March 28, 2013

How to help that nighttime cough? Zarbee's All-Natural Children's Cough Syrup

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There is nothing worse than being up with a coughing child all night long.  Both parent and child are exhausted in the morning.

We've reviewed Zarbees All Natural Children's Cough Syrup before, now we were sent their new children's nighttime syrup. 

Zarbee's Children's Nightime Cough Syrup, Grape

Zarbee's nighttime formulas offer fast, soothing relief from coughs and irritated throats. With Zarbee's clinically proven all-natural ingredients you're sure to get a restful night's sleep. Made with natural melatonin, Zarbee's nighttime formula will safely and gently help your little ones get the rest they need so they can bounce back fast!

Pediatrician Developed & Recommended

  • Safe & effective for children 2 years+
  • Pediatrician recommended
  • Soothes sore throats
  • Immune boosting formula
  • Drug, Dye and Gluten-Free
  • Contains 0.5 mg melatonin
  • Available in Grape
Hopefully that little bit of melatonin lets your little one sleep easier while suffering from a cough.
 

Zarbee's is affordable (about $8).  Even though they make an adult formula, the kid's syrup works fine on adults too!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 26, 2013

AlternaVites Kids Quick Melting Multivitamin Crystals: What are those natural flavors?

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I am not a big proponent of multivitamins. We take them on occasion, but it is best to get your minerals and vitamins from natural foods. That being said, AlternaVites Kids offers an alternative to chewable or gummy vitamins with their kids quick melting multivitamin crystals.

The vitamin that is on the tip of every kid's tongue! Amazing Strawberry Bubble Gum Flavor Certified kosher pareve The coolest vitamin because it can be taken in so many ways! Sprinkle directly onto the tongue melts in your mouth Mix into smoothies, yogurts, puddings and shakes Lick off a spoon Sprinkle on top of fruit Get creative This incredibly versatile formula was made to fit easily into the way your family lives today so that there are no more excuses not to make vitamins!

It comes in two flavors, strawberry bubblegum and raspberry cotton candy, both of which make me shudder and search for artificial ingredients. The company states they contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners; however, just listing "natural flavors" does not make me feel better. I want to know specifically what I am putting in my child's body.

I do, however, like that the powder formula makes it easy to put in a smoothie for kids that are reluctant to take vitamins, but a smoothie can be made with spinach, fruit, and lots of other goodies to make it vitamin rich without the addition of quick melting multivitamin crystals.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 25, 2013

Green Toys: Recycled Wooden Magnet Shapes of Babar

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We must be on a Babar theme for spring!

Enter any home with children, and chances are their refrigerator is covered in fun magnets.
Babar Wooden Magnetic Shapes have the added bonus they are made from recycled wood, nontoxic inks, and the packaging is made from 85% recycled paper.

Create all sorts of scenes with Mudpuppy Babar wooden magnetic sets.

Colorful wooden magnets show Babar, his family, friends, and other citizens enjoying life in Celesteville. Arrange the characters on the refrigerator or any metal surface. The full magnetic backing will hold even elephants firmly in position!

Based on the beloved Babar the Elephant books begun by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931 and continued by Laurent de Brunhoff.

These wooden magnets are truly delightful!!!!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 21, 2013

Optari Durable Totes and Accessories

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I have to admit, I am a little confused by the Optari products we were sent:


Apparently they are popular with tween celebrities, but they just remind me of Crocs. They are made of the same weird material, and the charm pop on just they way charms pop onto Crocs. Even the bottom of the tote looks like a shoe!
Our popular Sol Totes come in two sizes and lots of colors. Durable, waterproof, and easily cleanable, our customers use them for all sorts of things. Tote bag, beach or pool bag, gift bag, lunch tote, shower caddy, bathtub toy bag, diaper bag, etc., there are dozens of uses for a Sol Tote. Once you've chosen your tote, don't forget to customize it with our Fobbz and Mini Fobbz charm collections.

