October 28, 2009

All Natural Wolfgang Chocolate Candy is TOO Sweet!

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One of the hardest parts about being a blogger is having to taste chocolate candies in order to review them (NOT).   Recently, I tried Wolfgang Candy, which is all natural and "healthy", because it is made from "real cranberries" (other berries flavors available too).

Ingredients:  Dark Chocolate (sugar, chocolate (processed with alkali), cocoa butter, soy lecithin (an emulsifier) vanilla), sugar, cranberries, vegetable oil.

I found this candy to be sickingly sweet. I had expected the candy to be chocolate covered dried or fresh fruit, but instead, a syrupy mess flows out of the innards. This candy reminds me of the crappy Valentine's Day candy I would get as a child that is sure to decay your teeth within minutes of eating. In fact, after trying two of these candies, I feel sick to my stomach.  There are so many better options for all-natural, even organic and fair trade, chocolate treats; however, if you like it super sweet, you'll like these candies.

Disclosure: I was sent sample candies in order to write an authentic review. There was no guarantee of a positive or negative review in exchange for the sample.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 26, 2009

Handmade Himalayan Wool Baby Booties by JelliBee Baby

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One of my favorite baby items, which I have kept as a memento of those tender years, was a pair of felted wool baby booties. JelliBee Baby offers a very similar product to the ones I have.

Cheerfully bright, perfectly warm, and beautifully formed, these felted wool booties make a fitting baby gift. All natural, organic materials, handmade in the foothills of the Himalayas. Made in accordance with Fair Trade practices and green processes, these booties have little tootsies feeling good, while you are doing good.

Although I don't have a baby to try the JelliBee booties on, my recollection of the pair I had was that they were difficult to keep on those wiggly little feet. These may be different, as they do go a little higher up the ankle.

JelliBee is a mother-run company:

We are homegrown and homespun. We are spunky, sassy, and smart.

We marvel as our babies become their own little people, and our idea of love grows...

We celebrate Motherhood in style with whimsical yet practical design that's never too far from the woman we used to be, and always in step with the woman we are right now.

I do love these baby booties and wish they came in my size. I have actually made felted wool slippers for adults, which are fun to make and size on the actual foot!

Disclosure:  I received a free pair of wool booties in order to write this review authentically. No promises were made as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 23, 2009

Eco-Friendly Beauty Tips: 99.40% Natural Apothecary by J.R. Watkins

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I've just discovered a new line of natural beauty products, 99.40% natural to be exact. J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary is a 140-year-old company (why am I just finding out about them now?) that creates "authentic, quality all-natural personal care products". Two of the company's gift sets I have tried are the Head To Toe Kit and the On the Go! Kit.

J R WATKINS Head To Toe Kit includes:


  • Mango Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)

  • Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)

  • Peppermint Foot Cream (1 fl. oz.)

  • Aloe & Green Tea Body Cream (0.70 oz.)

  • Lemon Cream Body Cream (0.70 oz.)

  • Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)

  • Lemon Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)

  • Natural Beeswax Lip Balm (0.14 oz.)

J R WATKINS On the Go! Kit contains:


  • Lavender Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl oz/29 mL)

  • Lemon Cream Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl oz/29 mL)

  • Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Cuticle Salve (.25 oz/7 g)

  • Natural Beeswax Lip Balm - stick (.14 oz/4 g)

I really like the J R WATKINS Natural Beeswax Lip Balm. It really moisturizes and lasts on dry, chapped winter lips. This lip balm is very soothing with a slight peppermint essence.

J.R. Watkins is committed to being:


  • 95% Natural and above

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free

  • Paraben Free

  • Phthalate Free

  • Mineral Oil, Petrolatum free

  • Dye Free


It should be noted, however, that J.R. Watkins Lavender Hand and Body Lotion received a rather high score of eight out of ten on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep cosmetic database. Of greatest concern, according to EWG, are the fragrance and methylparaben ingredients. Not all of J.R. Watkins' products have been evaluated by EWG.

