November 15, 2011

Really Natural Books: Urban Green Architecture for the Future

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Ever wonder when buildings went bad? What are green alternatives for construction that go beyond materials to design as whole? How would the world be a better place if we just let our yards go wild?

Urban Green: Architecture for the Future by Neil B. Chambers explores many topics from energy to our role as a keystone species.

Sustainable design is booming, but the men and women dedicated to reducing their carbon impact have lost sight of what they are trying to save: the natural world. Author Neil Chambers has been at the forefront of cutting-edge, sustainable architecture for years, and Urban Green is his revolutionary vision for bringing the power of the conservation and design movements together. He advocates looking to nature for the missing components of the green revolution: oysters that can clean water at up to 5 liters an hour; beavers that reshape their environments while simultaneously enriching ecosystems; and mountains that offer a new way of imagining how a city could be built. By designing our homes and cities in harmony with the natural world, we can take the next step in the sustainable revolution.

Chambers takes green building beyond gray water and energy smart appliances to larger issues architects should consider when designing for urban ecology.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 14, 2011

Homeopathic, Natural Topical Pain Relief from Topricin

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Natural pain relief can be very effective at dealing with aches and pains. Topricin has a full line of products that utilizes homeopathy "Heal the damage that's causing your pain".

Our mission is to relieve pain and restore quality of life - safely and with no side effects. Topricin® is formulated without parabens, petroleum or other harmful ingredients....You have the power to take control of your life -- just imagine living pain free.

We were sent the following product:
Topricin:


  • Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and joint pain

  • Repetitive motion and other neuropathies

  • Lower back pain

  • Post surgical pain and injection site pain


Topricin Foot Therapy:

  • Nerve pain (Burning pain)

  • Heel spurs, joint and gout pain

  • Sports injuries:

  • plantar, Achilles tendon, shin splints

  • Dry or cracking skin of foot


Topricin Junior:

  • Muscle bruising & falling injuries

  • Joint pain of the hand, knees, back

  • Minor burns, insect bites, skin irritations

  • Preventative treatment for sports injuries

My body responds well to homeopathy, and it can be very effective for pain management.  

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 11, 2011

Gifts for the Runner, Athlete, Adventurer: Vibram FiveFingers Barefoot Shoes

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You might have seen people wearing these funny shoes and wondered what all the hype is about. My daughter has a pair, and she loves them! She is not a runner per se, but she finds they are fabulous for free form bouldering and just general lollygagging.

Vibram Fivefingers :

Vibram FiveFingers® footwear is different than any other footwear on the planet. Not only does it bring you closer to your environment, it also delivers a number of positive health benefits--by leveraging all of the body's natural biomechanics, so you can move as nature intended.
5 Reasons to Wear Vibram FiveFingers:
1. Strengthens Muscles in the Feet and Lower Legs--Wearing Vibram FiveFingers will stimulate and strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving general foot health and reducing the risk of injury.
2. Improves Range of Motion in Ankles, Feet and Toes--No longer 'cast' in a shoe, the foot and toes move more naturally.
3. Stimulates Neural Function Important to Balance and Agility--When wearing Vibram FiveFingers, thousands of neurological receptors in the feet send valuable information to the brain, improving balance and agility.
4. Eliminate Heel Lift to Align the Spine and Improve Posture--By lowering the heel, your bodyweight becomes evenly distributed across the footbed, promoting proper posture and spinal alignment.
5. Allow the Foot and Body to Move Naturally--Which just FEELS GOOD.

Every person I have seen wearing these shoes says they love them!  They are made of synthetic materials. There is nothing natural about them except for they way they help you move.  

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 10, 2011

Dancing Deer Baking Company: All Natural, Whole Grain Goodies

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If you are not a baker, Dancing Deer Baking Co. has got you covered. All natural, 100% whole grains makes these treats good for you. We were sent the following samples to try:


Unfortunately, we didn't get to try these treats, as we didn't open the box before they expired (our fault, not Dancing Deer's). They look delicious.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 9, 2011

Really Natural Cookbooks: Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook

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One of the biggest complaints of eating healthy is that it is more expensive than chemically flavored and preserved food, yet it doesn't have to be. Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook by Ellen Jaffe Jones makes it easy, affordable, and delicious to eat vegan. Whether your vegan choices are for health, the planet, or consciousness, not only is this cookbook filled with great recipes, but it also tells you how to stock your pantry on a budget.

Not only can a plant-based diet be good for health, it can also be easy on the pocketbook. At a time when many people are looking for a way to cut costs, Vegan on $4 a Day will show readers how to forgo expensive processed foods and get the most flavor out of delicious, high-quality basic ingredients. Author Ellen Jaffe Jones has combined passion, money savvy, journalistic expertise, and culinary skills into a consumer's guide for an economically viable dietary lifestyle. She has scoured the shelves of popular supermarkets and big-box stores and calculated exactly how much it costs to eat healthfully and deliciously. Readers will learn how to adapt their favorite recipes, cook with beans and grains, and use bulk buying to get big savings. Includes nearly 100 nutritious, delicious and low cost recipes and a week's worth of menu- planning ideas that show how the recipes can be combined to get a cost of $4 a day.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 8, 2011

Vermont Harvest All Natural, Unique Sauces, Jellies, and Conserves

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Made in small batches, Vermont Harvest sauces, jellies, and conserves are unique and handmade in small batches. We were sent the following products to try:


  • Jalapeño Pepper Jelly: "Heat-seeking customers single this product out as having the best balance of 'heat and sweet'. Although some may use this on their toast in the morning, most prefer it as an appetizer spread."