I couldn't find any information about what these Optari products, and I have always had my suspicions about Crocs. The Daily Green writes:
In the absence of direct response, I resorted to research. Their site says: "Think Crocs are made of rubber? Your friend is adamant they're plastic? You're both wrong. Crocs are made of PCCR, a closed-cell material that virtually eliminates odour. No one will clear a room with smelly feet if they are wearing a pair of Crocs. The material also discourages sweating, making Crocs even more comfortable." A quick Google reveals nothing, as PCCR is some sort of "proprietary" blend Crocs makes, likely a petroleum-derived foam. (Read Treehugger's take, or Debra Lynn Dadd's.

Croc knockoffs like the ones made by iPlay are made of EVA plastic, which is a lot better than the PVC/vinyl most jelly shoes are constructed from. I wasn't able to find any sort of study that said anything about plastics leaching via scraped bitty toes into bitty bodies.

Reviewers on Amazon say this is a great bag to take into the shower at the gym, and my daughter was immediately attracted to it and wanted it.

When PR companies approach me, I always tell them their products will be evaluated based on their eco-friendly properties. So companies identify these properties for me, some stretch and find a reason. I was told this product was eco-friendly because it is durable and not wasteful. Clearly, it is not a green product, but a gimmick to bring the Croc craze to handbags.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2013

BPA FREE: Super Cute Warm Traditions Lamb Hot Water Bottle

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I discovered the healing power hot water bottles after giving birth. I prefer the heat and energy a hot water bottle gives versus a heating pad, but the rubber bottle is not the most inviting material to place against your skin. Children especially shy from it, and wrapping them in towels can be a bit awkward.

Warm Traditions Lamb Hot Water Bottle combines the soothing comfort of hot water and a snuggly little lamb:

The Lamb Hot Water Bottle is really a two-in-one deal. It is a 3-Dimensional and cuddly lamb when not used as an amazing hot water bottle. The fluffy lamb is able to accommodate a 1 liter thermoplastic hot water bottle (that is included) and keep you warm for hours. Perfect for children, teens and adults of all ages!! Keeps you warm at night, helps stomach aches, cramps & muscle aches. Helps warm up cold hands and feet. Helps you de-stress after a long day. Use while camping or at an outdoor stadium. A natural alternative to a heating pad. Perfect to use for your cat and dog too! Made in Germany

The hot water bottle is BPA free thermoplastic for "extra long lasting heat". The bottle is made in Germany, and the little lamb cover is made in the USA. It does appear to be made of polyester though, which obviously is not natural.

I wish I would have had this product last week when my son had a bad stomachache. This little lamb would have been quite a comfort.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 20, 2013

Children's Classics: Babar

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This is another one of those posts that probably doesn't belong here, but I feel compelled when PR companies send me products to review them, whether they are really natural or not. These DVDS are not natural (what DVD is?), and they do not deal with environmental or natural living topics, but here goes...
Babar the Classic Series: Best Friends Forever

Based on the beloved children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, this DVD Collection features four endearing tales that explore core family values including acceptance, honesty and patience.
Episodes
City Ways
Between Friends
Friendly Agreement
An Elephant's Best Friend

Bonus Features: 8-Page Coloring Book


Babar the Classic Series: School Days

Based on the beloved children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, this DVD Collection features four endearing tales that explore core family values including acceptance, honesty and patience. Includes a bonus 8-Page Coloring Book.

Episodes Include:
School Days
Kings of the Castle
Every Basket Has a Silver Lining
Peer Pressure


I do love Babar!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 19, 2013

Eco-Friendly Nursery: weeDecor Wall Decals (no toxic PVC vinyl!!!)

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For a gift, my son was given some John Deere wall decals (he loves John Deere!). When we took them out of the package, the immediate smell raised red flags. If something smells toxic, then it is toxic. I trust my olfactory sense! Turns out, the decals now popular for decorating kids rooms are made with vinyl and not subject to Consumer Product Safety Information Act regulations for toy safety. Vinyl contains PVC: the most toxic plastic for our children's health.

