November 26, 2012

Choice Decaf and Caffeinated Organic Teas: Korean Green, Masala and Rooibos Chai

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Do you love chai and green tea? I do, especially when I do not want a second cup of coffee.

The four new teas reinforce Choice Organic Teas' commitment to offer high quality teas from around the world while honoring their traditions.

Premium Korean Green (Green Tea) - This lush tea hails from Jeju Island, South Korea's "Island of the Gods." From fertile volcanic soil to subtropical forests, this pristine isle offers rich tea-growing terroir. The leaves are steamed, rolled and dried in the Sencha tradition, for a fresh and savory cup.

Decaffeinated Green (Decaf Green Tea)< - Delight in the best of both worlds with a cup that's both decaffeinated and flavorful. This crisp green tea grown in the mountains of India is gently decaffeinated using carbon dioxide, the only certified organic method. Enjoy the true essence of this refreshing and wholesome tea day or night.

Masala Chai (Black Tea) - Spice things up with this bold classic, featuring malty Assam tea from India's Brahmaputra River Valley. Choice Organic Teas blends rich, robust black tea with masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a spirited cup that warms your body and soul. It blends perfectly with milk and sweetener for an authentic chai.

Rooibos Chai (Herbal Tea) - Thrill your senses with this naturally caffeine-free twist on traditional chai. Choice Organic Teas blends rich South African rooibos with the finest masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a cup that's warming, robust and subtly sweet. It's a luscious treat that pairs wonderfully with milk and sweetener.

Although I prefer loose leaf tea, all of these tea bags are delicious!  The Premium Korean Green is my favorite of these four varieties.  

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 23, 2012

Design Your Own Destiny: Are you in balance?

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As the days of of light are shorter and holidays bring out feelings of loneliness in some, it is a good time to reflect upon our lives. We do not need to feel as if we are not in control, and our choices and intentions make all the difference in the world.

Design Your Own Destiny: Life Planning for the 21st Century by Mary A. Molloy follows six steps for changing your life:

What if you could have the life you always wanted? What if it wasn't as hard as you thought? What if instead of always asking What if? you decided to dive in and design the destiny of your dreams? That opportunity is here now in Design Your Own Destiny: Life Planning for the 21st Century.

Whether it's looking for a job or trying to figure out the next steps to take in a relationship, award-winning author, speaker and life-planner Mary A. Molloy takes readers to a place where possibilities become realities. Combining years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and clients all over the globe, Mary provides the answers to how people can make it happen. Examining the complete life with deeper connections Molloy helps people to:

o Find work/life balance
o Create tangible goals
o Put plans into action
o See results and measure success

Whether it's changing roles, changing perspectives or challenging the status quo, Mary helps readers take control and not leave what is most important to chance. She shows readers step-by-step how to break down the complex process of changing one's life so that everyone gets a personalized and manageable way to make their dreams happen.

Inspired by a talk she gave to twenty-five homeless women - many of whom took her Life Designs and were able to leave the shelter - Design Your Own Destiny will help you create the life you want to lead!


I am not really one for self help books or life coaches. My idea of self help is to practice yoga; however, flipping through this book, I saw ideas I would like to use with my students, like the draw your dreams worksheet.

Unfortunately, there is nothing eco-friendly about this book, that I can find, unless your life goals involve living a greener life, as mine do.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 15, 2012

Really Natural Books: Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet

echoes_of_earth.jpgA truly beautiful and inspiring book, Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet by L. Sue Baugh combines geology with spiritual wisdom.

Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet tells the story of a life-changing journey taken by L. Sue Baugh and her colleague, Lynn Martinelli, to document some of the oldest rock and minerals in the world. They traveled to remote regions in Western Australia, Greenland, Northwest Canada, and the Grand Canyon, and eventually journeyed into territory not marked on any map.

Echoes of Earth reveals the extraordinary story they found in the breathtaking beauty and transforming power of these ancient sites. Not only did the two women reawaken their own artistic lives, they also discovered that our human origins lie hidden in the secrets of the oldest stones. We carry ancient minerals deep within our bones and ancient life within our human cells. We are all echoes of Earth.

The book's innovative design includes foldouts, half pages, and cutouts that shift the reader's perspective in surprising and profound ways. The Timelines of Earth, with illustrations by the author, reveal how ancient stone and ancient life built and still sustain this world we inhabit. Echoes of Earth invites you to explore some of the world's most ancient places and to discover for yourself our deep, intimate connection to Earth.


