Category Archives: Going Green

Conscious Box: Review and Giveaway

In Her Chucks - Conscious Box Review and Giveaway

I love surprises!  Especially when they come from my good friends at Conscious Box :)  Nothing makes me happier than an unexpected subscription box delivered straight to my door.  Filled with pure and sustainable products to nourish your body, quench your thirst, satisfy your sweet tooth, or save the planet, Conscious Box continues to outdo themselves with the quantity and quality of the goodies they offer.

I first fell in love with Conscious Box about a year ago.  I have always had an obsession with subscription boxes but Conscious Box took it to a whole new level.  Conscious Box encourages you to live life to the fullest by offering green and clean products that are sure to enhance your wellbeing.  And since the New Year is an opportunity for many of us to start fresh, this month’s Conscious Box is all about creating and continuing healthy habits.

The night I received my box, I had one of my closest girlfriends over for dinner.  I was excited to share the awesome goodies with her.  We made sure to try everything and give it a thorough review.  Out of all 11 products, we are officially fans of each and every one!  Check out what I am going wild for in my Conscious Box this month…

1.   Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist: Blueberry, Apple & Purple Carrot–  Harper has never been a fan of pureed foods.  In the beginning of her solid food journey I would make them for her myself.  But when she refused to eat it I began looking around for other alternatives.  That is when I discovered that pureed baby food now comes in cute and convenient little pouches.  Well, even with their fancy flavors and colorful packaging, Harper was still not interested in purees.  Which meant I was left to eat the remaining baby food pouches that were sitting in my pantry.  And I’m not ashamed to admit I loved every single one.  But apparently I am not the only mama who was sneaking into my baby’s food stash because Happy Squeeze now makes an entire smoothie line for adults.  And they are AMAZING!!!  They are perfect to hide away in your purse, car or desk for moments of hunger and offer tons of vitamins and nutrients.  Loving this new addiction :)

2.  Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed– I became hip to hemp seeds over the summer.  And they are by far my favorite super food.  For such a small seed, they pack a major punch.  And they are so easy to add to any meal or beverage.  Sprinkle them on your salad for an extra crunch, blend them up in a smoothie for additional protein, or shovel them by the handful in your mouth for an afternoon snack.  And just in case you need a little inspiration for what to do with these teeny tiny seeds of love, check out Nutiva’s extensive collection of delicious hemp recipes.

3. Maakoa Koopuwa Superfruit Beverage– I am not one to drink my calories, but I am all for drinking your vitamins.  This antioxidant beverage not only tastes divine but it will make you feel like a total rock star!  Drinking only 1-2 ounces 2x/day provides your body with B1, B2, and B3 vitamins, essential amino and fatty acids, which help to boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels and increases your energy and stamina.  Now I will drink to that!

4.  Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons–  Ever since my clean eating journey began, I have been hooked on these.  They are free of refined sugar, grains and animal products and are dangerously addictive.  And let’s just put it out there…I don’t even like coconut!!!  Wouldn’t know it was the main ingredient unless you told me.  If you haven’t tried these, you need to.  No one likes to feel deprived when they are eating healthy but with these all your sweet dreams will come true.  And when Freddie and I jump back on the clean eating band wagon next week, you can bet your bottom dollar these chocolate gems will be my saving grace.

5.  Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters: Berry Crunch–  If you ever find me in the line at Starbucks, I will most likely be holding a Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box in one hand and a bag of Peeled Mango Snacks in the other.  They are amazing and are quite often responsible for satisfying my relentless mango craving.   So when I saw this bag of berry goodness in my box I couldn’t wait to rip it open and scarf it down.  I popped one of the crunchy purple clusters in my mouth and was immediately transported to my childhood days at Palisades Park in front of the snack shop.  Nerds!  They taste like Nerds.  You know those sinfully delicious candies that are chock full of nothing but sugar and artificial food coloring.  Yuck!  (to the chemicals).  Yum! (to the flavor).  But these apple clusters are made with nothing but pure, organic ingredients.  Which makes me believe that these snacks would be the perfect thing to throw in a lunch box for both kids and adults to enjoy.

6.  Dr Singha’s Mustard Bath–  Wanna escape to a serene spa somewhere on a tropical island?  Look no further than this naturally healing and aromatic mustard bath.  I wish I had the pleasure of enjoying it but I have a thing about baths (total germaphone!)  Thankfully, Freddie was ready and willing to give it a go.  And according to how he looked (zenned out) and smelled (amazing) when he got out of his long and relaxing bath, he highly recommends it.  Slightly jealous, I hopped on the website and found this wonderful massage oil which I plan on using after a hot shower or if I am really lucky, Freddie will offer to use it the next time he gives me a foot rub (fingers crossed).