Fortunately, an alternative exists! WeeDecor makes delightful wall decals that are made from eco-friendly fabric.

Our removable nursery wall decals are made of fabric that will adhere to your wall for years at a time. Sometimes called wall stickers, wall graphics or wall appliques, they are easy to apply and to remove. Our removable wall decals won't damage your wall when you remove them and can be used again and again. Our decals are non vinyl wall decals. Our wall appliques are made of eco-friendly fabric that are more environmentally friendly than standard vinyl. Our PVC-free, lead-free wall decor makes your nursery not only beautiful but safe.

We were sent an Owl Wall Decal and Turtle Wall Decal. They are super cute and delightful. I wish I had a baby nursery to decorate!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 18, 2013

Really Natural Beauty: 100% Pure Cosmetics is all that it Promises!

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It is so refreshing to be sent a product that I don't have to research chemical sounding ingredients. One quick look at 100% Pure Cosmetics beauty products, and I can tell the term natural is used correctly on the packaging and is not just a marketing term.

We were sent some very small samples of a few 100% Pure products:
100% Pure Cosmetics - Organic Coffee Bean Eye Cream

What is it: Anti-inflammatory, caffeine rich green tea and coffee de-puffs and reduces swelling while increasing circulation to alleviate and brighten dark circles. Concentrated with potent anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants, and nourishing blackcurrant oil.
Who is it for: Anyone looking to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
Truly, 100% Pure- no synthetic chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no parabens or any other chemical preservatives, no petrochemicals or any other toxins.
No Animal Testing
Made in USA

100% Pure Honey Almond Nourishing Body Cream
Aloe Juice1, Rose Hydrosol2, Cocoa Butter, Avocado Butter, Grapeseed Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil3, Candelilla Wax, Blackcurrant Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Almond Flavor, Almond Extract, Organic Green Coffee4, Organic Wild Cherry5, Pomegranate, Organic Raspberry5, Blackberry and Organic White Tea3, Citric Acid, Witch Hazel, Japanese Honeysuckle, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and Goldenseal, Grain Alcohol, Acai Berry, Resveratrol, Organic Green Tea3, Mangosteen, Goji Berry, Maqui Berry, Elderberry and Muscadine Grape 1 certified organic by SGS organic 2 certified organic by Ceres GmbH 3 certified organic by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic 4 certified organic by Hawaii Organic Farmers Association 5 certified organic by USDA

100% Pure - Organic Cabernet Grape Nourishing Body Cream
All Natural, 100% Vegan, Gluten Free. Highly nourishing, luxurious cream concentrated with potent anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins, skin softening fruit oils and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters. Delicious smelling body cream will immediately hydrate, soften and feed your skin nutrients for a healthy, glowing complexion. Truly, 100% Pure - never any artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, toxic preservatives, or any other unsafe ingredients. Made only with the highest quality, organic nutrients for your skin.

100% Pure Brightening Scrub + Mask
SKIN BRIGHTENING COLLECTION was formulated specifically to enliven dull looking complexion to make it more vibrant, healthy and glowing. Rather than using harsh chemical skin lighteners, this 100% Pure formula gets its brightening effect from all natural, gentle ingredients like bearberry, kojic acid, sake, fruit acids, licorice, vitamin c, lemon juice and strawberries. This one product has 2 functions. It is a highly nourishing facial mask to rejuvenate your skin and the perfectly round jojoba beads act as a gentle exfoliant to buff away dullness, bumps and dead skin cells. Truly 100% Pure - carefully formulated without harsh detergents, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or any other harsh, unsafe ingredients that can strip or dehydrate your delicate skin.

