December 6, 2010

Handmade in Ecuador: Eco-Friendly, Natural Jewelry by Andean Collection

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Are you looking for a unique, beautiful gift for someone green on your list? Andean Collection eco-friendly jewelry made from Acai and responsibly sourced from South American rainforests.

We create to encourage change. Andean Collection was founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America. We offer artisans the opportunity to participate in the global market while inspiring our customers with access to the elusive world of the rural Andes.

We have a non-profit arm, Andean Project, to ensure that this change is productive and healthy and to address other poverty related social issues, all funded through our sales and private donations.


We were sent a pair of the acai chain earrings. My daughter and I both like them (she is wearing them now). They are pretty long, if you are not used to wearing dangling earrings. I especially like how they distinctive they are, and they are sure to catch attention from onlookers.
 
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

December 2, 2010

Really Natural Books: 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living by Victoria Klein

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48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living (Good Things to Know) by Victoria Klein is a great resource presented in a straight forward format.

While the debate over our changing environment rages on, one thing remains clear: being green is a hot topic - socially, politically, and economically. Whether you've "been green" from birth or don't even know what the three "Rs" stand for, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living can help you make small, affordable (or free!) changes that will have a major impact on the environment and simplify your everyday life. Chock-full of tips and useful Web sites, 48 Things will show you how to easily become planet-friendly by:

  • Discovering eco-friendly substitutions for everything from food and clothing to appliances, cleaning products, office supplies, and transportation.
  • Reducing waste and electricity, saving you time and money.
  • Taking advantage of both modern green technology and renewable natural resources.
Victoria is a former colleague of mine from Important Media, and it is with pleasure that I review her book. I know from personal experience that she is an excellent writer who knows her stuff!

 

From healthier hanky-panky to a truly green law, there is something for everyone in 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living (Good Things to Know).  For example, I had no idea some condoms are not vegan.

My only criticism of this book is that I do not see any information or indication that it is printed on recycled paper. If this is true, it is a bit hypocritical to preach sustainability without practicing it in publication (although I know Victoria practices it in life).


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 30, 2010

Deodorant Crystal Fights Body Odor Naturally

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Last year, we reviewed Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal spray on and roll on products. Both of these products do not hold up under rigorous testing and need reapplication; however, I have had better success with the Naturally Fresh Crystal Deodorant with Aloe Vera.

Ingredients
Natural Mineral Salts, Ammonium Alum.

I've tried deodorant crystals before without much luck, but perhaps I've always done it wrong. I didn't know you were suppose to wet the crystal first.

Another wonderful feature of a deodorant crystal, besides the safety of the simple, natural ingredients, is that it lasts a really, really long time.

If you are looking for a very cheap, effective natural deodorant, sprinkle baking soda in your armpits. It really works!

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 29, 2010

Fight Holiday Relationship Stress Disorder with Natural Averna Herbal Liqueur

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With all the wonder and merriment of the holiday season, it can take its toll on relationships. Holiday Relationship Stress Disorder (HRSD) results, but Averna has a solution:

HRSD is often triggered in males when they view credit card statements around the Holidays, which highlight increased spending on questionable items (e.g. another snow globe). Females have encountered HRSD while having to make sure they're dressed appropriately for church and/or hoping the 25 hints they've strategically placed for the perfect present was actually noticed.

The recommended dosage to ease HRSD is a 4 oz pour of Averna Amaro neat or over ice. Richly textured and made only from natural ingredients, Averna is distilled from a delicate blend of flowers, herbs, dried fruits, spices and licorice. After these succulent flavors are soaked in alcohol with a touch of caramel, the final result is unique and complex spirit renowned for its ability to settle the stomach.

I enjoy herbal liqueurs, and I appreciate the origins of Averna. Founded in 1868 by Italian Salvatore Averna, drinking this liqueur is like drinking history. Although Jagermeister may be more popular with college crowd, a more sophisticated palette appreciates Averna.

Although this product is all natural, I must point out that our sample was shipped in a box full of styrofoam peanuts.

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 26, 2010

Green Black Friday Deals: $7 Alternative Earth Organic Shirts!

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I highly advise you don't go out to the madness of Black Friday shopping today. In fact, it is wisest to show your support for Buy Nothing Day in response the overconsumerism of our culture and this holiday season; however, I can't help but pass on some great organic clothing deals!

