time, and one that's big enough to get the job done. Here is a good example of a nice dishpan.

If you're one of the lucky ones who have a divided sink, do a dance of joy! Your job is half done.

3. Get your dish-soap: Of course, I'm going to suggest using Abuelita Lidia's Dishwashing Powder, but whatever you use for handwashing dishes is going to work, as long as you're going green!

4: Dish-Soap in First: Sprinkle about a 1/2 tablespoon of powder in the bottom of your dishpan and fill it with the hottest water you can stand. This is an important step -- cold water washes no dishes, just spreads the grease around.

DIVIDED SINK FOLK: Fill one side of your sink with hot, soapy water and the other side with cool, clear water. This is all the water you will need.

Still with me? Good.

(and don't laugh at the pic above... some husbands do help with the dishes. honestly.)

Now comes the washing. This may sound absolutely insane, but this the most fun part of dishwashing for me. I love the feeling of the warm, soapy water, and the way your dishes look when they come out all sparkly clean, by your hand-power alone. But then, I used to get tickled pink when I saw the old commercials for Joy. No, don't call the happy truck yet.

There's a specific order to hand washing dishes. Can't just throw the dishes in and pray for the best -- that's where it starts to get ugly, and that's why I had you go through that little preparation dance earlier.

GLASSES FIRST: Wash your glasses first! There is nothing on this planet worst than a greasy glass. And while my 14 year old son hasn't quiet figured this out yet, trust me when I tell you that you will have the highest sense of accomplishment when you pull those glasses out of your water and their clean and shining. As you wash your glasses, set them in the bottom of your sink, beside the dishpan (or in the rinse portion of your sink, for you lucky divided sink folk). Only turn on the faucet for rinsing when you have something to rinse. Don't leave the water running.

Continue washing in this order:

Silverware next
Dishes (eating plates)
Serving Dishes

By now, your dishwater will be a little murky (especially if you DIDN'T scrape your plates). That's okay, though. If you want, refresh your water with a little more hot water and a sprinkle more of soap. Trust me.

At this point, you may want to stand back and admire your work, go take a break, (have a drink, chase the kids, chase the SO), because your dishes are drying in the rack. Once they're done drying (or you're done chasing), get the dishes and glasses out of the way and get ready to tackle those pots and pans.

Grab a scrubby and go to town. This can become a onerous task if you let it become that way, but, guess what? Washing pots and pans can take you back to those days when you could get all dirty and wet and not get in trouble. Yes, I know, we're all mature adults here... oh, we're not? Okay then, have fun!

Once again, wash the "cleanest" of the dirty pots first. If your water is done by this time, you're okay. Without a shred of guilt, you can dump that water. Sprinkle the dishwash powder directly into the pot and run some hot water, and scrub. Dunk it in the rinse water (which should still be relatively clean), and put it where ever you put pots. If you have fancy pots, then do whatever the instructions tell you to do with the pots. Far be it from me to tell Wolfgang Puck what to do with his pots and pans!

Take yourself a deep breath... because you're done with the dishes.

Now check this out. Maybe you could use it to relax after your fun in the kitchen is done.

by CottageGardenTherapi


The New Year Starts Greener Than Ever!

Our new year finally got started, after the big bang of the car accident. Now my son is all good and ready to go and we have some wonderful items for sale:

Laundry Powder - 12/24 Loads

Laundry Powder - 24/48 Loads

Laundry Powder - 6/12 Loads - FREE SHIPPING

Hand Diswashing Paste - 8 ounces - Abuelita Lidia Says Keep Your Casa Clean

Hand Diswashing Paste - 1 ounce sample - FREE SHIPPING

All Purpose Cleaner Starter Kit

All Purpose Cleaner - 2 bottle sample

For GFT's Shop of the Day, I chose:

His Teas are so scumptious looking, I can't wait to purchase some!

Now, go and make the world green! Till tomorrow!

Happy Belated New Year!

New Year, new products available!

Grandma Helen has expanded her product line with larger packages! Now you can choose the 6 load, 12 Load or 24 load packages.

This is a great, all natural product made with 3 simple ingredients.

Only 1TB will take care of a regular load; 1/2 TB for HE washers.

Come and visit, and email me at to join our mailing list. You'll receive a once-monthly email, beginning in February, with specials, and savings exclusive to you alone!