Compared to many other truly natural beauty products, 100% Pure Cosmetics are affordable. The above products range from $13 to $25, which is not unusual for beauty products no matter their ingredients. I do wish we would have been sent larger samples to test the effectiveness of these products, but I do wholeheartedly endorse their ingredients!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 15, 2013

Really Natural Children's Books: Orangutans

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Eye on the Wild: Orangutan by Suzi Eszterhas is a beautifully photographed book that introduces children to the life of an orangutan. This delightful non-fiction book gives children and mothers much to relate to as the baby orangutan grows into maturity. From nursing to needing a nap when baby is playful, moms can't help but connect to the universal motherhood experiences. Children also delight in these associations of the close relationship between mother and child, as well as watching baby orangutan learn to swing from branches at the same age baby humans are learning to walk.

High in the trees of the rainforest in Sumatra, a baby orangutan is born. Follow her from birth to adulthood, as she learns to look after herself. See her eating her first solid food -- mashed fruit, learning to climb, and relaxing in the "nest." She will stay with her mom, learning how to survive in the forest, until she is five years old.
I really like this book as it is developmentally appropriate non-fiction, well-written, and beautifully photographed.  Creating such connections to nature and wildlife ensure are children will grow up to protect our environment. 
 

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 14, 2013

Really Natural Skincare for Girls: Willa Naturals

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Willa Naturals is a brand I am not familiar with, so as always, I refer to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Unfortunately, EWG only evaluates beauty products for hazards to your health and not whether a product is truly natural. These products appear to not be too bad for you, but I have some suspicions about Will Naturals being natural. I can't pronounce or recognize the name of many of the product ingredients.

Willa Naturals was developed for young girls:

Hi. I'm Willa.

For the past 3 ½ years we have been developing a skincare line for girls called willa® . It all started when my mom and I looked for skincare products for me and we couldn't find them - at least not natural products.

My mom always nagged me to wear sunblock, wash my face, moisturize - you know the drill. But even though I knew it was important to take care of my skin, I never enjoyed doing it...the products available just didn't feel good-and believe me I tried everything.

willa consists of 17 products; each is special and different from other brands because they were developed by girls, for girls. We worked with the best skincare laboratories in the USA to develop natural skincare formulations girls would love to use. Each product also underwent rigorous testing to ensure they were both safe and effective. Willa products are free of harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, DEA and of course are not tested on animals.


We were sent four products to try:

As I mentioned above, I am concerned about some of the ingredients. I am always wary if an ingredient has a number after it, as I feel it indicates it is a chemical. I briefly researched a few ingredients from the above products:
Polyquaternium 51: The Good Guide finds there are no health concerns, but the products it is listed in are from cosmetic companies such as Maybelline and L'Oreal. Obviously, these are not natural brands.
HYDROGENATED POLYDECENE: EWG gives this ingredient a hazard score of two stating it is "an end-product of the controlled hydrogenation of Polydecene(q.v.)".
sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate: Can be derived from coconuts, like sodium lauryl sulfate, but is an even harsher surfactant. Paula's Choice asks:
Used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent, but is potentially drying and irritating for skin and is also tricky to formulate with due to stability issues, though it does produce copious foam. Secondary surfactants can be used with this cleansing agent to minimize its negative impact on skin, but why not just use a cleanser that contains gentler cleansing agents?
Is using a sulfonate any better than using a sulfate? It is if you want to claim your product is sulfate free.
Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester: According to Bio Inc Beauty, this ingredient "is based on lipo-dipeptide Tyr-Arg - a peptide found naturally in the body. This peptide was discovered to promote the natural release of signal agents that trigger happiness and feelings of well being". Being based on a natural peptide in the body does not make the ingredient natural. I am not sure how it is made.
Laureth-3: I can't figure out how this differs from sodium laureth sulfate, unless of course, you are avoiding that word sulfate.

I think that our beauty products should be simple. The ingredients should be understandable. True our skin may require different things at different ages, but it is especially important our young girls are not exposed to chemicals when they are entering the world of beauty products.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 13, 2013

Healthy Snacking: Popcorn, Indiana Fit Only 40 Calories Per Cup!

