July 30, 2012

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner: Use the Power of Thyme!

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I just discovered a new cleaning product that I love! Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, Lemongrass & Thyme kills 99% of germs. I have used hand sanitizers that feature thyme. This is the first household cleaner I have found that uses the same disinfecting properties of this herb:


  • Kills 99.99% of household germs botanically

  • Effective against Influenza A virus including H1N1 and Rhinovirus, the Common Cold virus

  • Streak-free spray for easy cleaning

  • Deodorizes and effectively controls odors

  • EPA registered

  • No rinsing or wiping is required

  • CleanWell Inside™


This cleaner smells really lovely, and like many Americans, I do take comfort in the word "disinfecting" on the label.  It is perfect for all areas of the house, not just the bathroom.

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

July 27, 2012

Aww Lord, I Could Eat a Bowl of Cherries: Putumayo Kids Picnic Playground

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Putumayo World Music is known for their eclectic collections. Picnic Playground is a wonderful collection of children's songs about food from around the planet:

Picnic Playground provides a veritable feast of international songs about food, cooking and healthy eating in a global gumbo of musical styles and languages. American artist Jay Mankita's opening song "Eat Like a Rainbow" sets the tone for the album, and the delectable songs that follow from Australia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Canada and Trinidad add to the exuberant musical smörgåsbord.These fun, upbeat songs will help get kids moving and dancing to the rhythms. The artists on Picnic Playground sing so joyously about delicious food that you can almost taste it. Try Jose Conde's wonderful "Bolitas de Arroz con Pollo," chomp your way through Rhythm Child's "Bowl of Cherries" and taste the tropical flavors of Asheba's Caribbean "Ice Cream." Before you go, finish off the picnic with milk and cookies, courtesy of Donikkl's song "Milch" and Maggie G's "Let's Bake Cookies".

Picnic Playground includes liner notes in three languages, English, French and Spanish, a child-friendly overview of the foods mentioned in the songs, as well as two recipes showing how to "Eat Like A Rainbow" by child nutritionist Barbara Storper, founder of FoodPlay. A portion of Putumayo's proceeds from the sale of Picnic Playground will be donated to Vitamin Angels, providing essential nutrients to children in the U.S. and around the world.


My favorite track is the first one "Eat Like a Rainbow". I also love the songs that are sung in French.

I am a pretty harsh critic of children's music, and I was only annoyed by a couple songs in this collection, like "Let's Make Cookies".

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

July 26, 2012

Recession Survival: Made for You and Me

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Many families have struggled during the current economic recession. Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home by Caitlin Shetterly is one such story.

Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West. At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any work at all. By March 2009, every cent of the couple's savings had been spent.

So, a year after they'd set out with big plans, Caitlin and Dan packed up again, this time with a baby on board, to make their way home to move in with Caitlin's mother. As they drove, Caitlin blogged about their situation and created audio diaries for NPR's Weekend Edition--and received an astounding response. From all across the country, listeners offered help, opening their hearts and their homes. And when the young family arrived back in rural Maine and squeezed into Caitlin's mother's small saltbox house, Caitlin learned that the bonds of family run deeper than any tug to roam, and that, with love, she and Dan could hold their dreams in sight, wherever they were.


I could not find any information about the paper or printing of this book. There is nothing green about it, as far as I can tell.

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

Great Green Children's Literature The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet

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I have always been impressed with any title published by Barefoot Books. The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet does not disappoint!

Listen to the soothing patter of a summer rainfall, watch the first flames of the rising sun, and sing with the stars as you travel through this enchanting anthology of nature poems. Poems from many different cultures are brought together here to celebrate the beauty and fragility of our lovely Earth.
One of my favorite poems is called "The Song of the Stars" from a Pasamaquoddy Indian song:
We are the stars which sing.
We sing with our light.
We are the birds of fire
We fly across the heaven.

These lovely poems very in length and are sure to inspire your own little poets. It would also be a great project for Earth Day to use this book as a spring board for a classroom set of "poems for the planet".

