September 24, 2010

Ditch the Paper Towel Habit: PeopleTowels Fair Trade Organic Cotton Reusable Personal Hand Towel

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I am always amazed at the number of disposable paper towels we go through when my family visits. It pains me to see them used for little drops of water on the counter, drying hands, etc. I do only purchase Seventh Generation Paper Towels, but they are still disposable.

PeopleTowels has a solution to the paper towel habit. These fair trade, organic reusable personal hand towels are a great alternative to the paper towel. Did you know:

The average person uses 3,000+ paper towels outside the home each year. Ambassadors will promote the B.Y.O.Towel message to their friends and families, and share the benefits of switching to PeopleTowels, such as reducing deforestation, waste and pollution. It is estimated that each person who switches from paper towels to PeopleTowels will save 1/4 of a tree, reduce landfill waste by 23 pounds and conserve 250 gallons of water every year.

These paper towel alternatives are also printed with eco-friendly dyes.

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

September 22, 2010

Really Natural Books: Yoga in Bed: Awaken Body, Mind & Spirit in Fifteen Minutes

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The only time I have for yoga during the busy work week is first thing in the morning. I groggily get up and do my practice before coffee, and then I feel so much more refreshed and ready for my day.

Yoga in Bed: Awaken Body, Mind & Spirit in Fifteen Minutes is a new book that illustrates how simple it is to include a little bit of yoga in everyone's day before they even leave their bed.

An introduction to breathing exercises and simple postures, this guidebook helps yogis awaken and focus the body and mind each morning. As demonstrated in both the user-friendly book and accompanying DVD, doing yoga in bed for only 15 minutes a day is fun, playful, and brings clarity, a lightness of being, a sense of humor, and a new openness to exploration and self-understanding. Beautiful photography and a tasteful design combine with clear, precise instructions to help the reader feel greater peace as they engage with these poses. With no yoga class to drive to, no teacher to find, and no special clothing needed, this unique way to practice is a perfect fit for today's high-energy, fast-paced life.

Many of these simple stretches are perfect for the bed, but I do think that a mattress may not provide the support I need for doing poses such as cat. Also, in all of the photos the bed is very simple with just a sheet. My bed is a rumple of covers when I wake up, and I don't think stripping it or making it before beginning would really bring any ease into my morning. Many of the stretches though are perfect for simply waking and moving without the need for a harder surface or a neat and tidy bed.

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

September 20, 2010

H2O Duo Stainless Steel Water Bottle Offers Versatility

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There are a lot of stainless steel water bottles on the market now, so manufacturers are finding new ways to improve this product. Seattle Sports H2Duo Two-Part Bottle is made from 18/8 food grade stainless steel, but what is unique about this bottle is that it also unscrews in the wide area of the bottle. The wider opening makes it easier to add ice cubes or clean your bottle. Furthermore, the bottle's top can be flipped over and used as a separate cup.


  • Screw-off upper half, the H2Duo lets you add ice cubes and clean it easily (most stainless bottles have a small, narrow opening).

  • You can use the top or bottom pieces to drink from.

  • Comes with a grey silicone band that can be fitted over the top or bottom part of the bottle for a more comfortable drinking surface.

  • Our screw cap features flow-through threads that allow you to pour from the loosened cap

  • Includes a convenient cap lanyard, so you don┬┐t easily lose the great cap for this great bottle.


Unfortunately, like every other stainless steel water bottles on the market, this one is made in China (designed in the USA). Also, the plastic lid does not cover the lip of the bottle, thus exposing it to more germs.

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

September 15, 2010

Really Natural Homes: Keetsa Eco-Friendly Mattresses Ship to Your Home!

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Eco-friendly mattresses can be very expensive, and conventional mattresses can contain pounds of toxic flame retardants. Keetsa offers an affordable, green alternative.

We have three Keetsa mattresses in our home. The most recent one we purchased was the Eco Friendly Memory Foam With Spring Mattress Tea Leaf Classic Bamboo Fabric Castor Bean Oil Based Bio Foam

Keetsa utilizes either an individually wrapped coil base or pre-consumer recycled foam base in our mattresses. The coil bases are made with recycled steel and individually wrapped to provide a supportive base while preventing motion transfer. Our foam bases utilize our innovative process of reclaiming our own scrap foam from the manufacturing process and mixing synthetic latex to create a recycled foam base material.

 The quality of these mattresses is very high, and they are very comfortable.

One unique, eco-friendly aspect of Keetsa is the shipping and delivery. By compressing the mattresses into boxes that fit in most cars, they eliminate the need for large delivery trucks. Not only are these mattresses made of safe, eco-friendly materials, but the company has also considered the transportation footprint of their products.  Plus, shipping is free!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 13, 2010

SmartSilk Pillow Protector Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly

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Nothing lies as close to your head for as many hours as your pillow (1/3 of your life is spent in bed). It only makes sense to protect your pillow from allergens, like dust mites and pet dander, considering its close proximity to your nose and mouth. Smartsilk Pillow Protector offers such protection:

Smartsilk is the only all natural bedding to be certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Asthma Society of Canada. Smartsilk is proven to be an effective barrier against dust mites, allergens and pet dander and is resistant to mold and mildew. Our Smartsilk silk filled pillow protectors have a 233 thread count 100-percent cotton outer shell, are filled with 100-percent SmartSilk silk fill and are also machine washable in cold water and dryable on low. Smartsilk pillow protectors help to regulate body temperature, keeping your head and neck comfortable all year long. SmartSilk is scientifically proven to wick away moisture thus promoting a more comfortable nights sleep especially for those suffering with night sweats.