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Are you looking for a healthy, GMO-free snack that is also low in calories?  From 37 to 40 calories a cup, you can't go wrong with popcorn!

Popcorn, Indiana sent us four flavors of their new Fit Popcorn:


"As people who eat, sleep and breathe popcorn, we pride ourselves in continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to the kernel. Our popcorn chefs worked hard to perfect the pop when developing each of our delicious FIT flavors that are perfect for any occasion," said Hitesh Hajarnavis, president and CEO of Popcorn, Indiana. "With this new line, snackers can have it all. With every delectable bite, FIT features a fresh and savory taste that puts the fun back into guilt-free snacking. There is no need to make any compromises."

Popcorn, Indiana's chefs, masters in the art of creating delicious high-quality snacks, crafted FIT in four mouth-watering flavors: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Herb, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Onion Dijon. Two of the flavors, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt, will carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. As with all Popcorn, Indiana products, FIT contains whole grains, is certified Gluten Free by the GFCO and is free of artificial flavoring and preservatives.

I am pleased at least two of the flavors (my favorite ones) are labeled Non-GMO!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 12, 2013

Slow Cooking for the Spring Holidays

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Easter is approaching and traditionally is a meal similar to winter holidays. Holiday Slow Cooker: A Year of Hassle-Free Celebrations is not a vegetarian cookbook, but it does have many recipes I would like to try.

SET I T AND GO CELEBRATE!
With the perfectly adapted recipes in this book, you can prepare all the holiday classics without spending hours in the kitchen! Simply toss the ingredients in your slow cooker and go enjoy the festivities with family and friends while dinner is cooking in the other room. From tasty appetizers and delicious sides to enticing entrées and heavenly desserts, Holiday Slow Cooker teaches you the easy, hasslefree way to make all the traditional favorites, including:
• Piquant Black-Eyed Peas
for New Year's
• Easy N'Awlins Slow Cooker Gumbo
for Mardi Gras
• Lobster Bisque
for Valentine's Day
• Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage
for St. Patrick's Day
• Leg of Lamb
for Easter Sunday
• Caramel Flan
for Cinco de Mayo
• Breakfast Quiche
for Mother's Day Brunch
• Buffalo Chicken Wings
for Fourth of July
• Autumn Pork Stew
for Halloween
• Pumpkin Butter
for Thanksgiving
• Candied Sweet Potatoes
for Christmas
• Challah Pudding
for Hanukkah
With full-color photos and great recipes, this book allows you to craft perfect dinners with minimal stress. Plus, the benefits of using a slow cooker go beyond tasty meals, they allow you to free up space on the stove, let dessert cook while you are enjoying dinner, and keep dishes warm for fabulous party dips, fondues and more.

I love cooking in my slow cooker, as it takes away the pressure of dinner preparations in the busy evening time.

I find it odd that the recipe for Maple Carrots has no maple syrup in it. Hmmm. There are very few vegetarian recipes included.

It is interesting that this cookbook is arranged by holiday, and I would love to make the chocolate fondue.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 11, 2013

Consciously Parenting

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Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families (Volume 1) by Rebecca Thompson, M.S. is a must read for parents.

In this book, Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families, Rebecca Thompson offers solutions that go beyond trying to change behaviors and are based on what truly matters: Building connected, trusting family relationships and bonds that can weather any situation. Her approach is grounded in science and research and uses straightforward language and examples to explain how parents can connect in deep, meaningful ways with their children.

The book combines ideas from attachment parenting and science.

I really like what Thompson says about "Watching Our Words", and it is lesson not only parents but educators need to remember.

Positive, affirming statements about our children go a long way toward creating a connected relationship. When we use words that affirm our child's innate goodness and willingness to help, we will begin to see more of those traits in our child.

Thompson also speaks of how our own needs influence our children's behavior, and I can see that reflected in my relationships with my children clearly after reading parts of this book.