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

July 24, 2012

Kid-Friendly, Natural Snacks: FruitaBu Apple Rolls

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When my children were toddlers, they loved Stretch Island Fruit Leather. This obsession has worn off as they age.

Stretch Island also makes Stretch Island Fruitabu Rolls. We were sent the apple flavor to try:

Kids enjoy the wonder of real fruit in tasty FruitaBü® Smoooshed® Fruit Rolls. Portable and convenient, our Smoooshed Fruit Rolls contain:
  • 1 serving* of all-natural fruit
  • No artificial additives
  • Real-fruit purée
  • No added sugar - all sugar comes naturally from fruit
My kids do not enjoy the rolls as much as the leathers, as they are messier and harder to eat. I also wish they were organic.
 

I do like how Stretch Island supports Fruit Tree 101:

Established in 2007 by Stretch Island Fruit Co. and The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Fruit Tree 101 plants orchards at schools to address proper nutrition and sustainability with students across the country. When an orchard is donated to a school, students and teachers work together to plant trees while learning how fruit is important to a healthy diet and planet.

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

July 21, 2012

Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

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Do you like to tinker and create? My son does, and Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: Power Devices with Your Plants, Modify High-Tech Toys, Turn a Penny into a Battery, Make Sneaky Light-up Nails ... Sneaky Levitation with Everyday Things will be his favorite book once he his older.

As the eighth book in Cy Tymony's Sneaky Uses series Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things includes never-before-seen activities, including Sneaky Fashion such as Light-up Nails and Sneaky Belts and Bracelets.

Over 30 new inventions are outlined inside Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, and most projects can be completed in just minutes using common items already found around the house. Each activity begins with a complete list of materials and continues with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions paired with helpful illustrations. Fans of all ages will use their ingenuity to turn ordinary, everyday objects into something extraordinary with the help of Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things.


There isn't really anything eco-friendly about the book, other than you use everyday objects you already own. It is printed in the USA. The publisher's website states:

Environment We uphold high ethical standards of honesty and integrity in all aspects of our business dealings. We maintain a climate that attracts the best people and provides them with rewarding career opportunities.
Obviously, they are not referring to environment in the same context as this blog. There is no information as to the source of the paper in this book, but it appears to be newsprint.

This would be a great book for fun science projects as part of school!
 

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

Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook: Food to Live By

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Earthbound Farm is a large organic producer available around the country and in many big box stores. Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook is filled with beautiful recipes and photographs from the one of the founders Myra Goodman.

Organic food is synonymous with premium quality, the deepest, richest taste, conscientious farming, and optimum health. It's what we need to feed our kids, what we deserve to feed ourselves. And no one is doing more to popularize organic food that Myra Goodman, a mother, a creative cook, and most significantly, co-owner of Earthbound Farm, the world's largest grower and purveyor of organic produce.

In Food to Live By, a dazzling full-color cookbook, Myra Goodman offers an utterly appealing, new casual style of cooking based on using the best ingredients, organic or otherwise. The dishes are irresistible: Sweet Corn Chowder. Spinach, Feta and Mushroom Quiche. Foggy Day Chili. Merlot-Braised Short Ribs with Cipollini Onions. Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Ginger Lime Salmon. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Orange Sauce. Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes. Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet. Cherry Panna Cotta. Farm Stand Carrot Cake. Plus, throughout are Farm-Fresh Ingredient boxes--on sorrel, corn, asparagus, artichokes-- cooking and shopping tips, and health notes.

I can't wait to try the summer berry crisp and the roasted beet salad!

This is an omnivore's cookbook.

I try to buy local produce and avoid bagged items like Earthbound Farm, but I do enjoy this cookbook. 

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

July 19, 2012

Natural Snacking: TLC Soft-Baked Apple Spice Bars and Non-GMO Verification

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Back in the spring, I recall GMO controversy surrounding Kashi products. I was upset, as my son loves Organic Autumn Wheat cereal. Fortunately, this is one of their products that is certified GMO-free.

