October 30, 2009
Two problems I remember being plagued by during both of my pregnancies was acne caused by hormonal changes and itchy skin caused by the big belly stretch. Belli Pregnancy has safe solutions to these problems.
- BELLI Acne Clearing Facial Wash: This product uses lactic acid to treat blemished skin, as well as cucumber and green tea. This is not a soapy wash, but a smooth, lemony scented cleansing wash. It is important to note that most acne treatments are not recommended during pregnancy, except for Belli's product.
- BELLI All Day Moisture Body Lotion: This is a wonderful lotion that uses lemon oil, chamomile, and shea butter to provide lasting relief for itchy skin. When I was pregnant, I was plagued with an itchy back from my growing, stretching skin, and no lotion could provide relief. I am not pregnant now, but this lotion did a wonderful job on my dry fall/winter hands. This product received a score of three out of ten for toxicity by the Environmental Working Group.
Belli Pregnancy is safe during those pregnancy months because:
Belli Pregnancy has set a higher standard for prenatal safety, as the only skin care line in the world that is teratology screened. We search through over 16 million medical research articles in over 5000 international journals, and use this information to exclude ingredients with even remote links to birth defects or other problems with pregnancy. Belli Motherhood is LactMed screened to avoid ingredients linked to harmful effects during breastfeeding. Belli Baby is screened for xenoestrogens--chemicals which can act like hormones that interfere with normal development of the reproductive system.
Of course, you don't have to be pregnant to enjoy these products.
Disclosure: I was sent free samples of the above products in order to write an authentic review. I did not guarantee a positive or negative review in exchange for the samples.
October 29, 2009
Chinese candy made by Jigong Chayote has been recalled due to excessive lead content (note: The above picture may or may not feature Jigong Chayote candy). The San Jose Mercury News reports:
The California Department of Public Health has warned consumers not to eat an imported Chinese candy called Jigong Chayote after it was found to have unsafe levels of lead.
Recent tests found 0.68 parts per million of lead, and candies with more than 0.10 ppm are considered contaminated, the CDPH said...The CDPH said pregnant women and children who might have eaten the candy should see a doctor to determine if they need lead testing.
Just why would there be any amount of lead in candy to begin with considering the adverse effects it has on our health, especially children
October 28, 2009
One of the hardest parts about being a blogger is having to taste chocolate candies in order to review them (NOT). Recently, I tried Wolfgang Candy, which is all natural and "healthy", because it is made from "real cranberries" (other berries flavors available too).
Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (sugar, chocolate (processed with alkali), cocoa butter, soy lecithin (an emulsifier) vanilla), sugar, cranberries, vegetable oil.
I found this candy to be sickingly sweet. I had expected the candy to be chocolate covered dried or fresh fruit, but instead, a syrupy mess flows out of the innards. This candy reminds me of the crappy Valentine's Day candy I would get as a child that is sure to decay your teeth within minutes of eating. In fact, after trying two of these candies, I feel sick to my stomach. There are so many better options for all-natural, even organic and fair trade, chocolate treats; however, if you like it super sweet, you'll like these candies.
Disclosure: I was sent sample candies in order to write an authentic review. There was no guarantee of a positive or negative review in exchange for the sample.
October 27, 2009
If you are a regular yogi or yogini, you know that yoga keeps your body flexible, among many other health benefits. New research published in the American Journal of Physiology "suggests stretching exercises that increase flexibility could prevent or reverse stiffening of arteries." Natural News reports:
So, because arterial stiffness often precedes cardiovascular disease, this simple, non-drug, non-invasive test could become a quick measure of a person's risk for early death from heart attack or stroke...Why is arterial flexibility related to the flexibility of the body in middle-aged and older people? The scientists say that remains unclear but one possibility is that stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates may put into motion physiological reactions that slow down age-related stiffening of the arteries. Moreover, they cited additional recent research that found middle-aged and older adults who began a regular stretching exercise program significantly improved the flexibility of the carotid arteries in their necks.
This is good news for our health, especially people who know they have a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease. Yoga and Pilates are simple ways people can maintain arterial health.
October 26, 2009
One of my favorite baby items, which I have kept as a memento of those tender years, was a pair of felted wool baby booties. JelliBee Baby offers a very similar product to the ones I have.
Cheerfully bright, perfectly warm, and beautifully formed, these felted wool booties make a fitting baby gift. All natural, organic materials, handmade in the foothills of the Himalayas. Made in accordance with Fair Trade practices and green processes, these booties have little tootsies feeling good, while you are doing good.
Although I don't have a baby to try the JelliBee booties on, my recollection of the pair I had was that they were difficult to keep on those wiggly little feet. These may be different, as they do go a little higher up the ankle.
JelliBee is a mother-run company:
We are homegrown and homespun. We are spunky, sassy, and smart.
