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Rockin’ Green

rockingreenWhat:  Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent

Features:  Rockin’ Green is a line of eco-friendly laundry detergents and cleaning products, particularly for those with sensitive skin. The laundry detergents are free of harsh chemicals and extra gentle on the skin, but they’re still super effective and get the job done well. However, there are other factors besides detergents that affect how well your laundry gets clean. Water type is a huge consideration and Rockin’ Green has a formula for your water type.

Green Factor:  Biodegradable and made from recycled materials, recyclable packaging, phosphate-free, SLS and parabens-free, free of optical brighteners, gluten and vegan friendly, not tested on animals

Bonus:  Rockin’ Green also has detergents for hard water, soft water and dishwashers, as well as formulas for babies, cloth diapers, bedding, athletic wear and more.

Find It Here:  Rockin’ Green

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AlternaVites for Kids

What: AlternaVites Kids Multivitamin & Mineral Crystals

Features: AlternaVites Kids, with 17 vitamins and minerals, are sugar-free powder crystals that melt in your mouth. They come in two kid-friendly flavors and can be poured straight into your mouth or mixed into yogurts, puddings or smoothies or sprinkled on top of fruit. AlternaVites are an excellent alternative to chalky chewables or gummies that are high in sugar, low in nutrients and can stick to their teeth. For children ages 4 and up.

Green Factor: AlternaVites Kids does not contain artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives or flavors. Made from ingredients that are not derived from animals or animal by-products.

Bonus: Made in the USA. Free of the major food allergens (egg, fish, milk, soy, peanut, shellfish, tree nut, or wheat) and certified Kosher. They also make an adult version of AlternaVites that are excellent for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Discount: Enter ‘moms20′ at checkout at www.alternaVites.com to receive 20% off your order.

Find It Here: AlternaVites

Editors Note: My kids LOVE AlternaVites!

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Good For You Girls

What: Natural skin care products for girls

Features: Skin care made especially for girls to help clean, balance pH, clear blemishes and protect their delicate skin from the elements without harsh, toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Green Factor: Good For You Girls products are free of synthetics, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates,dyes, hormone-disruptors and GMO’s plus the packaging is made from recycled materials and water-based inks.

Bonus: Good For You Girls products have a 100% money back guarantee and they’re vegan and cruelty-free.

Find It Here: Good For You Girls

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Favorite Things: Organic Baby Oil

organic_babyoil.jpgI drink a billion glasses of water a day and live in a very humid climate but regardless, I’ve always had a tendency towards dry skin. That said, I have to depend on external things like lotions and oils to keep my skin looking not dry.

A long time ago, before I knew what baby oil was made from (mineral oil from petroleum—mmm sexy!—and synthetic phthalate-laden fragrance) I used it without a second thought but these days, I try to make more natural choices. I used to love Neutrogena’s sesame oil but again with the scent—it’s just not good to rub synthetic fragrances all over your body’s largest organ as it DOES get absorbed right into your system.

But alas, there are, thankfully, other options, one of which I use faithfully every day to keep from becoming too reptilian (full disclosure—I did receive a review sample of this product a while back). Nature’s Baby Organics makes an organic baby oil with nothing synthetic in it at all. It’s certified organic and comprised of olive oil, jojoba oil , tamanu oil and sunflower oil and naturally scented with mandarin orange and coconut oils. It’s thick and yummy and smells good enough to eat and believe me, if I had a baby, this is the oil I’d use on them, as opposed to that sketchy petroleum-derived stuff you’ll find in every baby products aisle in America.

Find It Here: Nature’s Baby Organics

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Surf’s Up!

jellybeans2.pngWhat: Surf Sweets organic gummy candy and jelly beans

Features: An all-natural, organic candy that provides 100% of your recommended daily Vitamin C intake and includes Fruity Bears, Gummy Bears & Worms, Gummy Swirls, Jelly Beans and more.

Green Factor: Surf Sweets candy is made with all-natural, organic ingredients and none of the bad stuff like trans fats, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), corn syrups, gluten and artificial colors and synthetic flavors.

Bonus: Surf Sweets are USDA certified organic, made in the USA and three products (Fruity Bears, Gummy Swirls, and Sour Worms) are vegan. Their candy is produced in a facility free of wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Find It Here: Surf Sweets

Win It: We’ve partnered with Surf Sweets to give away a variety pack of Surf Sweets candy AND a Surf Sweets t-shirt to one lucky winner!

Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter SS05 as the giveaway name and tell us how many packages of Surf Sweet candy are pictured on the home page. Giveaway ends 05/19/10; $25 value. Open to US residents only. Official Rules Giveaway has ended.

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Organic Sweet Treats

yummy earth vitamin C lollipopsTry as I might to control it, I have a terrible sweet tooth that frankly makes me wonder why haven’t developed Type 2 diabetes yet. In hopes of sparing my children from this curse, I’ve always tried to steer them away from junky, sugar-laden sweets in favor of healthier stuff. Yes, I’m a total hypocrite. Unfortunately, it’s gotten a lot harder since they’ve started school. Every birthday party and holiday is an excuse to sugar the kids up with cupcakes (covered with that nasty bakery icing) and then send them home with a buttload of candy. Suddenly the healthy stuff I’d always given them was more like a punishment than a treat *sigh* Since they’re now fully aware of the appeal of candy, I’ve tried not to make it out to be some forbidden fruit because I know that will backfire. Instead, I let them have it in moderation and only after they’ve eaten something healthy. Searching for not-totally-unhealthy candy, however, has been a bit of a challenge (particularly because it has to peanut-free) but I recently picked up a bag of YummyEarth organic lollipops and it’s the smartest thing I ever did. They taste awesome because they’re sweetened with organic fruit extracts, they’re colored with cool things like organic carrots and pumpkin instead of chemicals, they’re peanut-safe (also gluten, wheat, soy and tree nut-free) and the ones I got have 75% of the daily recommendation of vitamin C. So to recap…I can bribe my kids with give my kids these little YummyEarth lollipops and they’re totally psyched, getting a lot of vitamin C and best of all, NO high fructose corn syrup. Oh, and as a total bonus? They satisfy mommy’s sweet tooth, as well. WIN.

Find It Here: YummyEarth

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Roast!

vegetables.jpgSometimes the ugliest* fruit is the sweetest. Sometimes the simplest preparation of meals are the most delicious.

Like roasting, for example… It is the easiest, simplest, quickest (and quite tasty) way to prepare vegetables. The method can be used on almost anything and it’s pretty much the same:

  • Cut up veggie into equal sizes.
  • Drizzle on oil and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle on grey salt or sea salt.
  • Lay it flat on a cookie sheet so they are not crowded.
  • Roast at 375F for 10 – 30 minutes until done, usually until they begin to brown.

Variations have to do with what vegetable, oil, and temperature.

  • You can roast at a higher heat, 425F, for less time. I usually choose that method.
  • You can toss in olive, coconut , walnut, macadamia nut, or sunflower oils. Don’t use corn or soybean oil or another GMO oil.
  • The big secret is not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam instead of roast.
  • Choice of vegetable or mix of vegetables is the biggest change.

Roasting enriches the flavor and deepens the color. It offers variety into our weekly menu and can be done for any seasonal vegetable. It is quick and easy, nutritious and delicious, and comprises of 3 ingredients and some heat.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tween Beauty

61l7fsz44l_sl500_aa280_.jpgAfter reading the results of the study done by Environmental Working Group that illuminated just how many chemicals teen girls have in their bodies, many of which were due to their personal care products, I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter. She’s only eight and a half but I know that stage of hyper-showering and deodorizing and perfuming and overall grooming that tween and teen girls go through is just around the bend. I’ve wondered many times if I’d be able to find non-toxic personal care products for her that would serve her needs AND keep her body from becoming laden with so much toxic junk. It seems the folks behind tweenBeauty had the same thoughts—to curtail the toxins that are bombarding the bodies of girls at such a delicate time in their lives. Their line of personal care products designed just for tweens includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lip gloss and all of the are free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates and they’re vegan. Oh, and they smell absolutely delicious. How do I know this? Because I’ve been using my daughter’s tweenBeauty shampoo, conditoner and bodywash, too—but that’s just between us, okay?

 Find it Here: tweenBeauty

Win It: We’re giving away a tweenBeauty  gift set that includes a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a tube of lip shine in a hand woven fair-trade bag. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter TB3 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: tweenBeauty shampoos and conditioners are available in which scents? Open to US residents. Enter by 3/17/09. $25 value. Contest Closed. Congrats Stefanie!