Alternative Earth is offering organic shirts at amazing prices! These shirts have become the staples of my wardrobe, and the prices are deeply discounted! The ladies scoop neck t-shirt is very flattering and the perfect length for today's layering styles.You can't even by stylish t-shirts of conventional cotton for these prices. I seriously want one in every color, and although organic t-shirts may not be the most exciting gift, it is an item everyone wears (and don't forget yourself!)

$9.99

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 24, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Vicki's Vegan Kitchen

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Vicki's Vegan Kitchen: Eating With Sanity, Compassion & Taste is full of delicious recipes and instructions. These nutritionally balanced meals sometimes try to imitate meat dishes, like "Vegan 'Chopped Liver'", whereas others simply stand alone in taste and uniqueness, like "Cucumber-Wakame Salad".

Veteran cookbook author Chelf (Cooking with the Right Side of the Brain) expands the vegan culinary universe in this collection of 375 meat-, egg- and dairy-free dishes for those with dietary restrictions. Yes, there are smoothies, Tabouli, and Hummus, but Chelf helps readers expand their diets with vegan versions of pizza, lasagna, and even Cheez Whiz in this accessible and imaginative guide. Chelf's creative concoctions enable vegans to enjoy French Toast, béchamel sauce, pie, and a mock beef stew that finds its umami in seitan, tahini, and liquid aminos. A guide to vegan-friendly sources for key ingredients, and foods to avoid or seek out ensures larders will be stocked with healthy staples. Helpful step-by-step instructions for baking bread and making noodles, and tips on sprucing up soups and smoothies inspire confidence and enable cooks to expand their culinary repertoire. Though special ingredients are often required for many of her dishes, Chelf does an admirable job of keeping things as simple as possible. This is a terrific guide for vegans tired of settling for a salad.

There are plenty of recipes in this cookbook that would be a wonderful addition to any holiday meal.  Whether your holiday meals are 100% vegan or you have a vegan guest, everyone will love these dishes. 

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 23, 2010

The All Nighter Styling Powder: Save Water, Save Your Hair & Scalp

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I used to shampoo my hair every day until my hair dresser suggest I cut back. Not only does my natural shampoo last twice as long as a result, the texture of my hair has improved, as well as my scratchy scalp. In fact, many people advocate abandoning shampoo all together.

Although, I am not ready to go completely "No Poo", my reduced shampooing schedule does sometimes leave my hair looking a little greasy in front. One solution is to use a powder for this small problem area.

The All Nighter Styling Powder - Hair Powder / Dry Shampoo - Brown/brunette is 100% all natural and does not contain talc.

The ALL NIGHTER Styling PowderTM is the ULTIMATE all natural hair powder / dry shampoo / styling product to build volume, absorb excess oil, freshen hair and extend your blowout. It gives body to limp, lifeless hair and eliminates the need for excessive shampooing. It gives matte texture and awesome volume and body. The ALL NIGHTER Styling PowderTM is effective on sqeaky clean hair and really works wonders on hair that is 2nd or 3rd day between washings! Scrunch. Zhuzh. Fluff.

According a Princeton University study, the average women in the US uses 2500 gallons a year washing her hair four and half times a week. That's a lot of water this product could help you save, as well reduce your exposure to chemicals if you don't use natural beauty products. 

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 22, 2010

Organic Ancient Grains Granola: Nature's Path Partners with Kirkland Signature

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Nature's Path Organic Ancient Grains with Almonds is my absolute favorite granola! I discovered this product at Costco, only to also receive it as a product review too. Coupled with Greek yogurt, Ancient Grains is the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.

The ancient grains in this excellent granola are:

-Spelt: Considered to be of prehistoric origin, spelt is an early form of wheat that contains notable amounts of iron, amino acids and fiber.

-Kamut Khorasan Wheat: Buttery wheat believed to be of Egyptian origin and kept alive by peasant farmers in Egypt and the Middle East. Kamut contains higher levels of lipids, amino acids and vitamins than durum wheat.

-Amaranth: This grain was so important to the Aztecs that Cortez, in an effort to destroy the Aztec culture, declared that anyone growing amaranth crops be put to death. Thanks to some seeds that were smuggled into Asia, you can enjoy its lively, peppery taste and high quality protein.

-Quinoa: Originally cultivated by native people of the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, quinoa is known as a complete protein, including all the essential amino acids that our bodies can't make by themselves.

-Oats: Crushed grains of oats that have been rolled into flakes, these are an excellent source of iron, dietary fiber and thiamin.