There is so much to be learned from this book! I hope to visit some of these places myself, and I can't wait to share it with my daughter. When we go backpacking, I always wish I knew more about the unique geology of the area.

I find especially interesting the sections on "Ancient minerals within us" and "Ancient life within us".

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 13, 2012

Green Tea Goodness & Juice: Teas' Tea half & HALF

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Are you looking for a refreshing beverage that is low in calorie yet full of flavor? All natural Teas' Tea Plus mixes combine half green tea with half juice in a delicious thirst quencher. Sweetened with Stevia and containing only 50 calories per serving (two servings per bottle), these drinks are a delight.

Award-winning TEAS' TEA launches a new and refreshing beverage. Traditionally "half & half" beverages use black tea and are very high in calories. TEAS' TEA has created a healthy half & HALF using our premium quality, and meticulously brewed green tea blended with fruit juices for a healthy and delicious tasting beverages.
We were sent the following flavors to try: I think my favorite flavor is the green apple, although I wish these beverages were organic. They do contain caffeine, which is great for an afternoon pick-me-up, and since they contain green tea, there are catechins antioxidants.

The name is a little misleading, as they are not 50% juice but only 3% juice, but I am fine with that. If they contained more juice, the flavor would be overpowering. 
 

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 9, 2012

Navitas Naturals Organic Freeze-Dried Coconut Water Powder Perfect for Backpacking

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Although snow is now falling in the mountains and backpacking season is pretty much over here in northern California, I am really excited to try a new product on the trail.

Navitas Naturals Organic Freeze-Dried Coconut Water Powder:

Designed for on-the-go hydration, Navitas Naturals Coconut Water Powder is made from the juices found inside fresh, young organic coconuts. The electrolyte-rich liquid inside the coconut has been removed and freeze-dried to preserve the flavor and nutrients in the powder, which is certified organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.

This innovative organic drink powder provides 5 key electrolytes to support rapid hydration: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Each 35-calorie serving contains more potassium than a banana, and it provides many other essential minerals and vitamins.

This powder will be ideal for backpacking, when hydration is key, as well as replenishing electrolytes. Furthermore, since it is a powder, it will not increase the weight of my pack by much, which is why coconut water is not part of my typical diet when on the trail.

Coconut water is so good for you, especially when you have been sick or physically tired.  I am thankful there is now another organic option.


disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 5, 2012

Method for the Holidays: Sugared Mint Dish Soap

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If you haven't noticed, the holidays are coming! Ornamented trees are appearing in stores, snow is dusting mountain tops, and Method is releasing a special line of holiday products.

Method Natural Concentrated Pump Dish Soap is now available in holiday themed recycled bottle and scent.

The holiday line features a gel hand soap, foaming hand soap, and dish soap in the delectable scents of Sugar and Spice (Sugared Mint gel hand wash, Gingerbread foaming hand wash, and Sugared Mint dish soap) and the wintry fragrances Evergreen Nice (Frosted Fir gel hand wash, Mistletoe foaming hand wash, and Frosted Fir dish soap).
I like how Method products are readily available at stores that don't cater to natural only products, but it is not my go to brand.  
 

The Good Guide has given a similar product, perhaps from last year's holiday, a favorable score.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 2, 2012

The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism

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The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism by Robert W. Righter is an extremely thorough and historical account of one of the most famous dams in the country. Filled with historical photographs of the valley that is now flooded, you can't help but wonder what was lost, not just in Hetch Hetchy, but in the hundreds of valleys that are now under reservoirs.

In the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, the city of San Francisco desperately needed reliable supplies of water and electricity. Its mayor, James Phelan, pressed for the damming of the Tuolumne River in the newly created Yosemite National Park, setting off a firestorm of protest. For the first time in American history, a significant national opposition arose to defend and preserve nature, led by John Muir and the Sierra Club, who sought to protect what they believed was the right of all Americans to experience natural beauty, particularly the magnificent mountains of the Yosemite region. Yet the defenders of the valley, while opposing the creation of a dam and reservoir, did not intend for it to be maintained as wilderness. Instead they advocated a different kind of development--the building of roads, hotels, and an infrastructure to support recreational tourism. Using articles, pamphlets, and broadsides, they successfully whipped up public opinion against the dam. Letters from individuals began to pour into Congress by the thousands, and major newspapers published editorials condemning the dam. The fight went to the floor of Congress, where politicians debated the value of scenery and the costs of western development. Ultimately, passage of the passage of the Raker Act in 1913 by Congress granted San Francisco the right to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley. A decade later the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the second largest civil engineering project of its day after the Panama Canal, was completed. Yet conflict continued over the ownership of the watershed and the profits derived from hydroelectrocity. To this day the reservoir provides San Francisco with a pure and reliable source of drinking water and an important source of power. Although the Sierra Club lost this battle, the controversy stirred the public into action on behalf of national parks. Future debates over dams and restoration clearly demonstrated the burgeoning strength of grassroots environmentalism. In a narrative peopled by politicians and business leaders, engineers and laborers, preservationists and ordinary citizens, Robert W. Righter tells the epic story of the first major environmental battle of the twentieth century, which reverberates to this day.