Unlike many mattress and pillow protectors on the market, this one is made of all natural materials. Smartsilk is also "scientifically proven to be naturally fire retardant",unlike most bedding that is treated with harmful, toxic PBDEs.  Of course, it would be best if the outer shell was made of organic cotton, like the one I have from Keetsa.

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

September 10, 2010

Not So Really Natural Cookbooks: Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes

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Fix-it and Forget-it Christmas Cookbook: 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes by Phyllis Pellman Good is filled with recipes that are quick to prepare but cook for many, many hours. Slow cookers are a great way to feed your family healthy meals made with whole foods, but unfortunately, you need to read the recipes in this book carefully. Some of the ingredients are less than all natural and they are heavy on the meat, but you can just omit these items from your cooking.

"You absolutely can make holiday meals with ease and with pleasure," says slow-cooker champion Phyllis Pellman Good. Her latest collection, Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook: 500 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes, will fill your head with menu ideas, give you gentle guidance with each recipe, and deliver dishes that your friends and family will love.

"Stop your fretting. Put an end to the nightmares. Get out your slow cookers!" Good urges. "Whether you're making late suppers, family brunches, or amazing holiday meals, these 500 recipes from home cooks across the country will allow you to feast with your loved ones without being exhausted and frazzled."


I'm also confused as to why some versions of this book say 600 recipes and some say 500. They copy I got says 600 on the cover, but I did not count them :)

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

September 8, 2010

Really Natural Books: River House

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River House: A Memoir by Sarahlee Lawrence describes the author's journey from growing up in a remote region of Oregon, leaving to explore the world, then returning to her roots and organic vegetable farm. The story reminds me of what my own children's lives may be like, since they are growing up in a remote region of northern California. As a parent, I recognize the need for them to leave, get a higher and worldly education, but then I hope they may one day return and appreciate the unique childhood and place they call home.

River House is one young woman's story about returning home to her family's ranch and, with the help of her father, building a log house on the property. Sarahlee Lawrence grew up in remote central Oregon and spent her days dreaming about leaving her small town for world adventures. An avid river rafter through adolescence, by the age of twenty-one, Lawrence had rafted some of the most dangerous rivers of the world as an accomplished river guide. But living her dream as guide and advocate, riding and cleaning the arteries of the world, led her back to the place she least expected -- to her dusty beginnings and her family's home. River House is a beautiful story about a daughter's return and her relationship with her father, whom she enlists to help brave the cold winter and build a log house by hand. Lawrence's father, landlocked on the ranch for decades, is a surfer who longs for the sea. Lawrence, a reformed river rat, has forsaken the water for a spell, determined to build a home. Together, they work through the harsh winter, father helping daughter every step of the way to achieve her dream. The surprise comes when Lawrence sees how she has helped him live his.

River House: A Memoir is available for preorder and will be released October 1, 2010.

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

September 3, 2010

iPhone App Drip Detective Helps You Calculate Water Waste From Drips and Leaks


Ever wonder how much water you are really wasting from the leaky faucet? Drip Detective is a new iPhone or iPod touch that lets you calculate exactly how much water is wasted. Calculations are made by either measuring volume or tapping the screen each time a drip falls from your leak.

Leaks are extremely annoying and usually fixed on the indoors, but outdoor water fixtures are a different story. We have a leaky one, and even though it is minor, it is amazing to see how much water is wasted over a day, week, month, or year.

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

August 30, 2010

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix is Delicious!

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Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix is easy to make, and it actually tastes delicious. It's important to follow the directions carefully, e.g. room temperature eggs, greasing the pan, etc.

Ingredients
Sugar, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sorghum flour, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch), sea salt, xanthan gum, natural vanilla powder (sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract).

I was concerned when the cake mix had a rubbery consistency that it would not rise upon baking. Even though it did not rise as much as a standard cake, the gluten-free cake did turn out light and fluffy. I made a beet juice colored butter frosting topped with blackberries. It was delicious!
47694_416383816383_534576383_4841598_1009398_n.jpgDisclosure: 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

August 27, 2010

Really Natural Books: No More Dirty Looks - The Truth About Your Beauty Products

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Beauty products are notorious for making false organic marketing claims and containing harmful ingredients. From lead in lipstick to phthalates in lotions, consumers are challenged to find truly natural products. A new book has the answers you need. 

 
No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics defines and explains the risks of many common cosmetic ingredients.

It started with a harmless quest for perfect wash-and-go hair. Every girl wants it, and Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt finally found it in a fancy salon treatment. They were thrilled--until they discovered that the magic ingredient was formaldehyde.
Shocked, O'Connor and Spunt left no bottle unturned. If it went on their body (and thus, was absorbed into their skin and bloodstream), they researched it. As it turns out, many of those unpronounceable ingredients in your self-tanner and leave-in conditioner are not regulated and the "natural" on your face wash doesn't mean what you think it does.

Now, with the help of top scientists, dermatologists, and makeup artists, the authors share their compelling findings and the easy way to detoxify your beauty regimen. No More Dirty Looks also reveals the safest, most effective products on the market and time-tested home recipes. Finally, you don't need to sacrifice health for beauty--because coming clean is the best look yet.


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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