7.  Simply Straws–  Did you know that more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used and disposed of in the US every day?  Shamefully, I am a contributor to that statistic.  But thanks to Simply Straws, I can make a difference.  With their reusable glass straws, Simply Straws is not only helping to reduce the amount of plastic we use but they are also saving your smile.  Created by a dental hygienist, these straws help people with problems such as teeth sensitivity, staining and erosion.  They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and fit perfectly in any cup you prefer.  I can’t wait to put mine to use and bring it with me wherever I go.

8. Dale’s Raw Raspberry Hazelnut Protein Bar– It’s no secret that most protein bars out there taste like cardboard.  Tough, flavorless and full of chemicals, what some view as “healthy” is really just a highly processed chunk of crap (does that sound harsh?).  But what if I told you that I found the most delicious, most pure, and simply the best protein bar on the face of the planet?  Dale’s Raw Protein Bars are not only made with all natural ingredients but they are packaged fresh each week, by hand, and shipped directly to your door (which means that they haven’t been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for God knows how long).  They have 12 delicious flavors to choose from of which I am looking forward to trying the Graham Cracker and Vanilla Cashew :)

9.  Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood: Wild Berry–  I am pretty darn lucky that Harper LOVES her veggies.  But for most parents it can be a struggle to get their kids to eat healthy.  However, how many kids do you know that don’t like juice?  Well, the geniuses over at Amazing Grass have created a super delicious, superfood powder that when added to water creates a kid friendly beverage that will pack them full of three full servings of fruits and vegetables in one glass.  Pretty much sounds like magic, right?  Oh, did I mention it comes in Chocolate too?   Yeah, won’t have to worry about your kids meeting their daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies anymore.  Now that’s what I call winning!

10.  Bodhichitta Botanicals Wild & Free Lotion–  For my birthday, a very good friend of mine gifted me with a set of Nurture the Goddess Bodhichitta Botanicals.  When I get the chance to have a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes, (which is usually on the weekends) I indulge myself with everything from the shower gel, body balm and lotion.  The scents of lavender, rose geranium and clary sage relax me, balance me and help me to take a moment for myself.  This Wild and Free Lotion is about to take that pampering session to a whole new level.  With the essence of patchouli and sweet orange this collection is invigorating, giving you the confidence to conquer the world.  I love the way this lotion made my skin feel.  So hydrated without leaving any oily residue.  And it feels good to know that their products are cruelty free, made without petroleum or synthetic preservatives, artificial colors or fragrances.  Just pure and natural ingredients.  The way skin care should be.

11.  PeopleTowels– Similar to my use of disposable straws, I have a terrible habit of overusing paper towels both in my home and when I am out and about.  But now I have support in breaking that habit and forming a new one.  PeopleTowels are an on-the-go sustainable alternative to paper towel waste.  It is simple a reusable hang towel made from organic cotton that is absorbent and quick drying.  I keep mine in my kitchen where I tend to do the most hand washing during my cooking escapades and I am excited about picking up a few more to put around my house and throw in my car or purse.  And with tons of designs to choose from, there is a style for everyone.  Or go ahead and make your own.  Just make sure you join me in kicking the paper towel habit and picking up the PeopleTowel habit :)

Looks like 2013 is going to be a great year.  And to thank you for your loyalty and support in 2012, Conscious Box is offering a free box to one lucky reader.  So here’s the scoop…

To enter: “Like” Conscious Box  and In Her Chucks on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

For additional entries…

1.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

2.  Follow @consciousbox on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so.

3.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on February 1st.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 2nd.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

*Full Disclosure: Conscious Box did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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Green Kid Crafts

Growing up, one of my favorite activities was arfs and cracks (or for those of you who don’t speak 3-year-old, arts and crafts).  It was a fun way to bond with my mom while at the same time foster my creativity.  We had it all…glitter, feathers, and construction paper galore!  I could spend hours working on projects and letting my imagination fly.  Those were the days  :)

So you can imagine how excited I was when Penny Bauder, the CEO and founder of Green Kid Crafts, contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing a review of their monthly craft subscription box.  My answer…a cheerful and enthusiastic, “Yes!”.

As much as I have loved all of my subscription boxes to date, I think Green Kid Crafts might just be my favorite.  As a mother, there is nothing more important than spending quality time as a family.  But sometimes, you get stuck in a rut, looking around desperately for new activities to enjoy together.  With Green Kid Crafts, the entire family can engage in eco-friendly, monthly projects that not only help to spark creativity but cultivate a respect and love for the environment.  Fun with a purpose. Gotta love that!