We marvel as our babies become their own little people, and our idea of love grows...
We celebrate Motherhood in style with whimsical yet practical design that's never too far from the woman we used to be, and always in step with the woman we are right now.
I do love these baby booties and wish they came in my size. I have actually made felted wool slippers for adults, which are fun to make and size on the actual foot!
Disclosure: I received a free pair of wool booties in order to write this review authentically. No promises were made as to whether the review would be positive or negative.
October 23, 2009
I've just discovered a new line of natural beauty products, 99.40% natural to be exact. J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary is a 140-year-old company (why am I just finding out about them now?) that creates "authentic, quality all-natural personal care products". Two of the company's gift sets I have tried are the Head To Toe Kit and the On the Go! Kit.
J R WATKINS Head To Toe Kit includes:
- Mango Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)
- Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)
- Peppermint Foot Cream (1 fl. oz.)
- Aloe & Green Tea Body Cream (0.70 oz.)
- Lemon Cream Body Cream (0.70 oz.)
- Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)
- Lemon Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)
- Natural Beeswax Lip Balm (0.14 oz.)
J R WATKINS On the Go! Kit contains:
- Lavender Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl oz/29 mL)
- Lemon Cream Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl oz/29 mL)
- Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Cuticle Salve (.25 oz/7 g)
- Natural Beeswax Lip Balm - stick (.14 oz/4 g)
I really like the J R WATKINS Natural Beeswax Lip Balm. It really moisturizes and lasts on dry, chapped winter lips. This lip balm is very soothing with a slight peppermint essence.
J.R. Watkins is committed to being:
- 95% Natural and above
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free
- Paraben Free
- Phthalate Free
- Mineral Oil, Petrolatum free
- Dye Free
It should be noted, however, that J.R. Watkins Lavender Hand and Body Lotion received a rather high score of eight out of ten on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep cosmetic database
. Of greatest concern, according to EWG, are the fragrance and methylparaben ingredients. Not all of J.R. Watkins' products have been evaluated by EWG.
Disclosure: I received free sample products in order to complete this review. No guarantees of positive or negative review were given in exchange for the products. This is an authentic review.
October 22, 2009
In a move reminiscent of the Bush administration, President Obama has given Shell Oil permission to "begin exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska in an Arctic area that is home to large numbers of endangered bowhead whales and polar bears, as well as walruses, ice seals and other species." What is the president thinking?
Via: Truthout and the Guardian
October 21, 2009
One of my son's favorite toys is the made in the USA Green Toys Recycling Truck, and now we have another great Green Toys product in our home. The Green Toys Tea Set is made in the USA from 100% curbside collected, recycled plastic milk jugs. Knowing this product is made from curbside collected plastic gives me peace of mind, considering I know it was part of closing the loop, as well as I am assured these toys are not made from industrial waste plastic. Besides being made of recycled materials, this tea set is sure to enchant your child (no matter the gender), as we have experienced in our home. Who doesn't love a tea party? The set includes a tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, four cups, four saucers and four spoons. Of course, the Green Toys Tea Set is bpa-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free!
Disclosure: I received this product for free in order write this review. There was no guarantee of a positive or negative review in exchange for the product. This is an authentic review.
October 20, 2009
is well known for his images that expound western culture's consumerism and its effect on the environment. One of my favorite piece by Chris Jordan includes 32,000 Barbie dolls to highlight the number of breast augmentations
that occur each month in the US. Chris' latest work
features images he took on Midway Atoll, and unlike Chris' other work, he did not arrange objects to create these images:
These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.
To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.
October 19, 2009
My father has celiac disease, so I have tasted lots of gluten-free products. Some of them are so good, like Pamela's chocolate chunk cookie mix, that I eat it even though I don't require a gluten-free diet. Recently, I tried French Meadow Bakery's gluten-free breads that include many organic ingredients.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, organic honey, palm oil, organic raisins, sugar, distilled monoglycerides, rice bran and germ, contains less than 2% of the following: maltodextrin, palm oil, yeast, salt, cinnamon, carbohydrate gum, pectin, xanthan gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), guar gum, calcium sulfate, soy lecithin, natural flavor, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.
Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread
Filtered water, corn starch, whole grain flour blend (amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff ), egg whites, organic honey, tapioca starch, organic flax seed, palm oil, organic millet, organic quinoa, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, distilled monoglycerides, yeast, maltodextrin, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, palm oil, organic honey, distilled monoglycerides, maltodextrin, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, yeast, organic apple cider vinegar, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, citrus fiber, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.
Each loaf costs about $5.00 and is smaller than your average loaf of wheat bread. The bread is a little bit rubbery and is better toasted, like most gluten-free breads. Unlike some gluten-free breads, it does not fall apart, which makes French Meadow Bakery gluten-free breads perfect for packing in lunches. These breads are probably the best gluten-free breads that I have tried, but I am still addicted to my wheat flour.
