December 26, 2012

The Peaceable Forest: India's Tales of Kindness to Animals

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The Peaceable Forest: India's Tale of Kindness to Animals by Kosa Ely is a beautiful picture book and story. Based on a Vedic tale, this book teaches respect for life.

"Once," says the old man to the animals, "a hunter lived in this forest. Your grandparents lived in fear of him. The twang of his bow sent them running. Then something happened to change that forever . . . "

In this ancient parable from India, a forest-dwelling hunter learns that cruelty has consequences and that compassion has rewards. When the hunter meets the wise man Narada, "Do unto others as they would do unto you" takes on a very concrete meaning as the sage leads the hunter on an imagined journey in which the hunter becomes the hunted. When the hunter realizes how his actions affect other living things, he has a change of heart and begins to live in peace with the animals he once pursued.

Kosa Ely adapts this traditional Indian tale into an inviting narrative that presents the universal golden rule in a new and appealing way. Anna Johansson's richly detailed illustrations evoke the animal kingdom and enchanted forests with fine lines and luminous colors. The Peaceable Forest is the ideal picture book for inspiring young readers to respect life in all its forms.


I truly love his book! The tale of the hunter who hunts for fun, then realizes the pain he brings reminds families to embrace compassion. It also teaches it is never too late amend one's way and embracer a better path.  This is a lovely book to share with your children!

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

December 18, 2012

Lanfill Harmonic Recycled Orchestra

Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where the musicians play instruments made from trash.

Landfill Harmonic movie teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 29, 2012

Teres Kids Clothing: Organic, Itch-Free, and Super Nice!

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I am really excited about Teres Kids Clothing! We were sent a Raven long sleeve shirt, and I can't wait for my son to wear it!

Crafted for comfort and ease, our boys t-shirt features a crew collar, easy on easy off, soft seams, tag-free and raw-edged for optimal comfort. 100% organic cotton. Made in the USA.

I love the exposed seams for their look, but they also make the inside of the shirt smooth for those with sensory issues. Even for those without such tactile sensitivities, it is nice to have a soft finish against your skin.

A New Mexico mom has created a kids clothing line - designed specifically for children suffering from tactile sensitivities. No more itchy shirts, tags that rub, or bothersome seams!

Alex Merlino created Teres Kids for the millions of kids who are bothered by the feel of regular clothes - including children with autism, eczema, skin allergies, etc.


I love this shirt! I wish Teres Kids would expand to Teres adults! Plus, the shirt is made from organic cotton!  I highly recommend Teres Kids!

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

October 18, 2012

Kellogg's: Remove Artificial Food Dyes from Kids' Snacks

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Just yesterday, we blasted a candy company for making health claims on the front of a package containing artificial food dyes suspected of causing health problems like cancer and ADHD. Today, we came across this petition "Tell Kellogg's: Artificial Food Dyes Don't Belong in Our Kids' Fruit Snacks"

Target: John A. Bryant, President & CEO Kellogg Company
Sponsored by: Erica Reid & Latham Thomas

We're both moms who care a lot about the food our kids eat. Kellogg's Fruit Flavored Snacks contain artificial colors made from artificial food dyes that have been linked to allergies and hyperactivity in some children. Kids like fruit snacks, particularly brightly colored ones marketed to them in the shapes of their favorite movie characters. Moms may choose to give their kids fruit snacks because they think they are healthier than candy -- but they're not.

Erica says, "I was absolutely one of those moms that gave both of my children fruit snacks thinking it was better than candy. At the time, I wasn't aware of the potential harm from food dyes and didn't think twice because the word 'fruit' was attached. Now, I know better."


Although I would never let my children eat Kellogg's "fruit" snacks, millions of children do. Please sign this petition!

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Copyright All rights reserved by Parkzer
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 17, 2012

Toxic Halloween: Gimbal's Fine Candy Full of Artificial Colors and Flavors

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Sometimes, I really wonder how we get certain products sent to us. We are a natural living blog!