What sets Green Kid Crafts apart from other craft subscription services is that they are the only carbon neutral service in the nation.  Every project created with Green Kid Crafts is 100% earth friendly.  For supplies, they avoid plastics and foams in favor of materials that are natural, recycled and good to the earth.  They are also passionate about avoiding waste, so they use minimal and 100% recycled materials for shipping and all of their craft projects are packaged in plant-based compostable cello bags.

This month, the box contained a wooden wind chime, pirate loot, and “All About Me” personal scrapbook project.  Each craft was individually packaged, containing an info sheet and sustainable materials needed to complete the projects.

Wooden Wind Chime

Wind chimes are widely used around the world.  They are said to have a healing effect on the mind and body.  Their sound can help release stress and calm your thoughts.  Many people consider wind chimes to be good luck.  Harper enjoyed the delicate ring that it made and paraded around the house striking the chimes together.

This project was fun and easy.  I love the idea of having a blank slate and variety of different materials at your finger tips.  Children have the option of using paint or markers to color both sides of the wind chime.  After completing the background of their choice, there are mosaic squares and sequins provided to use as adornment.  Once the wind chime is finished, this project becomes a beautiful ornament to hang from a door or tree, and plays peaceful and delightful music.

Pirate Loot

As summer kicks off and children begin to enjoy weekend trips to the beach, their imaginations will run wild with this fun and creative pirate loot craft.  Complete with an eye patch, pirate hat and hidden treasure, this project becomes a fairy tale in action.

This project helps to incorporate some great basic skills.  Cutting is always an important skill to practice and this craft makes it easy as the children just cut along the dotted lines.  They can also work on cutting circles to make the treasure coins.  Children get a chance to practice their writing skills by adding their name or decorations with chalk.

“All About Me” Personal Scrapbook 

Being that Father’s Day was a few days ago, I decided to make the “All About Me” scrapbook into a Happy Father’s Day scrapbook. I love to make collages, and nowadays it is hard to find the time.  So this project was the perfect excuse to tear through some old magazines and favorite photos and go crazy.

This project was my favorite of all three because the materials were so diverse. They included recycled and salvaged ribbon, fabric squares, allergen-free stickers, recycled paper and recycled collage shapes.  There were so many materials to choose from!  The paper mache accordion book makes the perfect compact display for pictures while allowing for plenty of room for additional decor.

In addition to the three packets of crafts, there was another booklet filled with even more ideas for wind, pirate and book projects.  Suggested materials include supplies commonly found around the house.  So really, just when you think you are all crafted out, the fun continues!  After reading through the various craft ideas, I will never recycle another toilet paper roll again.  Who knew how many fun projects you can make with them :)

Even though Harper is still too young to enjoy this craft box, I was thoroughly impressed by Green Kid Crafts and their overall product.  I would highly recommend this to anyone with children of pre-school age and older.  I can only imagine how much fun Harper and I are going to have in a few years.  But don’t think I didn’t have a ball creating these projects by myself.  The age range on the box might suggest kids 3-8 but this 29-year-old kid was having a blast!

Not only does Green Kid Craft’s website have tons of wonderful ideas for crafting, but they dedicate an entire page to green parenting as well.  Check out their suggestions for green food blogs, products, and health and safety resources.

Interested in ordering a Green Kid Crafts box of your own?  Monthly memberships are available for only $19.95.  Looking for an awesome birthday or holiday gift for your child and their friends?  How about a gift subscription for three, six, or twelve months.  And there is even an option to include additional supplies for a sibling too!  For a limited time, Green Kid Crafts is offering $10 off your first craft box!  Just use the code: SUMMER when checking out.

*Full Disclosure: Green Kid Crafts did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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Green Grab Bag

By now, we all know about my obsession with subscription boxes.  There is something about the element of surprise, the excitement of trying something new and the joy of passing on that information to you that keeps me coming back for more.

I came across a new subscription service that I am thrilled to share with you.  White Apricot’s Green Grab Bag is every “green” girls dream.  Packed with 6 samples of the latest and greatest in natural, organic and vegan beauty products, the Green Grab Bag is the ultimate opportunity to “try before you buy”.  And for only $15 a month, it’s a pretty rockin’ deal.  The best news?  If you find a product you like, chances are there’s a Green Grab Bag Exclusive Offer on the full size.  Which means you could potentially save up to 50%!  Gotta love a good discount :)

Each month Green Grab Bag creates a different theme featuring new products.  This month’s theme was “April Showers bring May Flowers” and all the products fit this idea perfectly.  Check out the list of lovely samples I received.