Disclosure: I received three free loaves of French Meadow Bakery gluten-free bread to sample in order to write this review. There were no guarantees of a positive or negative review in exchange for the sample. This is an authentic review.
October 16, 2009
My family's favorite tea bag variety is Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea. We especially appreciate this tea made from "the highest quality, pharmacopoeial grade herbs" when we are ill, but we actually drink it all the time. We take it backpacking, we drink it at home, we take it to school, etc. Recently, I took the time to read the little paper wrapper the tea bag comes in:
We have installed solar panels at our corporate headquarters and tea production facility. This solar project includes 1,450 solar panels, and generates approximately 430,000 kilowatt hours per year making us the largest solar powered tea factory on the planet!
My tea bag was a little outdated (2008), so Traditional Medicinals may have even increased their solar energy capacity. Alternative energy and good tea: we will keep enjoying our Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea
without any eco-guilt.
Disclosure: This product was personally purchased.
October 15, 2009
You probably don't think twice when an occasional house fly buzzes into your home, then again, you probably don't live at about 18,000 feet above sea level. House flies are showing up at Mt. Everest's base camp. The Guardian reports:
Earlier this year Dawa Steven Sherpa was resting at Everest base camp when he and his companions heard something buzzing. "What the heck is that?" asked the young Nepali climber. They searched and found a big black house fly, something unimaginable just a few years ago when no insect could have survived at 5,360 metres.
"It's happened twice this year - the Himalayas are warming up and changing fast," says Dawa, who only took up climbing seriously in 2006, but in a few years has climbed Everest twice as well as two 8,000m peaks in Tibet.
The problem of climate change goes beyond annoying house flies for the Himalayan region. "Erratic weather patterns" and lack of drinking water is hurting both the local residents and tourism.
Note: This post is part of Blog Action Day
, which occurs every year uniting "the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion."
October 14, 2009
Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleansing Strips use the power of tea tree oil to remove blackheads and deeply clean pores on your nose. Recommended for once a week usage, the strips are applied after first wetting your clean nose, then placing the strip across your nose (be careful your hands are thoroughly dry when removing the strip from it's wrapper). The strip stays on for about 10 minutes, and upon removal, the results are amazing! Examining the used strip is both gross and fascinating, and I was convinced after one usage that Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleansing Strips are a must have for any natural beauty regime.
Disclosure: This product was personally purchased.
October 13, 2009
Floradix Iron + Herbs is a naturally derived supplement for those of you needing a little extra iron. I discovered Floradix upon my midwife's recommendation after childbirth hemorrhaging, and I recently began purchasing it again when my son was discovered to have low iron. He is not one for supplements, but liquid Floradix tastes good, and he actually asks to take it!
According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency occurs in 66-80% of the world's population. Do you need iron?
Why does your body need iron? Because the body is constantly making new red blood cells through a complex process that requires a daily supply of iron. If the supply of iron is inadequate it will lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the blood, and will consequently weaken the whole body. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency are: ? Fatigue and general lack of energy ? Decreased ability to concentrate ? Decreased endurance during exercise ? Increased frequency of infection ? Ridges along the fingernails ? Paleness and/or dark circles under the eyes?
Floradix Iron + Herbs uses herbs, fruit, vegetables, ocean kelp, wheat germ, rosehips, yeast, and is sweetened with kosher honey. It is non-constipating and contains vitamin C to increase absorption of iron. It also contains a high level of B12, and important supplement for many vegetarians. Floradix is also available in a gluten or yeast-free formula.
Disclosure: This is an item I purchased for personal use. It was not provided to me in exchange for this product review.
October 12, 2009
October 9, 2009
At gift giving time, I become challenged to find presents for my children that fit my ecological standards and encourage our green family values. Haba's Terra Kids Camping Lantern fits the bill, as it requires no batteries and encourages children to include camping in their dramatic play, as well want to get outside during night time hours (of course, under adult supervision). This lantern has a compass on the top, a lightweight carabiner for clipping onto backpacks, and is powered by a hand crank. Just three minutes of cranking produces one hour of light, which also makes this toy useful in case of power outages. My son loves his Terra Kids Camping Lantern
Disclosure: This item was personally purchased for my son's birthday.
October 8, 2009
I have often questioned the sustainability of a world hooked on bananas, and this tropical fruit is certainly not on the menu for locavores living in the Northern Hemisphere. Now, a banana price war is happening in Europe causing the fruit to sell for the cheapest price in 14 years. The Guardian explains the concern that the banana price war will hurt farmers in developing countries:
It is feared consumers will come to expect the rock-bottom prices and the cost will eventually be passed on to growers in developing countries...A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "The principle of providing fair and sustainable returns to all our growers is at the heart of how we do business. All our bananas are Fairtrade and, if others choose to start a price war, we'll make sure that our customers don't lose out. But none of the cost of cutting the price will be passed on to our growers because we want to help them build secure and viable businesses for the future."