Disclosure: I received free sample products in order to complete this review. No guarantees of positive or negative review were given in exchange for the products. This is an authentic review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 21, 2009

Green Toys 100% Recycled Plastic Tea Set

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One of my son's favorite toys is the made in the USA Green Toys Recycling Truck, and now we have another great Green Toys product in our home. The Green Toys Tea Set is made in the USA from 100% curbside collected, recycled plastic milk jugs. Knowing this product is made from curbside collected plastic gives me peace of mind, considering I know it was part of closing the loop, as well as I am assured these toys are not made from industrial waste plastic. Besides being made of recycled materials, this tea set is sure to enchant your child (no matter the gender), as we have experienced in our home. Who doesn't love a tea party? The set includes a tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, four cups, four saucers and four spoons. Of course, the Green Toys Tea Set is bpa-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free!

Disclosure: I received this product for free in order write this review. There was no guarantee of a positive or negative review in exchange for the product. This is an authentic review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 19, 2009

Organic, Gluten-Free Bread by French Meadow Bakery

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My father has celiac disease, so I have tasted lots of gluten-free products. Some of them are so good, like Pamela's chocolate chunk cookie mix, that I eat it even though I don't require a gluten-free diet. Recently, I tried French Meadow Bakery's gluten-free breads that include many organic ingredients.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, organic honey, palm oil, organic raisins, sugar, distilled monoglycerides, rice bran and germ, contains less than 2% of the following: maltodextrin, palm oil, yeast, salt, cinnamon, carbohydrate gum, pectin, xanthan gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), guar gum, calcium sulfate, soy lecithin, natural flavor, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, whole grain flour blend (amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff ), egg whites, organic honey, tapioca starch, organic flax seed, palm oil, organic millet, organic quinoa, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, distilled monoglycerides, yeast, maltodextrin, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, palm oil, organic honey, distilled monoglycerides, maltodextrin, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, yeast, organic apple cider vinegar, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, citrus fiber, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Each loaf costs about $5.00 and is smaller than your average loaf of wheat bread. The bread is a little bit rubbery and is better toasted, like most gluten-free breads. Unlike some gluten-free breads, it does not fall apart, which makes French Meadow Bakery gluten-free breads perfect for packing in lunches. These breads are probably the best gluten-free breads that I have tried, but I am still addicted to my wheat flour.

Disclosure: I received three free loaves of French Meadow Bakery gluten-free bread to sample in order to write this review. There were no guarantees of a positive or negative review in exchange for the sample. This is an authentic review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 16, 2009

Solar Produced Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea Gets You Through Winter Time Ills

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My family's favorite tea bag variety is Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea. We especially appreciate this tea made from "the highest quality, pharmacopoeial grade herbs" when we are ill, but we actually drink it all the time. We take it backpacking, we drink it at home, we take it to school, etc. Recently, I took the time to read the little paper wrapper the tea bag comes in:

We have installed solar panels at our corporate headquarters and tea production facility. This solar project includes 1,450 solar panels, and generates approximately 430,000 kilowatt hours per year making us the largest solar powered tea factory on the planet!

My tea bag was a little outdated (2008), so Traditional Medicinals may have even increased their solar energy capacity. Alternative energy and good tea: we will keep enjoying our Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea without any eco-guilt.

Disclosure: This product was personally purchased. 
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 14, 2009

Naturally Remove Blackheads and Clogged Pores with Clari-T Pore Cleansing Strips

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Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleansing Strips use the power of tea tree oil to remove blackheads and deeply clean pores on your nose. Recommended for once a week usage, the strips are applied after first wetting your clean nose, then placing the strip across your nose (be careful your hands are thoroughly dry when removing the strip from it's wrapper). The strip stays on for about 10 minutes, and upon removal, the results are amazing! Examining the used strip is both gross and fascinating, and I was convinced after one usage that Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleansing Strips are a must have for any natural beauty regime.


