April 1, 2013

Really Natural March 2013 Monthly Roundup

Baby

Beauty

Fashion

Food

Green Homes

Health

Herbal Medicine

Kids

Kitchen

Product review

Really Natural Books

Read More in: Monthly Round-Up

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 28, 2013

How to help that nighttime cough? Zarbee's All-Natural Children's Cough Syrup

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There is nothing worse than being up with a coughing child all night long.  Both parent and child are exhausted in the morning.

We've reviewed Zarbees All Natural Children's Cough Syrup before, now we were sent their new children's nighttime syrup. 

Zarbee's Children's Nightime Cough Syrup, Grape

Zarbee's nighttime formulas offer fast, soothing relief from coughs and irritated throats. With Zarbee's clinically proven all-natural ingredients you're sure to get a restful night's sleep. Made with natural melatonin, Zarbee's nighttime formula will safely and gently help your little ones get the rest they need so they can bounce back fast!

Pediatrician Developed & Recommended

  • Safe & effective for children 2 years+
  • Pediatrician recommended
  • Soothes sore throats
  • Immune boosting formula
  • Drug, Dye and Gluten-Free
  • Contains 0.5 mg melatonin
  • Available in Grape
Hopefully that little bit of melatonin lets your little one sleep easier while suffering from a cough.
 

Zarbee's is affordable (about $8).  Even though they make an adult formula, the kid's syrup works fine on adults too!

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.

Read More in: Health | Herbal Medicine | Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 26, 2013

AlternaVites Kids Quick Melting Multivitamin Crystals: What are those natural flavors?

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I am not a big proponent of multivitamins. We take them on occasion, but it is best to get your minerals and vitamins from natural foods. That being said, AlternaVites Kids offers an alternative to chewable or gummy vitamins with their kids quick melting multivitamin crystals.

The vitamin that is on the tip of every kid's tongue! Amazing Strawberry Bubble Gum Flavor Certified kosher pareve The coolest vitamin because it can be taken in so many ways! Sprinkle directly onto the tongue melts in your mouth Mix into smoothies, yogurts, puddings and shakes Lick off a spoon Sprinkle on top of fruit Get creative This incredibly versatile formula was made to fit easily into the way your family lives today so that there are no more excuses not to make vitamins!

It comes in two flavors, strawberry bubblegum and raspberry cotton candy, both of which make me shudder and search for artificial ingredients. The company states they contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners; however, just listing "natural flavors" does not make me feel better. I want to know specifically what I am putting in my child's body.

I do, however, like that the powder formula makes it easy to put in a smoothie for kids that are reluctant to take vitamins, but a smoothie can be made with spinach, fruit, and lots of other goodies to make it vitamin rich without the addition of quick melting multivitamin crystals.

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.

Read More in: Health | Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 25, 2013

Green Toys: Recycled Wooden Magnet Shapes of Babar

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We must be on a Babar theme for spring!

Enter any home with children, and chances are their refrigerator is covered in fun magnets.
Babar Wooden Magnetic Shapes have the added bonus they are made from recycled wood, nontoxic inks, and the packaging is made from 85% recycled paper.

Create all sorts of scenes with Mudpuppy Babar wooden magnetic sets.

Colorful wooden magnets show Babar, his family, friends, and other citizens enjoying life in Celesteville. Arrange the characters on the refrigerator or any metal surface. The full magnetic backing will hold even elephants firmly in position!

Based on the beloved Babar the Elephant books begun by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931 and continued by Laurent de Brunhoff.

These wooden magnets are truly delightful!!!!

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.

Read More in: Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2013

Optari Durable Totes and Accessories

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I have to admit, I am a little confused by the Optari products we were sent:


Apparently they are popular with tween celebrities, but they just remind me of Crocs. They are made of the same weird material, and the charm pop on just they way charms pop onto Crocs. Even the bottom of the tote looks like a shoe!
Our popular Sol Totes come in two sizes and lots of colors. Durable, waterproof, and easily cleanable, our customers use them for all sorts of things. Tote bag, beach or pool bag, gift bag, lunch tote, shower caddy, bathtub toy bag, diaper bag, etc., there are dozens of uses for a Sol Tote. Once you've chosen your tote, don't forget to customize it with our Fobbz and Mini Fobbz charm collections.