Unfortunately there is no information about green paper or eco-friendly printing processes for this book.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 7, 2013

Children's Literature: Ambition's Not an Awful Word

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 2.50.23 PM.pngAmbition's Not An Awful Word by Zack Zage is a cute book, but I have to take offense with the title's improper use of the apostrophe "s". This is not a proper contraction, and it is not a possessive. I feel proper writing should always be modeled for children, and this is a children's book. I also find the font difficult to read. That being said...

When Mrs. Grundy asks the students in her fourth grade class what they want to be when they grow up, Zack Zage goes all out. To his dismay, his precocious dreams are met with less than glowing enthusiasm. Children will love this story about an ambitious little kid with big dreams. AMBITION'S NOT AN AWFUL WORD will have you and your kids howling. The illustrations by Adam Watkins are fabulous. And, the glossary is unforgettably funny. It is a gift to all the parents who have struggled to stay awake while reading a bedtime story to the kids. Ambition is one of the most important traits you can encourage in a child. It is the beginning of everything they will accomplish in life. This very humorous story will make it clear how important it is to encourage children to explore their futures. What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey have in common? They were all normal kids with big ambitions. While their level of success is not guaranteed in life, it is virtually impossible without loads of encouragement. AMBITION'S NOT AN AWFUL WORD should be required reading, not just for every child, but for every parent, boss, teacher, and mentor of any stripe. If the parents of Bill or Steve had insisted on an accounting degree or dental school, I would be writing this synopsis on a typewriter. ZACKZAGEOUS - An overwhelming desire to learn, to excel, and to achieve. It takes root during childhood. It is nourished by a parent, teacher, or mentor as well as exposure to the book, AMBITION'S NOT AN AWFUL WORD. Dream it! Believe it! Work hard for it! Achieve it!

I agree the illustrations are excellent, and ambition is definitely something we want to encourage in our children and ourselves. 

The glossary is probably the best part of the book! For example, the definition of "forgotten lore" is "All of the history, knowledge, and beliefs that are no longer remembered. There is a lot of forgotten lore on high school and college campuses."

This book is printed in the US, but unfortunately there is no information on the book jacket or website about green paper or printing processes.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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March 5, 2013

Body Sense: A Higher Standard of in Personal Care with Brittanie's Thyme

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Body Sense makes shopping for natural personal care products very easy. Every product on the website receives low scores from the Environmental Working Group (EWG):

Many companies sell products they describe as "natural" or "organic". Some of them are even certified "natural" or "organic" by independent entities. But what do these words really mean? Unfortunately, they are sometimes used too loosely and can be misleading. After all, arsenic and lead are "natural"! At worst, these words can be inadequate proxies for the safety of you and your family. Body Sense sells only products rated by an American non profit organization as having the lowest-hazard potential, on a three-level scale. You will never find a product rated "moderate hazard" or "severe hazard" on our website.

Consumers should know about the possible implications of their daily choices. The importance of a simple decision like which moisturizer to use is magnified when you consider how often you are exposed to the chemicals that may be in it. Do you use moisturizer every day? While a link between cancer and proven carcinogens and other chemicals that are found in many widely available personal care products has not been established, Body Sense believes that consumers shouldn't be forced to take that risk. We believe that given the choice, prudent, informed consumers will opt for a superior product with less chemical risk.

We address this problem by providing a convenient, one-stop shop for all of your personal care needs, and those of your family.


Body Sense sent us a travel set of organic products with a note saying they do not sell the set, but they sell full sizes of the products. When I poked around the website, I could not find them. Hmm, that is a bit odd.

The products in the travel set are from Brittanie's Thyme . None of these products are on the Body Sense site, but I did find the Brittanie's Thyme Mindful Beauty Organic Balancing Toner on Amazon.

All of Brittanie's Thyme products are USDA certified organic, with the exception of our French Green Clay Facial Mask with Organic White Tea, even our bug spray. Our products are also gluten-free by FDA standards.

We produce luxury facial care, cold/sinus relief, and outdoor products while maintaining reasonable prices so you and your family can afford to integrate organic personal care into your lives. Our USDA certification gives you the assurance that Brittanie's Thyme will never "green wash" its products.