Halloween is rapidly approaching. It is a time when children and adults dress up in costumes and consume large amounts of candy. This celebration of ghosts and ghouls does not have to include toxic substances, but unfortunately, for most, the candy they consume is full of chemical colors and flavors.

We were sent Gimbal's Fine Candies Gourmet Jelly Beans, 41 Flavors:

We want parents and families everywhere to know that Gimbal's Fine Candy is a safe and delicious treat for everyone to appreciate, even despite food allergies. Recent studies show that 1 in 12 children are living with a food allergy, and many parents worry about the contents of food and the facilities in which the food was produced.

Gimbal's Fine Candies products AND facilities are free of the eight most common food allergens (tree nuts, milk, egg, gluten, soy, fish, and shellfish), eliminating the risk of cross contamination. Countless customers have reiterated to us how our for making candy available to them despite their food allergies.


They may be free of such common food allergens, but Red 40, Red 3, Blue1 Lake, etc., are also suspected causes of ADHD and other health problems. Livestrong.com explains:
Behavior Issues
Some children may be particularly sensitive to artificial dyes, including Red 40, and for these children consuming this food coloring can increase behavioral issues and lead to hyperactivity, attention problems, irritability, learning problems, aggressiveness and restlessness. Eliminating these artificial colors from the diet of sensitive children may lower or eliminate their need for ADHD medications, according to a June 2008 article posted on CBSNews.com.
Sponsored Links

DNA Damage
A number of tests have shown that Red 40 given to mice can damage their DNA, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Although some of the tests were negative, those involving the liver, colon and glandular stomach were positive. These results may not carry over to humans, but do show a potential harmful effect from consuming Red 40.

Cancer
The Center for Science in the Public Interest notes that the tests done in the 1970s using mice were problematic and not conclusive as to the potential cancer risk of consuming Red 40. Compounds in Red 40 have been linked to cancer, according to Columbia University Medical Center, including 4-aminobiphenyl and benzidine. Tests have also found cancer-causing contaminants in this food coloring, including p-cresidine and aniline.


The outside of the Gimbal's package promotes the products as "Made with real fruit juice" and "A good source of antioxidant vitamin c". I think it should come with a warning about chemical colorants.

We were sent more than just the jelly beans, but I am so disgusted, I won't even list them here.  I will not try this product. I will not let my children consume it either.

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

October 15, 2012

Soft Gear My Booster: Recycles Raw Materials, Made in the USA

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Booster seats can be helpful for little children sitting in big chairs at big tables. Soft Gear My Booster Seat is made from some synthetic material that makes it firm yet squishy, as well as tactile enough to stay on a chair.

Soft Gear My Booster is made with our exclusive closed cell foam technology and is mold-resistant and latex free. The patent pending suction cups on the bottom of the booster and the hand holds on each side help to prevent your child from slipping and falling. Plus, it's anti-microbial so microorganisms won't degrade your booster or affect your child's health. My Booster is lightweight and transportable so your toddler can avoid germs from public booster seats. Carrying case included.

Booster seats can get pretty nasty, as little kids drop food all over them; however, I am afraid of anti-microbial products. I think they weaken our immune systems, create super bugs, and often contain nano-technology.

On the back of the package, My Booster states, "By purchasing Soft Gear products you are also helping to reduce your carbon footprint." The reasoning given is each product is made in the USA reducing fossil fuel consumption in transport, and the facilities recycle raw materials. Both are commendable actions, yet I do wonder about the actual materials used in the product and whether they could also be made from recycled content.

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

October 10, 2012

Handmade, Organic Knit Toys by Zubels

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Super soft and sweet, Zubels makes organic knit toys that are handmade with love. We were sent the Zubels Frog Freddy Hand-Knit Doll. I appreciate the handmade organic fibers, as well as the low impact dyes of this toy. The price of $20, although seeming high for the doll itself, is not considering it is not made in China in a factory.