Nature's Path is one of the few health food companies that has stayed independent. At first, I was a little wary to see they had partnered with Kirkland, but this is not a corporate takeover. I am not in the least bit worried this partnership will degrade Nature's Path in any way, and it will make their organic products more accessible and affordable to the masses. I also really appreciate that Nature's Path shipped this product with eco-friendly packaging.

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 17, 2010

From Coconut Milk to Frozen Ice Cream: Soy Delicious Dairy Free


There are a lot of dairy free products on the market, but many of them just don't add up in texture and flavor to what they are trying to replace. Not so with So Dairy from Turtle Mountain. This abundant organic line is certified vegan and kosher. Every single product we have tried, we have liked! Here are some of our favorites:

So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage:

NEW! The world's first (that we know of) coconut milk beverage is now So Delicious!
Slide over soy milk and move over dairy milk, something new and exciting is coming to the milk aisle, So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage! Enjoy it on cereal, in coffee, in recipes or just in a tall glass. One sip and you will say, "Wow, that is So Delicious!"

Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk:
Purely Decadent's new line of coconut milk ice creams are perfect for ice cream lovers who want to eat healthier without compromising taste. Sweetened with low-glycemic agave syrup, they are dramatically lower in fat, calories and sugar than most premium ice creams. But because they are made with coconut milk, they are incredibly creamy and smooth .

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt:
NEW! The world's first (that we know of) coconut milk yogurt is now So Delicious!
You'll be amazed from the very first spoonful at this amazingly creamy yogurt experience without the dairy or soy!

So Delicious Minis:
Get one of your favorite dairy free desserts in one of America's most popular novelties, the classic ice cream sandwich - a true favorite for all ages. These delicious treats are a superb dairy free snack anywhere - anytime.

So Delicious™ Drinkable Cultured Coconut Milk:
We originally referred to this product as 'kefir' because its properties and functional benefits derived from probiotics are consistent with the dairy-based kefirs currently in the marketplace. However, after carefully listening to our consumers we realized that many are not familiar with the term "kefir' and that a clearer, more direct description was in order.

We have decided to use a name that better describes what the product is -- a drinkable cultured coconut milk. Although the name has changed, it possesses the same creamy taste, ingredients, nutritional profile, and functional properties as before. Namely, it still contains powerful prebiotics and probiotics that can strengthen the immune system and improve digestion when consumed on a regular basis and incorporated into a healthy diet.


So Delicious® Coconut Milk Creamer:
NEW! A world's first, coconut milk creamer is now So Delicious!
At last we have created a delectable and healthy coconut milk alternative to traditional coffee creamers. Coconut milk is naturally rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) such as lauric and capric acid, which are known for supporting the body's immune system. Now you can enhance your favorite beverages with your choice of three delightfully rich flavors.

The coconut coffee creamer is especially good, and it is a great replacement for Silk Creamer. I find Turtle Mountain to be a much more reputable company than Silk, who has dumped organic US soy farmers and tricked consumers by switching to non-organic sources. Recently, guests to my house raved about the coconut creamer in their coffee!
Although we are recognized first and foremost for our products we are perhaps most proud of our contribution to the environment. As a sponsor of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) we provide much needed funds to help save the ever-shrinking habitats of sea turtles. Our dream is to one day hear that the populations of the many endangered species of sea turtles have stabilized and are on the rebound. Until then we will make every effort to help the people at STRP fight to save these wonderful creatures.


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 15, 2010

Clif Bar Energy Bars Seasonal Flavors are Back!

With the holiday season getting into full swing, the return of seasonal flavors of Clif Bars has returned with an added bonus: 1 percent of net proceeds to benefit Winter Wildlands Alliance.

 

"Once again this year we received a lot of phone calls and emails asking when our holiday-inspired flavors would be available. Well, the wait is over," said Carly Lutz, Clif brand director. "And this year we're proud to support Winter Wildlands Alliance in its preservation efforts - a cause anyone who enjoys outdoor winter adventures can get behind."

Winter Wildlands is the only national organization focused on issues that affect "human-powered" winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding.

Clif Bars seasonal flavors are:

At first, I was going to critique the seasonal bars for not being organic, then I examined the label more closely. These bars contain 70% organically-grown ingredients. I think it is reputable of Clif Bars not to plaster their label with a USDA organic label when 100% of the ingredients are not organic.  That shows integrity often not found in times when organic has simply become a marketing term.  

My favorite flavor is the Cranberry Orange Nut Bread. There's no reason your energy bars can't get into the holiday spirit!

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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