So why have grocers started a "pointless" banana price war?
October 7, 2009
As the crisp temperatures of autumn are upon us, my body craves the warmth of tea. I like to buy my herbal teas in bulk, but I fall short in tea making by not considering the temperature sensitivities of some blends. For example, did you know that green tea has a preferred temperature range of 155-195 degrees (F)? Such a narrow temperature range is hard to control with your stovetop kettle. Chef'sChoice 688 SmartKettle Cordless 1-3/4-Quart Electric Kettle offers the perfect solution.
The only drawback to the SmartKettle is its power usage. It uses 1500 watts of power, which is a lot when you live off-grid. The only redeeming feature in the power usage is that the SmartKettle does not use this large amount of power the entire time it is use, but it only uses it when heating the water to boil. In fact, the SmartKettle boils water faster than a microwave (which uses about 1000 watts of electricity) or a stovetop. Additionally, the SmartKettle automatically shuts off when the water boils.
October 6, 2009
I have always had an affinity for horses since I was a child, and I have fantasized about adopting one of the wild horses the Bureau of Land Management rounds up every year and auctions off to the public.
The Bureau of Land Management is rounding up and eliminating 12 herds (650 horses) off 1.4 million acres in Nevada right now- next they plan to destroy Cloud's herd with a massive removal of 70 horses that would include OLDER HORSES and YOUNG FOALS...The House just passed the Restoring of American Mustangs (ROAM) act and the Senate will review this bill (now S.1579) when they return from recess in September. Is BLM just trying to do as much irrevocable damage to America's wild horses as they can before Congress can act?
I know question if this is a practice I should support or if I would actually be "rescuing" an animal.
October 5, 2009
OrigAudio has created "the first-of-its-kind recycled, self-powered, portable speakers".
Two 1 watt speakers
Cube Size: 3.15 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches (8 x 8 x 8 centimeters)
3.5mm Standard Audio Jack Plug
Made from Recycled Materials
NO batteries or external power required
Universally Compatible with any device that has a headphone jack (MP3 players, laptops, cell phones, cd players, etc.)
These speakers are really cool, as they flatten to fit into any small space. They sound pretty good playing off my laptop, but off my iPod touch the sounds is too quiet (this may be my fault with some setting on the iPod). The OrigAudio Fold N' Play Recycled Speakers come in a variety of designs, and you can even design your own!
OrigAudio has also partnered with the non-profit Music National Service.
Music National Service (MNS) is a nonprofit enterprise that supports and expands the use of music to address important civic and social needs. Research shows music to be an effective intervention in: 1) under-resourced public schools and low-income communities to develop more successful students and youth; 2) health care and therapeutic settings for patient recovery and improved functioning; 3) the public domain for increased civic engagement, diplomacy and peace.
I love our OrigAudio speakers, and think they will be great in situations that require portability.
October 3, 2009
Why do we kiss? Researchers believe the act of kissing was actually developed in order to build up our immune systems by exposing us to more germs. Specifically, the cytomegalovirus is spread through the act of kissing, a bug that can be dangerous during pregnancy. The Telegraph reports:
Writing in the journal Medical Hypotheses, researcher Dr Colin Hendrie from the University of Leeds, said: "Female inoculation with a specific male's cytomegalovirus is most efficiently achieved through mouth-to-mouth contact and saliva exchange, particularly where the flow of saliva is from the male to the typically shorter female."
Kissing the same person for about six months provides the best protection, he added.
As the relationships progresses and the kisses become more passionate, the woman's immunity builds up, cutting her odds of becoming ill.
By the time she becomes pregnant, the odds of her unborn baby becoming infected are much lower.
Now that Spain has asked people to stop kissing
in order to prevent the spread of H1N1, what will happen to the cytomegalovirus?
October 2, 2009
I'm a busy working mom, and my daughter needs cookies to take to school for "wear your pajamas" day. Pamela's Products Incredible Chocolate Chunk Cookies Mix has made my job much easier! Simply add an egg and a stick of butter, and these gluten-free cookies are done! Ingredients:
Chocolate Chunks (Organic Natural Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Non-gmo Soy Lecithin/Emulsifier (Chunks may Contain Traces of Milk Protein.), Organic Vanilla, Organic Natural Evaporated Cane Sugar, Brown Rice Flour, Brown Sugar, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Grainless and Aluminum Free Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Natural Flavor (Contains Corn Derivative), Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda.
They are really delicious, and substitutes can be made to make them vegan. Now, how do I stop myself from eating too many of these cookies so there are enough for her class?
October 1, 2009
Really Natural Books
Really Natural Products