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Green Your ‘Ween

141.jpgThis Halloween, think green. Naturally, that means monster skin, toads — and chocolate. Chocolate! How can chocolate possibly be green, you ask? It’s easy with Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates. The chocolates crafted by this California company are 100% organic and fair trade. Sweet Earth offers everything from wedding favors to green gifts and Halloween-themed candies, including their 65% chocolate, which is also vegan and lecithin-free and are available in “Very Scary Halloween Chocolate” (the skull variety, of course) which sounds wicked good. I can’t wait to tickle my sweet tooth with these boooo-tiful chocolates!

Find It Here: Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates

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It’s Vegantastic!

9781600940729.jpgWhen it comes to me and meat, the truth is that I love a good steak. I think steak is yummy. I admit it. However, as I’ve learned more about the abhorrent practices occurring in factory farms across the U.S., I have been much, much more reluctant to eat meat. Add to that the fact that reducing one’s consumption of meat is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and I think you can call me a vegetarian or, quite possibly, a vegan in the making. If there are other aspiring vegans out there, you’ve gotta check out the new book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Author of the blog by the same name, Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom who has perfected the art of packing waste-free, vegan lunches for her kids and hubby, as evidenced here at her blog. But now, she’s put 130 of her yummy vegan recipes into one book. From appetizers to desserts, from the simple to the adventurous, her recipes and menu plans are sure to appeal to anyone. The gourmet will appreciate learning how to fix up sushi, Greek phyllo triangles, Ethiopian flatbread and other tasty foods from around the world, while the busy mom will love her simple, easy lunch plans. And for those with allergies in the family, she includes a great allergen-free indexes identifying wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipes. In the end, you might just find that adding some vegan meals to your week might bring more spice and variety into your diet than you ever thought possible. And now you have a great resource to get started!

Find It Here: Vegan Lunch Box
Win It! We’re giving away a copy of Vegan Lunch Box. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “VG21” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What would going vegan mean to you? U.S. residents eligible. Enter by 8/18/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Stefanie S.!

Eco Fact: According to a new study published last year in New Scientist magazine, eating a 2.2lb piece of beef creates more CO2 emissions than driving for three hours after leaving all the lights on at home. -Treehugger

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You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!

veganIt’s been widely reported that allergies are on the rise and even my own daughter seems to have an abundance of food sensitivities. To address them, we began to consider some alternative ways of eating and thus have read Sher and Doherty’s book, You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! With over 200 recipes in this book, variety abounds with everything from warm gooey cinnamon buns and tofu scramble for breakfast to baked samosas for dinner and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Additionally, you’ll find tips for converting your favorite recipes to vegan dishes, a chapter devoted to kid-friendly foods, essentials for basic kitchen equipment, a list of pantry items and their definitions (what’s Umeboshi paste again?) and conversion ideas such as using soy milk mixed with lemon juice in place of buttermilk. If you ever thought eating a vegan diet would be dull and uninteresting or just too hard, this is the book that will change your mind!

Find It Here: You Won’t Believe it’s Vegan!

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Your Body Will Be Grateful

dftherapyntn.jpgMoisturizing daily is important for skin health — or so says my very astute and trustworthy esthetician friend. However, I find it disconcerting that so many moisturizers have synthetic ingredients that are downright toxic. Ugh! Who wants to put chemicals on their face every day? If you’re looking for a safer facial moisturizer, then check out Grateful Body’s Daily Facial Therapy. Available for dry, oily and normal skin types, it’s my all-time favorite facial lotion. Produced locally in California, the moisturizer gets a very low hazard score (a good thing!) from the Environmental Workging Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database. They are also a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and they do not test their products on animals. All of their products are vegetarian or vegan and they use recycled packaging and soy based inks. Oh and? Their moisturizer is really effective. I should know, I’ve been using it for over a year and I love it. At the risk of sounding a little un-green, I guess you could say, I’m sold.

Find It Here: Grateful Body

Congratulations to Meghan B., winner of a bottle of Grateful Body’s Daily Facial Therapy!

Deal: Receive 20% off your purchase at Grateful Body with code greenmom20. Valid through July 31, 2008.

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