April 13, 2012

Stages of Beauty Uses Natural Ingredients to Target Age Specific Needs

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I turned 40 this year, and my skin has definitely changed. It's more predictable than my skin of youth. It only makes sense that different ingredients would be beneficial for skin of different ages, which is the premise behind Stages of Beauty.

Unique Ingredients:

Monk's Pepper Berry Extract - Anti-oxidant complex shown to dramatically improve the vitality and appearance of skin while fighting signs of aging, promoting a radiant glow and increase hydration.

Red Tea Extract - Found in mountains of South Africa and has been shown to contain SOD, which acts an both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body, neutralizing free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and aged skin. Red tea is full of vitamins and minerals that increase capillary strength and promote younger, healthier looking skin.

Western Dock - The extract of the Western Dock plant contain Tyrosinase inhibitory enzymes that lighten the appearance of unwanted dark spots.

We were sent the Elegance toner designed for women in their 40s. This toner helps hydrate, balance hormones, and promotes elasticity.

This product does not contain any of the red flag ingredients I look for in beauty products, but my list is not exhaustive. It is

FORMULATED WITHOUT:

  • Sulfates

  • Parabens

  • Petrochemicals

  • Synthetic Dyes

  • Phthalates

  • GMOs

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 12, 2012

Lose Weight Naturally: The Dash Diet Action Plan

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Most Americans are overweight by at least a few pounds. These extra pounds contribute to health problems, such as high cholesterol and hypertension. The standard American diet (SAD) and our sedentary lifestyles only contribute to the problem.

Rated the number one diet by U.S. News & World Report, The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Boost Weight Loss and Improve Health combines diet and exercise to help you lose weight.


Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts, DASH is grounded in healthy eating principles that lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer; and support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. No diet has a medical pedigree like DASH, and this book is a simple, actionable plan that can fit seamlessly into everyone's life and lifestyle. It includes:

  • 28 days of meal plans at different calorie ranges

  • Simple tools to help you personalize a DASH Diet Action Plan for guaranteed success

  • DASH-friendly recipes and shopping lists

  • Tips for eating on-the-run

  • Advice on healthy weight loss and exercise for every lifestyle.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  Even if you don't suffer from this illness, the eating suggestions in this diet are good for all.

This book contains good advice for eating out, like sharing meals. I also appreciate the advice on juice, as my family often criticizes me for not drinking as much as they do.

Juice is less filling then fruit, making it easy to overdo calories. Juice also does not contain the beneficial fiber of fruit, and ounce for ounce, has more sugar than regular pop.

The last part of that statement I do feel is misleading. There is a difference between naturally occurring sugars in fruit juice and high fructose corn syrup in soda.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 11, 2012

Green Home Remodeling: EcoDomo Recycled Leather Tiles

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Are you looking for eco-friendly remodeling ideas? EcoDomo makes unique recycled leather tiles and is a member of the Green Building Council.
EcoDomo's Recycled Leathers are unique for their esthetic qualities and abrasion properties. Made for extreme wear and tear conditions, the recycled leathers of EcoDomo are nearly twice as dense as cork floor tiles, have abrasion rates comparable to linoleum, and are easy to install and maintain. Suitable for floors and walls, our recycled leathers can be customized for size, color, or embossing. They look stunningly beautiful and luxurious in a variety of applications.
I've never though of a leather floor, but after seeing the samples we were sent and the photo gallery online, I can see how luxurious it would look. I am not sure how it would hold up to the hard living of my kids and dogs though. These tiles have been installed in high traffic areas such as business and staircase, so perhaps they would hold up to the test of my family.

Where does the leather comes from? The new leather tiles are made from a by-product of the meat industry, and the recycled tiles come from tanneries, such as one that makes car seats for BMW. Yes, you can have BMW luxury leather in your home!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 10, 2012

GreenZero Chargers Automatically Shut Off When iPhone Battery is Full

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We never seem to have enough chargers for our Apple devices. iPhones, iPods,and an iPad are always competing for a spot on the charger. Even though these devices come with chargers, there always seems to be the need for an extra one.

Bracketron makes a cool Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger that automatically turns off when your battery is full eliminating the dreaded phantom charge.

Quick Overview

  • Unique design features one-click charging

  • Automatically shuts off with zero idle power when device is fully charged

  • Portable design to take with you and charge on the go

  • Included cord winder for tangle-free cable storage and transport

  • Apple 30-Pin versions


Product Description
The Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger features our exclusive GreenZero Technology -- the most eco-friendly way to charge mobile devices while totally eliminating the wasteful stand-by consumption (Zero idle power) that other chargers consume when left plugged in.

