December 23, 2009

100% Natural, Gluten-Free Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks in New Flavors

We've tried Funky Monkey 100% natural freeze dried snacks before, and they were a big hit in my family. Now, we have tried three new flavors:

My favorite new flavor is Applemon, but my daughter loves the Pink Pineapple. My kids love Funky Monkey, and when I told my daughter they were not organic, she said, "I don't care. They are good!" All of our samples disappeared quickly.  These snacks are gluten-free and vegan, and they contain nothing but fruit. They do stick to your molars, making the flavor last in your mouth for awhile. The product label claims these snacks are "raw", but my understanding of raw does not involve any processing, including freeze drying.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 18, 2009

Natural Laundry Detergent Vaska Uses Herbs to Clean

Vaska Scent Free Laundry Detergent was created by fashion designer Julia Fry. Using "advanced botanical solutions" in a formula Julia calls "herbatergent", Vaska laundry detergent is safe for your skin and greywater/septic systems.

Biodegradable: Won't contaminate septic tanks or groundwater.
Hypo allergenic: Perfect for people with skin and scent sensitivities.
Softer clothing: Laundry comes out really soft, no need for chemical additive fabric softeners.
Herbal ingredient: Herbal lavender extracts are naturally anti-bacterial and purify clothing.
No static cling Leaves clothing cling-free.
HE: Ecological and designed for modern high efficiency washing machines, doesn't corrode or clog plumbing.
Happier laundry room: Rich, sensual aroma enhances consumer's experience in the laundry room.
Concentrated: You won't have to carry a lot of heavy bottles or boxes home, and then to the recycling.

Vaska products have been "Recognized for Safer Chemistry by Design for the Environment, U.S. EPA."

I am always amazed how many young children I work with at school show signs of sensitivity to laundry detergent, especially in the winter. They complain of itchy skin and try to wiggle out of their clothes. Many parents underestimate the effect chemical detergents have on their children's skin.

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 16, 2009

Natural Deodorant Uses Crystals to Keep You Fresh

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Staying fresh smelling naturally can be challenge. I've tried many natural deodorants, only to be disappointed by the end of the day. They work fine if you reapply them several times a day, but who is going to carry deodorant around in their purse or backpack all day? Crystal-based deodorants offer good protection and an alternative to aluminum-based ones that have been possibly linked to breast cancer. Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal products do work, and they are hypoallergenic, non-staining, phthlate-free, paraben-free, aluminum-free, and offer 24 hour protection.

I am not used to using a wet deodorant and spilled it on the floor when apply it.  I usually just use homemade mix of baking soda and herbs for my body odor protection. I am also sensitive to scents, so I prefer deodorants that do not smell.

I haven't put Naturally Fresh to a super sweaty test, but it holds up well for normal usage.  It is important to note these products are super safe.  According to the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database Skin Deep, Naturally Fresh products received a hazard school of 0 out of 10!  That's the lowest score you can earn.

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

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 14, 2009

BPA-Free Silicone "Skinned" Glass Makes Little Kids Feel Big

Glass is truly the safest material to drink from, but often parents are worried young children will break glass and be injured. Silikids has a solution with its food grade silicone-sleeved glass cup for young children. Silikids Siliskin Glass provides a non-slip surface for little hands to grasp and feel like big kids drinking out of a real glass.

The Siliskin Glass is a clean alternative to plastic drink-ware. For toddlers who want to drink from a "big kid" cup. Silikids makes this easy to do with a small BPA free silicone covered glass. This Siliskin glass helps prevent slipping and adds extra protection to the glass inside. Glass is the cleanest option for drinking and it lasts because it's reusable, and recyclable. The Siliskin is hypo- allergenic, has no open pores to harbor bacteria and is dishwasher safe. Two simple ideas have come together to make the perfect drink ware better for your family and the environment.

Even though there are a lot of BPA-free plastic cup products on the market, I still feel safest with real glass, and I don't have to worry about placing them in the dishwasher.

Silikids also makes Silibibs. These bibs are easy to put on and easy to clean. They are even safe for the dishwasher. I personally prefer cloth bibs, but many parents prefer silicone for the ease of cleaning.