What are eco-friendly dyes?

Zubels uses only eco-friendly low impact dyes. Low impact dyes are eco-friendly for several reasons.
1) They don't contain toxic chemicals or mordants (used to help set the dye)
2) They have a high absorption rate (which leads to less water needed during dyeing)
3) They use low temperatures during dying (which saves energy)
4) They are more expensive (which means that they are reclaimed and not wasted)

The doll is not 100% natural, as it contains polyester fiber fill.

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

October 6, 2012

Bitsy's Brainfood: Unique Snack Combinations Full of Omega-3 and DHA

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Are you looking for an interesting snack for you children that sneaks in flavors and goodness? Bitsy's Brainfood does just that in a pleasantly surprising way.

Bitsy's Brainfood was started by two new moms who shared a simple belief -- that healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected, and that learning to eat smart should be fun.

The fact is that certain foods are smarter than others. So the idea was to create Bitsy's Brainfood, a line of smart snacks... bite-sized treats packed with the good stuff to help support developing bodies and brains, like vitamins and Omega-3, and packaged with content that's educational and oh-mega cool. Plus, we've yet to meet a kid who doesn't love snacks or a parent who doesn't crave nutritious, on-the-go options.


We were sent a lunch bag with two flavors:

The packages of organic snacks are affordable ($2.50/box). The lunchbag and water bottle that accompanied our samples is very cheap. Even if BPA free, I wouldn't let my children drink from such weak plastic. The website, which is largely designed for children, is somewhat annoying. Furthermore, our samples were sent in an enormous box!  The snacks themselves are unique and a great way to get children a little extra nutrition between meals.

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

October 5, 2012

Vegan, Sugar Free Multivitamins: Playmaker Nutrition for Active Kids and Teens

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I believe it is optimal for humans to get their vitamins and minerals from food; however, we have all experienced the picky eater in our children. In our family, we do take supplements, just not every day.

Playmaker Nutrition's Sugar Free Multivitamin is designed for active kids and teens. This vegan formula is also free of gelatin, gluten, milk, eggs, soy, nuts, and animal derivatives. The colors and flavors are all natural.

The Backstory
Playmaker Nutrition is the brainchild of two fathers with backgrounds in health and sports who are parents to active tweens and teens. As their children grew, they became increasingly concerned about the nutritional content their kids were getting in their diets. Like most parents, the guys found that as their respective children got older and develop(ed) their own specific tastes/preferences, directly controlling what their children will eat is challenging. As such, they explored ways to supplement their children's diets to get them the necessary vitamins and nutrients for which their kids don't naturally gravitate. Finding a lack of chewable vitamin options designed to meet the growing needs of active children between the ages of 8-18, Playmaker Nutrition was born.

These gummy vitamins have 25% of most vitamins, which I like. I don't like overloading my kids' systems with supplements that may or may not be absorbed.  They do not contain iron, which is something my son has had low levels of in the past and something I look for in a multivitamin.


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 at Permalink social bookmarking

September 26, 2012

Obese children have 30-40% greater health risks

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We all know that maintaining proper weight is important for our health. From our joints to our heart, our bodies are designed to function at a normal weight. Unfortunately, the standard American diet full of preservatives and processed food, in addition to a sedentary lifestyle, has caused obesity rates to rise alarmingly. Of particular concern are obese children.

A new study has found that obese children have even greater health risks than previously thought. Science Daily reports:

Researchers at the University of Oxford show that obese children and adolescents have several risk factors for heart disease including raised blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and a thickening of the heart muscle, compared with normal weight children.
 They warn that, if these risk factors are allowed to progress into adulthood, obese children could already be at a 30-40% higher risk of future stroke and heart disease than their normal weight counterparts.
Feed your children fresh fruits and vegetables and be sure they get exercise every day!

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AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by artist in doing nothing

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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