Disclosure: This product was personally purchased.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 13, 2009

Floradix Iron Plus Herbs Naturally Supplements Your Body

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Floradix Iron + Herbs is a naturally derived supplement for those of you needing a little extra iron. I discovered Floradix upon my midwife's recommendation after childbirth hemorrhaging, and I recently began purchasing it again when my son was discovered to have low iron. He is not one for supplements, but liquid Floradix tastes good, and he actually asks to take it!

According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency occurs in 66-80% of the world's population. Do you need iron?

Why does your body need iron? Because the body is constantly making new red blood cells through a complex process that requires a daily supply of iron. If the supply of iron is inadequate it will lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the blood, and will consequently weaken the whole body. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency are: ? Fatigue and general lack of energy ? Decreased ability to concentrate ? Decreased endurance during exercise ? Increased frequency of infection ? Ridges along the fingernails ? Paleness and/or dark circles under the eyes?

Floradix Iron + Herbs uses herbs, fruit, vegetables, ocean kelp, wheat germ, rosehips, yeast, and is sweetened with kosher honey. It is non-constipating and contains vitamin C to increase absorption of iron. It also contains a high level of B12, and important supplement for many vegetarians. Floradix is also available in a gluten or yeast-free formula.

Disclosure: This is an item I purchased for personal use. It was not provided to me in exchange for this product review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 9, 2009

No Batteries: Haba Terra Kids LED Lantern Makes Real or Play Camping Fun

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At gift giving time, I become challenged to find presents for my children that fit my ecological standards and encourage our green family values. Haba's Terra Kids Camping Lantern fits the bill, as it requires no batteries and encourages children to include camping in their dramatic play, as well want to get outside during night time hours (of course, under adult supervision). This lantern has a compass on the top, a lightweight carabiner for clipping onto backpacks, and is powered by a hand crank. Just three minutes of cranking produces one hour of light, which also makes this toy useful in case of power outages. My son loves his Terra Kids Camping Lantern

Disclosure: This item was personally purchased for my son's birthday.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 23, 2009

First Made in the USA Filtered Stainless Steel Water Bottle by EcoUsable

486_image.gifEditor's note:  Please read the comments below.  Apparently only the filter is made in the USA. The labeling on the bottle's tag did not state anywhere that we could find about the bottle being made in China.  We have not confirmed the information contained in the comments below, but we would like to draw your attention to them. 

In the great reusable water bottle debate, Kleen Kanteen is always criticized for being made in China, and Sigg has fessed up to having BPA in its epoxy liner all along. Finally, there is a stainless steel water bottle made in the USA, and it has a bonus feature of filtration! EcoUsable 25oz Filtered Water Bottle - Stainless Swirl is so cool! It is the absolutely best stainless steel water bottle on the market that I have found, and the filter will last for approximately 12 months.

EcoUsableā„¢ presents the world's only Environmentally Safe Stainless Filtered Water Bottle.

Enjoy filtered tap water on the go instantly filtered as you drink through the ech2o sport top! This exclusive top removes up to 99.99% of pollutants for up to 100 gallons* of great tasting filtered water.

Each 25 oz. 304 food grade stainless steel water bottle is non-leaching, BPA-free, reusable, lightweight, and taste-neutral.

The Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration System is an entire water filtration plant within a portable bottle. The patented Ionic-Absorption Micro-Filtration reduces up to 99.99% of the following zones of contamination:

  • Aesthetics: unpleasant taste, odor, clarity, chlorine, sand, sediment and Radon 222.
  • Biological: Pathogens such as cryptosporidium, giardia & other cysts and spores.
  • Chemicals: toxic chemicals, detergents, pesticides and other harmful industrial and agricultural wastes.
  • Dissolved Solids: heavy metals such as aluminum, asbestos, copper, lead, mercury and others.

Ecousable also makes a variety of other stainless steel bottles, but only the EcoUsable 25oz Filtered Water Bottle - Stainless Swirl is made in the USA. Other bottles include:
All of these bottles are BPA-free, recyclable, and come in a variety of colors.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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