If you visit, you can use the discount code OHBABY to receive a 15% off any order through 12/31/2009

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample 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 11, 2009

Natural Hand Sanitizer Protects Hands for 2.5 Hours Using Silver

There's a plethora of natural hand sanitizers on the market now. SilvaPlex offers a unique choice for natural hand sanitizers, as it provides protection for up to two and half hours. At about $4 a bottle, this sanitizer is affordable, but I wonder about the safety of silver.

-SilvaPlex® is naturally made with Chitosan- Silver Complex®, a formula that creates on your skin a barrier against bacteria for 2½ hours.

-SilvaPlex® has an excellent anti microbial efficacy on a wide spectrum of microorganisms.

-SilvaPlex® is a powerful antibacterial composed of Silver Complex and Bio-Polymers.

Silver nanoparticles have become a popular way to provide antimicrobial protection. From socks to appliances, they are everywhere, but are they safe? Green Living Ideas cites Friends of the Earth's concern with nano-silver:

Silver has long been known to be a potent antimicrobial agent. However, its use has exploded in recent years, in medical applications and also in many consumer products, including children's toys, babies' bottles, cosmetics, textiles, cleaning agents, chopping boards, refrigerators and dishwashers.

Much of the silver used in these products today is manufactured at the nano-scale, meaning it is present in extremely tiny particles that behave differently than larger particles and are especially potent. Studies suggest that the widespread use of nano-silver poses serious health and environmental risks and that it could promote anti-bacterial resistance, undermining its efficacy in a medical context.

Sure, I'm afraid of the swine flu and MRSA, but I think I'll stick with good old handwashing for now.

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of this product to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 9, 2009

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Scarf Packaged in Earth Friendly Reusable Bag by Wish Wrap

I'm a scarf person. I love scarves and wear them three out of four seasons. Wish Wrap is a unique company that allows you to chose a "wish" to give with each gift.

So, let's say you've selected a blanket as a holiday present for someone special. You may choose a wish like 'warmth' to go with it. But, that's just one way to go. Perhaps the blanket represents 'peace' or 'laughter' to you. Pick your wish based on your relationship and what the gift means to you. Make it personal. When your gift is delivered, the blanket will be specially packaged to send the sentiment of 'warmth' or whichever wish you've chosen.

Wish Wrap offers many eco-friendly products, like Eco-Chic Bamboo Scarf. I absolutely love the colors of this scarf (my favorite is pistachio), and it is super soft and versatile. earth-friendly fashion accessory that the style-conscious can wrap their arms around! This lightweight, supersoft scarf is made of sustainably-grown bamboo plant fibers. At 30"x74" its extra-long - wear it like a shawl or around your neck. It travels well, and even works as a cover-up for new moms.

Not only is the bamboo scarf exquisite, the unique eco-friendly packaging used by Wish Wrap is very cool and reusable. In fact, the jute bag is a gift alone!
Our packaging is truly eco-friendly. It's made of jute - a fiber that grows faster and in less space than bamboo. It's recyclable and biodegradable. All our gift bags and boxes fold flat to take up less room in shipping and storing. Less space means less energy, another environmental offender.

Disclosure: I was sent a bamboo scarf in order to complete this review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 7, 2009

Naturally "Healthy" Frozen Sorbet by Jolly Llama

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Ever looking for a sweet frozen sweet for your family? Jolly Llama frozen sorbets are made from natural ingredients and come in squeezable containers. This whole fruit sorbets contains no dairy, gluten, or genetically modified corn sweeteners; however I wish they were organic. They do contain "non-GMO soluble corn fiber", which I am not too sure about.

Because we make our sorbets from sun-ripened whole fruit - never concentrates or juices - each Jolly Llama bursts with the mouth-watering freshness of real fruit and retains the rich store of nutrients that nature intended. Our Acai "superfruit" sorbet is particularly high in antioxidants. All of our sorbets are low in fat and each averages just 75 calories per tube. To make our sorbets even healthier, we fortify them with Vitamins A & C (50% RDI or greater) and naturally healthy fiber (10% RDI or greater).