Our commitment to Organic Integrity led our being one of the Top Ten Nominees of Green America's "People's Choice Award 2010". We continually strive to source the most environmentally responsible options from ingredients to our PLA labels, our use of renewable energy through our local electricity provider, recycling and composting throughout our manufacturing facility and more.


I do really like how all of the products sold through Body Sense lists the EWG hazard score with the product description. That makes it much easier than going back and forth between whatever site you are ordering from and EWG.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 4, 2013

The Neat Glass: The best way to experience whiskey!

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Do you like to drink whiskey, but the alcohol sometimes gives you a little nose burn? The NEAT Whiskey Glass's unique shape enhances the experience of enjoying your favorite spirits.  Plus it makes you want to swirl like a sophisticated drinker!

Here's a game-changer in the way the heady aromas of fine spirits are enjoyed. Whether you or those on your gift list enjoy Whiskey, Rum, or Tequila, the NEAT glass will dramatically enhance the experience. "The Shape of Flavor" is more than a slogan for this scientifically designed glass. How does it work? The bowl shape enhances evaporation and swirling; the neck shape concentrates aromas, and the rim shape dissipates alcohol away from the nose. When nosing spirits, it's the harsh ethanol aromas that overpower the delicate, fragrant smells of the liquid - the patented shape of the NEAT glass reroutes the ethanol away from the nose, leaving only the sublime enjoyment the distillers had in mind in the first place. An extra bonus with the absence of "alcohol smell" is that many people find they do not need to add that pinch of water to their whiskey to enhance and soften the flavor. The NEAT glass is made in the United States of 100% lead-free Crystalyn(TM) .

What a simple, great idea! I am not a big whiskey, rum, or tequila drinker, so I can't really comment on how well this product does as it promises. I like my organic wine, but maybe with such a cool glass, I might diversify my beverage drinking.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 1, 2013

Chic and Versatile Ju-Ju-Be Earth Leather Be Fabulous Diaper Bag

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Are you looking for a chic and versatile diaper bag this is also animal-friendly? The Ju-Ju-Be Be Fabulous Earth Leather Diaper Bag has every feature you want in a diaper bag. The "earth-friendly" leather give this bag more of the feel of a fashionable bag than a diaper bag, yet it has all the features you would want in a bag for carrying around the essentials for a little one.

- Front mommy pocket holds keys (stretch key fob) and sunglasses (cleans lenses too!) with plenty of room for more!
- Quick reach pocket for cell phone.
- 2 exterior insulated bottle pockets ... with Thinsulate by 3M. Keep it warm? Keep it cold? Sure!
- Unique main zipper closure system makes for easy access.
- Picture pocket to keep photos handy when bragging to friends.
- Detachable and adjustable messenger strap has removable memory foam shoulder pad & can be shortened to tote strap length.
- Optional shoulder straps ... so versatile!
- Inside organization includes 4 gusseted pockets, 3 zippered pockets & lots of wide open space!
- Back pocket works great for diapers and wipes organization.
- Structured bottom with luggage feet.
- AgION Antimicrobial Linings ... kills germs, mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and other bad stuff.
- Metal Hardware ... we don't trust any of the cheap plastic stuff.
- Light-Colored Linings ... you can actually see what's inside; it's not just a big black hole in there.
- Machine Washable ... air dry.
- Earth Leather ... an environmentally friendly alternative to animal leather. Luxurious, durable and machine washable!

I could not find any information on the Ju-Ju-Be website or the product tags about the earth leather. Most fake leathers are made of vinyl, which is not eco-friendly or good for your health, and this does not feel like vinyl. I would hope it is made from recycled plastic, but there is no information to support this hope. I also have concerns about anti-microbial linings.  I am not too thrilled about the Teflon fabric protector either. 

Although the features of this bag are really nice, it is extremely expensive at $225!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking
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