I couldn't find any information about what these Optari products, and I have always had my suspicions about Crocs. The Daily Green writes:
In the absence of direct response, I resorted to research. Their site says: "Think Crocs are made of rubber? Your friend is adamant they're plastic? You're both wrong. Crocs are made of PCCR, a closed-cell material that virtually eliminates odour. No one will clear a room with smelly feet if they are wearing a pair of Crocs. The material also discourages sweating, making Crocs even more comfortable." A quick Google reveals nothing, as PCCR is some sort of "proprietary" blend Crocs makes, likely a petroleum-derived foam. (Read Treehugger's take, or Debra Lynn Dadd's.

Croc knockoffs like the ones made by iPlay are made of EVA plastic, which is a lot better than the PVC/vinyl most jelly shoes are constructed from. I wasn't able to find any sort of study that said anything about plastics leaching via scraped bitty toes into bitty bodies.

Reviewers on Amazon say this is a great bag to take into the shower at the gym, and my daughter was immediately attracted to it and wanted it.

When PR companies approach me, I always tell them their products will be evaluated based on their eco-friendly properties. So companies identify these properties for me, some stretch and find a reason. I was told this product was eco-friendly because it is durable and not wasteful. Clearly, it is not a green product, but a gimmick to bring the Croc craze to handbags.

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.

Read More in: Fashion | Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

BPA FREE: Super Cute Warm Traditions Lamb Hot Water Bottle

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I discovered the healing power hot water bottles after giving birth. I prefer the heat and energy a hot water bottle gives versus a heating pad, but the rubber bottle is not the most inviting material to place against your skin. Children especially shy from it, and wrapping them in towels can be a bit awkward.

Warm Traditions Lamb Hot Water Bottle combines the soothing comfort of hot water and a snuggly little lamb:

The Lamb Hot Water Bottle is really a two-in-one deal. It is a 3-Dimensional and cuddly lamb when not used as an amazing hot water bottle. The fluffy lamb is able to accommodate a 1 liter thermoplastic hot water bottle (that is included) and keep you warm for hours. Perfect for children, teens and adults of all ages!! Keeps you warm at night, helps stomach aches, cramps & muscle aches. Helps warm up cold hands and feet. Helps you de-stress after a long day. Use while camping or at an outdoor stadium. A natural alternative to a heating pad. Perfect to use for your cat and dog too! Made in Germany

The hot water bottle is BPA free thermoplastic for "extra long lasting heat". The bottle is made in Germany, and the little lamb cover is made in the USA. It does appear to be made of polyester though, which obviously is not natural.

I wish I would have had this product last week when my son had a bad stomachache. This little lamb would have been quite a comfort.

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.

Read More in: Health | Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 20, 2013

Children's Classics: Babar

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This is another one of those posts that probably doesn't belong here, but I feel compelled when PR companies send me products to review them, whether they are really natural or not. These DVDS are not natural (what DVD is?), and they do not deal with environmental or natural living topics, but here goes...
Babar the Classic Series: Best Friends Forever

Based on the beloved children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, this DVD Collection features four endearing tales that explore core family values including acceptance, honesty and patience.
Episodes
City Ways
Between Friends
Friendly Agreement
An Elephant's Best Friend

Bonus Features: 8-Page Coloring Book


Babar the Classic Series: School Days

Based on the beloved children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, this DVD Collection features four endearing tales that explore core family values including acceptance, honesty and patience. Includes a bonus 8-Page Coloring Book.

Episodes Include:
School Days
Kings of the Castle
Every Basket Has a Silver Lining
Peer Pressure


I do love Babar!

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.

Read More in: Kids

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 19, 2013

Eco-Friendly Nursery: weeDecor Wall Decals (no toxic PVC vinyl!!!)

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For a gift, my son was given some John Deere wall decals (he loves John Deere!). When we took them out of the package, the immediate smell raised red flags. If something smells toxic, then it is toxic. I trust my olfactory sense! Turns out, the decals now popular for decorating kids rooms are made with vinyl and not subject to Consumer Product Safety Information Act regulations for toy safety. Vinyl contains PVC: the most toxic plastic for our children's health.

Fortunately, an alternative exists! WeeDecor makes delightful wall decals that are made from eco-friendly fabric.

Our removable nursery wall decals are made of fabric that will adhere to your wall for years at a time. Sometimes called wall stickers, wall graphics or wall appliques, they are easy to apply and to remove. Our removable wall decals won't damage your wall when you remove them and can be used again and again. Our decals are non vinyl wall decals. Our wall appliques are made of eco-friendly fabric that are more environmentally friendly than standard vinyl. Our PVC-free, lead-free wall decor makes your nursery not only beautiful but safe.