The reviews in my family of Jolly Llama range from "yum" to "too sweet". My five-year-old son likes them, but he can't finish a whole tube, which my daughter does not mind finishing for him. She is the biggest Jolly Llama fan in the family and loves the strawberry flavor. I think the cold sorbet feels good on my sore throat.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of Jolly Llama's sorbets in order to taste them for this review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 4, 2009

Fight and Prevent Mold Without Bleach, Ammonia, or VOCs

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Concrobium Mold Control is a product that fights and prevents mold without using bleach or ammonia. It also does not contain any VOCs. I personally do not have a moldy spot to really try this product out, but I do get a little pink mold along the molding of my shower door that is hard to clean. I sprayed Concrobium Mold Control on this spot, and the pink mold did wipe away easier than with a sponge alone. I also sprayed the entire molding hoping that this product would prevent future mold growth. 

Traditionally, homeowners have tackled mold with bleach solutions, essentially poisoning the mold micro-organism. That leaves users and their families exposed to harmful chemicals.

And bleach only provides short term relief from mold. When the mold reappears, the toxic cleaning cycle begins again...

Concrobium Mold Control® is a revolutionary way to fight mold, with no bleach, ammonia or VOCs.

Unlike traditional "wet kill" products, Concrobium works as it dries - hardening over the moldy surface to form an invisible film that physically crushes the mold micro-organism underneath.

And Concrobium stays on surfaces to provide continual resistance against mold regrowth.

Concrobium Mold Control states their product is eco-friendly and a "100% natural solution", although full disclosure of the solution is not given other than stating "two other ingredients" are combined with baking soda to create a "patented tri-salt polymer". It certainly has to be better than bleach.

Disclosure: I was sent a quart of Concrobium Mold Control in order to complete this review. No positive or negative assurances were given prior to reviewing this product.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 2, 2009

Gluten Free Cooking: Bob's Red Mill Shortbread Cookie Mix

gluten free shortbread mix.jpgBob's Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix is a new product for celiacs and their families. Unfortunately, this product does not come in a recyclable container or contain organic ingredients, but they are gluten-free. Each cookie contains 29 grams of carbohydrates, so they are not diabetic-friendly, however, there are only eight grams of sugar.

Ingredients: Potato Starch, Sugar, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Cornstarch, Tapioca Starch, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural Vanilla Powder (sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract).

Making this mix is rather easy, although we used twice as much water as the package required. It is not a kid-friendly mix, as most gluten-free ingredients are difficult to work with for little hands. The dough did roll (and re-roll) out easily between plastic wrap (bottom layer of parchment paper works best), and small cookie cutters are best. The finished cookies are excellent and taste is not compromised by the gluten-free ingredients.

Bob's Red Mill uses "an ELISA Gluten Assay test to determine if a product is gluten free," so you can be assured this product is allergen-free for celiacs.

Disclosure: I was sent a free package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix to try out in order to write this review. No prior assurances were given as to the positive or negative nature of the review in exchange for the product.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2009

Ikea Holiday Soft Toy Gifts Support UNICEF and Save the Children

Not only are Ikea soft toys a super deal, the purchase of these toys contributes to global educational programs. Of course, there is nothing natural about these toys made from polyester and synthetic rubber, but the money goes for good causes and they are super soft and uniquely designed.  My children also enjoy playing with them.

Last year the program raised over $7 million with these plush animals that donate 1 euro ($1.47) to UNICEF and Save the Children with every toy purchased November 1 through December 24...Ranging in price from $1.49 to $19.99, these lovable creatures make a great stocking stuffer or featured present for kids of all ages.

Designed for children of all ages, I would not want my baby chewing on the synthetic rubber, and there are many other natural soft toys on the market. Although Ikea is known for environmentally responsible practices, I think I would prefer to just give money to a charitable organization and purchase a more eco-friendly gift. Ikea does make some nice wooden toys though.

Disclosure: I received a Barnslig and a Korall Krabba in order to write this review. No assurances were given as to whether the review would positive or negative in exchange for the product.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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