Kashi explains the problems with GMOs and how difficult it is becoming to ensure products do not contain these ingredients due to their prevalence in agriculture.

What's Kashi position on GMO?
At Kashi, we've been helping to create positive change in the food system since 1984 when the company was founded. Currently, more than 80% of many crops are grown using genetic engineering in America and only 0.7% of U.S. cropland is organically grown so we believe the food system still needs to evolve. That's why in 2002 we began significantly ramping up our use of organic ingredients, which has increased seven-fold since that time. Now we're partnering with the Non-GMO Project to achieve Non-GMO Project Verification, which is another important milestone on our journey.

Do you use GMO ingredients?
The foundation of our foods is our unique combination of seven whole grains which are not grown using GMOs. However, the majority of food crops grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. In addition, factors such as pollen drift from nearby crops and current practices in agricultural storage, handling, and shipping, has led to an environment in North America where GMOs are not sufficiently segregated. As a result, some of our foods include ingredients made from genetically engineered crops.

Seven Kashi products are verified as Non-GMO. The product we were sent to try is not one of them. Kashi TLC Cereal Bar Baked Apple:

Ingredients
Our Tasty Ingredients: Apple Filling (Pear Juice Concentrate, Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Syrup, Apple Powder, Water, Unmodified Corn Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Spices, Natural Flavor), Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame® Flour (Whole: Oats, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Long Grain Brown Rice, Rye, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Organic Whole Oats, Honey, Tapioca Syrup, Gum Arabic, Oat Fiber, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Natural Falvor. Contains Wheat and Soy Ingredients

I like that Kashi products are regularly available in large conventional grocery stores. It is one of the few choices for whole foods you can find. I wish more organic ingredients were used, and the company would move quickly towards GMO-free verification.

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

July 18, 2012

Organic Energy Gel: Honey Stinger

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I admit, I have never tried an energy gel. I don't run marathons or cycle long distance. I do backpack.

Honey Stinger Gold Energy Gel uses the power of honey to give you long lasting energy when you need a pick me up.

  • Honey has been used for centuries as a source of pure energy and modern research is providing us with more information to show the benefits of how well it works. Try it for yourself!
  • Honey Stinger is more versatile than other energy gels. Consume it straight from the packet for a long-lasting boost of energy or spread it on toast or stir it into tea.
  • Consume it straight from the packet for a long-lasting boost of energy or spread it on toast or stir it into tea. All flavors also mix well with water to make a natural energy drink.
We were sent the following flavors to try:

  • acai pomegranate

  • vanilla

  • fruit smoothie

Each packet has 100 calories.

When I was in labor (19 hours!) with my daughter, my midwives would sneak a spoonful of honey into my mouth. This little bit of sweetness gave me energy to continue during this hard labor. I can see how these organic energy gels would help athletes.

We were also sent some Honey Stinger Organic Stinger Waffle: Lemon. The lemon is a refreshing twist on this classic cookie.

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

July 17, 2012

Planet Dog for Green Pets! Orbee Tuff Maze with Treat

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Want to keep your dog entertained for hours or just drive him/her crazy? Planet Dog Mazee is an innovative dog toy that will do just that.

Clearly engaging, clearly rewarding, clearly fun. The fresh take on the stimulating puzzle craze. The interactive brain teaser is designed for long-lasting play. With a pliable, orbee-tuff outer shell, and unique inner maze. Stuff with planet dog eats and enjoy. This toy is intended for puzzle-play, not chewing, so it is not rated on The chew-o-meter scale. To clean, fill with hot water, shake vigorously and rinse.

My dogs love the 100% Natural Planet Dog Eats treats, and I love Planet Dog's mission.

Not only is this toy entertaining for your dog, it is also very entertaining to watch your dog try to get the treats out.  Be prepared to laugh!

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

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