  • Apple Rum Walnut Conserve: "This best-selling conserve is a unique blend of fruit, raisins, walnuts and spices for a great breakfast spread or ice cream topping."

  • Blueberry Bourbon Balsamic Sauce: "A unique all natural product inspired from a recipe sent in by one of our customers. After many years of using Marybeth's blueberry bourbon balsamic sauce recipe in our recipe booklet, we have manufactured a the sauce to be in its own bottle. Its made with our favorite balsamic vinegar, blueberries , bourbon. "

  • Tiger Satay: "A unique all natural product inspired from a recipe sent in by one of our customers. After many years of using Jan's satay sauce recipe in our recipe booklet, we have manufactured a Peanut sauce that is extraordinarily great on flavor with a little bit of kick."

Our samples were shipped in styrofoam peanuts. These products are not made with organically grown ingredients, except the corn starch. The satay uses sodium benzoate, which has been identified as potentially carcinogenic.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 7, 2011

Really Natural Health: Himalayan Salt Air Inhaler

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Himalayan salt is the rage in gourmet and health food; however, it also has beneficial properties beyond food, especially when suffering from respiratory illness.

Squip Himalayan Salt Air Inhaler:

Indications
How does it work? Rock salt crystals are placed between the filters inside a refillable inhaler. As you inhale through the mouthpiece, the moisture of the passing air absorbs microscopic salt particles which permeate through your respiratory system. The humidity in the air is sufficient to enrich the air with minute salt particles when the air passes the salt crystals. Hence a micro-climate of the curative salt caves has been created. Salitair contains the finest pure Himalayan salt crystals rich in minerals and trace elements. What makes Salitair unique? Salitair consists of a salt chamber, upper and lower filter, mouthpiece and cap. The mouthpiece, which contains the upper filter, is bayonet-fixed to the salt chamber so that it can be removed for cleaning and refilling. Unlike many other "salt pipes" in the marketplace, Salitair is reusable and does not have to be discarded after a certain period of time.

My daughter tried this product when she was recently ill. She didn't notice anything after using it, but she was able to return to school the next day. The next day, she fell ill again. I am not sure if the salt inhaler helped her rebound for a day or not.  She did not use it consistently.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 2, 2011

Holiday Gifts that Give Back: Native Trails Talaveras Coasters Support Kiva

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Are you looking for a great gift item that also gives back? Native Trails Talaveras Coasters are not only beautiful, but 100% of proceeds go to Kiva!

Buy our hand crafted Talavera Tiles, coasters, trivets, murals, house numbers and welcome plaques and you will be supporting Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Each Pure Talavera Tile is a distinct piece of art created using traditional hand-crafted methods that originated in Talavera de le Reina, Spain and were introduced to the indigenous people of Puebla, Mexico in the 16th century. This exceptional earthenware is exclusive to the Puebla region where local clays are blended to produce a unique composition that results in superior Talavera tiles like no other tiles in the world - these are Pure Talavera Tiles.
These tiles truly are beautiful! I really like them; however, our coasters were shipped in much styrofoam packaging to prevent breakage. We did not receive them in the gift packaging they would include if purchased online.

 

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 31, 2011

Really Natural Books: DIY Solar Projects: How to put the sun to work in your home

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Many people view solar energy as something you need to hire a contractor to take advantage of or else be super handy. DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home is a very user-friendly book containing many projects from the simple to the more complicated. From building a still to solar oven, there are seven projects to help you take advantage of solar heat. There is also loads of information on solar electricity, such as how to mount solar panels.

With high energy costs and a warming planet that needs cleaner fuel sources, the time has never been better for homeowners to get involved with solar energy. And despite what many may think, you don't need to spend $50,000 to coat your house with an array of panels to participate. In DIY Solar Projects (Creative Publishing international, Oct. 2011), environmentally-conscious (and cost-conscious) homeowners will find a surprising array of achievable, clever projects they can make and install to begin creating their own solar lifestyle. From a simple solar oven that can cook a roast in a couple of hours to a standalone solar water heater, this book provides clear instructions for sun-powered equipment homeowners can make and install on their own. Readers will see how to mount small photovoltaic panels on a roof, bring power to lights in a remote shed or garage, and create a solar still that purifies water without consuming power. A wood kiln, a battery charging station, and supplementary heat sources for your home are just a few of the other unique and highly practical projects in this book.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 28, 2011

Really Natural Beverages: Acai Roots Organic Acai Juice Coconut Water Blend

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Acai berries are quite trendy these days, as is coconut water. Combine the two and voila: Organic Coconut Water + Acai by Acai Roots. This refreshing beverage hydrates while providing your body with important antioxidants.

Looking for the perfect food? One that's really good for you, and tastes great?

You've found it. Acai Roots delivers the Amazon rainforest's freshest acai -- the amazing super-fruit that's been associated with reduced risk or prevention of cancer, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and heart and vascular disease.

Packed with antioxidants, acai is also a rich source of omega fatty acids, phytosterols and dietary fibers that nurture a better digestive system. It also gives your body the protein, calcium, vitamins A, E, and B6 you need for optimum health.


Not only is this beverage great for your health, it has only 80 calories per serving.

I do feel that water is the best way to hydrate your body, but when you need a little more, this may be the beverage for you.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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