This is a very cool charger and very much needed in our home. Living-off-the-grid makes phantom charges a reality that most people don't consider. Those extra watts add up!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 9, 2012

petiteBox: High-End Mom and Baby Subscription Service Features Natural and Organic Brands

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New moms and babies deserve the best, and petiteBox has got that one covered! This high-end subscription service makes it easy for new families with a delightful box of the "most coveted products", which thankfully are organic and natural!

Not sure which baby products are the best for your precious little one? petiteBox is an exclusive baby box service that sends the latest baby product samples from top brands and wellness products just for Mom straight to your door. Each month you'll receive a new baby box full of baby necessities such as baby lotion, baby clothes, baby food, calming oils and more. The contents of the baby boxes change each month, but only the best baby products are always included. You will never get the same thing twice.

Many of my favorite brands are represented in these aesthetically pleasing boxes: Haba, Dr. Hauschka, and Weleda. It's also great to discover new brands!

We were sent a box designed for the seven-month-old baby and mom. It included a Haba wooden toy for teething, a sippy cup, Happy Squeeze organic baby food, a super soft snuggly item by Angel Dear, and Dr. Hauschka Lavender Bath.  It also includes some advice on sleep routines, travel, and developmental information.

I think petiteBox is affordable at $25 a month, and I think it would make a really nice gift for a new family!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 6, 2012

Organic Fashion: Lonesome George & Co. Recycles Their Shirts

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Do you know the story of Lonesome George? He is the last Pinta Island tortoise. When he dies, these tortoises will be extinct.

Lonesome George & Co. is a sustainable clothing company "outfitting agents of change". They have a new program in which you can recycle your t-shirts:

As our company grows, we evolve. Initially we invested 10% of each t-shirt sale to fund programs such as Outward Bound to help raise awareness and invest in a sustainable mind shift. Next we switched from regular cotton to organic cotton to optimize our use of raw materials and now we are creating truly sustainable Impact Apparel by making our t-shirts 100% recyclable.

Not many people know that during the life cycle of every t-shirt, 830 gallons of water is used. From growth to manufacturing to laundry spin cycles, a t-shirt uses the equivalent of almost three times the average indoor use-of-water by a family of 4 in the U.S. So for every t-shirt you bring back to us we'll reward your effort with 12% price reduction on your next purchase, but most importantly you are helping to conserve 830 gallons of water! *

Our recycling program is simple, look inside your t-shirt for the recyclable tab and when you are done with it, bring it back to any store or mail it to us and we will recycle the raw materials for new designs and you'll receive the reward of 12% price reduction on your next purchase.


We were sent an organic v-neck t-shirt with the Around the World design. The organic cotton is very soft and the lettering is appliqued on the bottom.

Lonesome George & Co. is a clothing company you can feel good about supporting both for the planet and your health!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 5, 2012

Desert Botanicals and Marula Oil: fiafini Sensitive Skin Care Mother's Day Collection

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My skin has changed with age. It can be dry in the morning, oily in the evening. One thing that is consistent is it is sensitive to chemicals.

Many of today's skin issues that plague people of all ages are a result or reaction to harsh chemicals found in beauty products. fiafini is designed for people with sensitive skin, but anyone can benefit from the desert botanicals and marula oil.

Fiafini's Mother's Day collection includes the following products:


Founded in 2003, Fiafini Skincare is the brainchild of Serafini and her two sisters, Ursula and Halina, based on the natural ingredient Marula oil. Used for centuries by South African women in the care and beauty of their complexions, Marula oil is a potent, powerful and pure anti-aging wonder. Extremely stable on the skin and rich in vitamin C, this remarkable oil is naturally chemical-free, and safe for all skin types, even sensitive.

In keeping with her desire to provide women with outstanding results, Serafini has clinically tested each product, as well as tested with real woman to guarantee the Fiafini delivers on its promises. Tests revealed that after using the complete Fiafini system twice a day for seven days, skin showed up to a 127 percent increase in natural moisture levels§ and 94 percent of women felt Delicate Cleansing Emulsion was gentle on their skin◊. Just under 90 percent of women strongly agreed their skin felt smooth and soft after using Divine Hydration Moisturizer for only one day◊, and after just one use of Deluxe Anti-aging Eye Cream, 85 percent of women noticed visibly more hydrated skin around their eyes◊.

Unfortunately, these products contain ingredients the Environmental Working Group says to avoid. I found retinyl palmitate and DMDM hydantoin listed on the bottles.