We were sent an Owl Wall Decal and Turtle Wall Decal. They are super cute and delightful. I wish I had a baby nursery to decorate!

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.

Read More in: Baby | Green Homes | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 18, 2013

Really Natural Beauty: 100% Pure Cosmetics is all that it Promises!

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It is so refreshing to be sent a product that I don't have to research chemical sounding ingredients. One quick look at 100% Pure Cosmetics beauty products, and I can tell the term natural is used correctly on the packaging and is not just a marketing term.

We were sent some very small samples of a few 100% Pure products:
100% Pure Cosmetics - Organic Coffee Bean Eye Cream

What is it: Anti-inflammatory, caffeine rich green tea and coffee de-puffs and reduces swelling while increasing circulation to alleviate and brighten dark circles. Concentrated with potent anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants, and nourishing blackcurrant oil.
Who is it for: Anyone looking to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
Truly, 100% Pure- no synthetic chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no parabens or any other chemical preservatives, no petrochemicals or any other toxins.
No Animal Testing
Made in USA

100% Pure Honey Almond Nourishing Body Cream
Aloe Juice1, Rose Hydrosol2, Cocoa Butter, Avocado Butter, Grapeseed Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil3, Candelilla Wax, Blackcurrant Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Almond Flavor, Almond Extract, Organic Green Coffee4, Organic Wild Cherry5, Pomegranate, Organic Raspberry5, Blackberry and Organic White Tea3, Citric Acid, Witch Hazel, Japanese Honeysuckle, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and Goldenseal, Grain Alcohol, Acai Berry, Resveratrol, Organic Green Tea3, Mangosteen, Goji Berry, Maqui Berry, Elderberry and Muscadine Grape 1 certified organic by SGS organic 2 certified organic by Ceres GmbH 3 certified organic by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic 4 certified organic by Hawaii Organic Farmers Association 5 certified organic by USDA

100% Pure - Organic Cabernet Grape Nourishing Body Cream
All Natural, 100% Vegan, Gluten Free. Highly nourishing, luxurious cream concentrated with potent anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins, skin softening fruit oils and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters. Delicious smelling body cream will immediately hydrate, soften and feed your skin nutrients for a healthy, glowing complexion. Truly, 100% Pure - never any artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, toxic preservatives, or any other unsafe ingredients. Made only with the highest quality, organic nutrients for your skin.

100% Pure Brightening Scrub + Mask
SKIN BRIGHTENING COLLECTION was formulated specifically to enliven dull looking complexion to make it more vibrant, healthy and glowing. Rather than using harsh chemical skin lighteners, this 100% Pure formula gets its brightening effect from all natural, gentle ingredients like bearberry, kojic acid, sake, fruit acids, licorice, vitamin c, lemon juice and strawberries. This one product has 2 functions. It is a highly nourishing facial mask to rejuvenate your skin and the perfectly round jojoba beads act as a gentle exfoliant to buff away dullness, bumps and dead skin cells. Truly 100% Pure - carefully formulated without harsh detergents, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or any other harsh, unsafe ingredients that can strip or dehydrate your delicate skin.

Compared to many other truly natural beauty products, 100% Pure Cosmetics are affordable. The above products range from $13 to $25, which is not unusual for beauty products no matter their ingredients. I do wish we would have been sent larger samples to test the effectiveness of these products, but I do wholeheartedly endorse their ingredients!

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.

Read More in: Beauty | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

March 15, 2013

Really Natural Children's Books: Orangutans

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Eye on the Wild: Orangutan by Suzi Eszterhas is a beautifully photographed book that introduces children to the life of an orangutan. This delightful non-fiction book gives children and mothers much to relate to as the baby orangutan grows into maturity. From nursing to needing a nap when baby is playful, moms can't help but connect to the universal motherhood experiences. Children also delight in these associations of the close relationship between mother and child, as well as watching baby orangutan learn to swing from branches at the same age baby humans are learning to walk.

High in the trees of the rainforest in Sumatra, a baby orangutan is born. Follow her from birth to adulthood, as she learns to look after herself. See her eating her first solid food -- mashed fruit, learning to climb, and relaxing in the "nest." She will stay with her mom, learning how to survive in the forest, until she is five years old.
I really like this book as it is developmentally appropriate non-fiction, well-written, and beautifully photographed.  Creating such connections to nature and wildlife ensure are children will grow up to protect our environment. 
 

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.

Read More in: Baby | Kids | Product review | Really Natural Books

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

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