This is an incredible story in American history.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 31, 2012

French Meadow Bakery: Longest continuously running certified organic bakery in the US

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French Meadow Bakery is the "longest continuously running certified organic bakery in the US". Unfortunately, we were not sent any of the yummy looking baked goods to try, but the above pictured lunch set as part of a Back-to-School contest. As often happens, the review did not take place in a timely manner. Sorry.

Even though you can't participate in the contest, we still think you should know about French Meadow Bakery:

The bakery's vision, to create a variety of delicious, innovative breads and sweets goods, blossomed into an extensive and award-winning line of baked goods known for their great taste and texture. French Meadow Bakery offers a line-up of organic and all-natural products including yeast-free, vegan, sprouted grain and Kosher Parve options in many forms including breads, tortillas, bagels and desserts. We are certified USDA Organic by Quality Assurance International. The founder's passion for unique and trend-setting foods for all consumers still manifests itself in such popular products as Women's Bread®, Men's Bread®, Hemp Bread and Healthseed Spelt Bread®.

French Meadow also offers a line-up of delicious gluten-free baked goods that are certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, a program of Gluten Intolerance Group® that includes breads, rolls, muffins, cakes, tortillas, cookies and brownies. All products are sold nationally, and can often be found in your grocer's freezer section.


The lunch set was touted as "eco-friendly", but it is made in China of plastic and synthetic materials, so I don't really think it is. It doesn't even say if the plastic is BPA-free. Their baked goods look delicious, but I'd avoid the lunch kit.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 29, 2012

Teres Kids Clothing: Organic, Itch-Free, and Super Nice!

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I am really excited about Teres Kids Clothing! We were sent a Raven long sleeve shirt, and I can't wait for my son to wear it!

Crafted for comfort and ease, our boys t-shirt features a crew collar, easy on easy off, soft seams, tag-free and raw-edged for optimal comfort. 100% organic cotton. Made in the USA.

I love the exposed seams for their look, but they also make the inside of the shirt smooth for those with sensory issues. Even for those without such tactile sensitivities, it is nice to have a soft finish against your skin.

A New Mexico mom has created a kids clothing line - designed specifically for children suffering from tactile sensitivities. No more itchy shirts, tags that rub, or bothersome seams!

Alex Merlino created Teres Kids for the millions of kids who are bothered by the feel of regular clothes - including children with autism, eczema, skin allergies, etc.


I love this shirt! I wish Teres Kids would expand to Teres adults! Plus, the shirt is made from organic cotton!  I highly recommend Teres Kids!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 26, 2012

Peet's Coffee: Baridi Iced Coffee Blend Delicious Hot or Cold

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Peet's Coffee has long been my favorite place to get a latte on the road in the Bay Area and is a wonderful alternative to Starbucks. The beans used to be difficult to find in stores, but now it is quite prevalent even where Peet's coffee shops are not.

We were sent Peet's Baridi Iced Coffee Blend to try.

When we decided to craft our first blend specifically to be enjoyed over ice, we knew exactly what we were looking for: bold, juicy coffees that would awaken the taste buds. That's why we took extra care in selecting the beans and roast profile that would provide a crisp, refreshing cup for our new iced coffee blend.

After extensive testing and meticulous blending, we chose the highest quality East African beans for Baridi, where high elevations and volcanic soils produce beans known for their sublime aromas and bright, clean finish. We hand-roasted the beans to our traditional deep roast for an iced coffee only Peet's could make.

In Swahili, Baridi means 'cold.' In your cup, it means the perfect iced coffee, bold and coffee-forward, while remaining refreshingly crisp.


I am a big fan of iced coffee, especially as a later in the day pick me up. Although I don't often partake of this treat, I would recommend keeping chilled coffee on hand for those days when life is dragging.  I usually just make espresso, as it is stronger and does not get so weak in the ice, but this blend is lovely too. Of course, it would be better if organically grown.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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