It's probably a good idea to choose safer beauty products for yourself and your mom!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 4, 2012

Snoozies! Foot Coverings Super Soft Polyester, But NOT Really Natural

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Snoozies Footie Slippers are super soft and cozy, but unfortunately, this is another one of those incidents where a PR company sends a product that is not a good fit for this blog.

In each response I send to companies, I clearly state: "All products will be evaluated based upon their eco-friendly and natural properties."

Although Snoozies comes in cute patterns and are soft, they are made from 100% polyester. Green Choices explains why synthetic fabrics are not good for the environment or workers:

Nylon and polyester

Made from petrochemicals, these synthetics are non-biodegradable as well, so they are inherently unsustainable on two counts. Nylon manufacture creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Making polyester uses large amounts of water for cooling, along with lubricants which can become a source of contamination. Both processes are also very energy-hungry.


If this doesn't both you, than you might enjoy Snoozies:

Snoozies are not socks and they're not slippers - sort of a crossover between the two and that's why we call them "foot coverings"! They are made with a brushed fleece exterior in colorful and fun printed patterns and then lined with a soft Sherpa fleece inside. Soft, comfy, warm and just simply adorable - the newest foot coverings for your feet! Each pair has a non skid sole so you can feel safe wearing them on wood or tile floors. Keeps feet warm even on the coldest of days. They also work in warm climates where air conditioning keeps floors cold. Fully machine washable and won't shrink! Snoozies make great gifts and "me too" purchases.

Wool slippers may be a greener choice for keeping your toes toasty, especially if undyed.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

Vintage Inspiration in Literature: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

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The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston is a truly unique, truly aesthetically pleasing book. A combination of vintage images and text tells the story of Frankie Pratt:

Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love. Once at Vassar, Frankie crosses paths with intellectuals and writers, among them "Vincent" (alumna Edna St. Vincent Millay), who encourages Frankie to move to Greenwich Village and pursue her writing. When heartbreak finds her in New York, she sets off for Paris aboard the S.S. Mauritania, where she keeps company with two exiled Russian princes and a "spinster adventuress" who is paying her way across the Atlantic with her unused trousseau. In Paris, Frankie takes a garret apartment above Shakespeare & Company, the hub of expat life, only to have a certain ne'er-do-well captain from her past reappear. But when a family crisis compels Frankie to return to her small New England hometown, she finds exactly what she had been looking for all along.

Although there was no information on the book itself or book jacket as to its eco-friendliness, I found the following information on the publisher's site.
Our suppliers will be required to possess independent third party certification of sustainable forestry practices for all forests they own or manage. Suppliers who source wood from third-party suppliers will provide proof that third-party sources of wood are harvested in an environmentally sound manner.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

HarperCollins is committed to reducing its overall use of fiber and recycling where possible. Since 2006, we have reduced our global carbon footprint by 14%.


I think all publishers should disclose the percentage of post consumer recycled content in each book.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 31, 2012

5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness

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Looking to improve your health and eating habits? 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness by Camilla V. Saulsbury makes it easy with delicious recipes that are simple to follow. 

 
This book offers simple, delicious recipes that utilize foods that have a proven track record of enhancing health or offering protection from diseases.

It can be a challenge to discern which foods really do form a healthy diet, let alone how to prepare them into delicious dishes without too much time, fuss, and expense.

5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking offers the solution. Vastly different from a diet book, this simplified, five-step approach to healthy eating is holistic and flexible. This is healthy cooking from a very different perspective: because it is first and foremost a cookbook, not a diet book, it begins and ends with enticing, easy-to-prepare recipes that make the five principles simple and doable.

The five principles are:

  • Choose Fresh, Whole Foods
  • Eat Mostly Vegetable and Fruit-Based Foods
  • Opt for Healthy Fats and Proteins
  • Select Superfoods (Nutrient-Dense Foods)
  • Eat More Whole Grains
I agree wholeheartedly with these five principles and try to follow them in my own eating habits, although I do have an organic sweet tooth.  I would add to the following principles to eat organically-grown food, as they are higher in nutrients and lack pesticide residue.  

This is not a vegetarian cookbook, but it does contain a "Meatless Main Dish" section and a brief discussion of the Meatless Monday movement. It's also quite easy to adapt the meat recipes to be vegetarian.
 

Some of the recipes I plan to try in the near future are:


  • Spicy Punjabi Chickpeas with Mint Radish Raita

  • Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

  • Applesauce Flax Bread

  • Mushroom and Bulgur Stuffed Peppers


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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