1.  Aura Cacia Shower Tabs:  As a busy mommy on the go, I was most excited about the Relaxing Lavender Shower Tablets.  Not one for baths (total weirdo germaphobe, I know…), these effervescent essential oil tablets are the perfect way for me to unwind and relax without getting in the tub.  They also come in Purifying Eucalyptus (which work wonders when you are feeling stuffy or heavy-headed) or Reviving Peppermint (which is sure to get you going in the early mornings!).  These shower tabs are sure to transform your ordinary hygiene routine into a luxurious spa experience.

2.  Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream:  I am normally not one to fall for the hype.  But after trying this amazing all-purpose skin cream, I can see why Egyptian Magic has such a huge following.  Not only are all of the ingredients pure and natural, but they work wonders on everything from your skin, to your hair, to your lips.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a full size jar so I can make Egyptian Magic part of my daily routine!

3.  Elemental Herbs Sunscreen:  With summer just around the corner, it is important for me to protect my skin with an all natural, broad spectrum, sunscreen.  Unfortunately, so much of what is on the market today is full of nasty chemicals that are not only harmful to your skin but are unfriendly to the environment.  Made with organic ingredients Elemental Herbs Sunscreen contains no chemicals or parabens and is gentle enough to be used on babies.  So not only do I feel good about protecting my skin from the elements, but I feel good about protecting the environment too.

4.  Golden Earth Chakra Wellness Oils:  Feeling out of balance?  Golden Earth Chakra Wellness Oils can help to renew and restore your balance with a unique blend of essential oils.  Each oil combination is derived from specific plants that resonate with the assigned chakra to allow you to vibrate at a sate of wellness and help heal a state of imbalance.  These oils are great to use as a daily perfume or added to lotion for a full body massage.  I applied my oil to my feet before bed to receive healing while I slept.  It was a wonderful way to heal my mind, body and soul.

5.  Beauty from Flowers Serums and Cleansers:  Have you ever wished for skin was as silky as a rose?  Well, Beauty from Flowers has figured out a way to help women attain that dream.  By harnessing the therapeutic properties found in roses, as well as other plants and flowers, these organic products offer natural sun protection, anti-inflammation, and inhibit the breakdown of elastin, keeping skin supple and smooth.  The name of the product couldn’t be more perfect, as I have learned, it is now possible to recreate the beauty of flowers in your own skin.

6.  Clairvoyant Beauty Toners:  Nothing screams spa-day to me more than the smell of cucumbers.  Whether you wear fresh sliced cucumbers on your eyes, or sip spa water infused with cucumbers, this magical fruit is known for its healing and soothing properties.  This cucumber toner is made from the natural sea salt, enzymes and vitamins in cucumbers which has been shown to stimulate cell growth and strengthen connective tissues.  After using this product my skin felt clean, calm and balanced.  This would be a great addition to any skin care routine.

Not only did I enjoy all of the amazing products featured in the Green Grab Bag, but I was extremely impressed with their beautiful presentation.  Wrapped in an eco-friendly bag, complete with bright green tissue paper, I felt like I was opening up a special gift from a girlfriend.  Attached with a delicate raffia bow was a list of the included items with additional information on each.  I truly appreciated their attention to detail.

I would highly recommend the Green Grab Bag as a monthly subscription.  It is a great way to find out about all the wonderful green beauty products that are currently available.  The Green Grab Bag would also make a fabulous gift for a friend, family member or co-worker.  It takes pampering to a whole new level, making it more fun and creative than ever before.  Plus, with a new bag every month, it is the gift that keeps on giving!  Want to join Green Grab Bag?  Click here to sign up now!

My appreciation to White Apricot’s Green Grab Bag for your generosity.  I am excited about your mission to acquaint others with natural, organic and vegan beauty products and I support you in your endeavor.  I am grateful to be a part of your cause.

* Full Disclosure:  White Apricot’s Green Grab Bag did provide me with a bag free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post.  With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding products are my own and 100% honest.

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My Love Affair with Scientific Organics

Have you ever tried a product and immediately fell in love?  Well, this past Valentines Day, I was introduced to Scientific Organics skin care line and it has been on my mind ever since.  After months of wishing I could get to know more about the Scientific Organics product line, I decided to email the powers that be to see if they would be interested in sponsoring a review.  A few weeks later, I received an envelope packed with two of Scientific Organics’ top products, perfect timing for a Mother’s Day pampering session.  And just when I thought my feelings for Scientific Organics couldn’t get any stronger…I am officially hooked!

There are many reasons why I love Scientific Organics.  For one, their products make my skin feel magical.  A simple face washing session transports me to the spa where I feel revived, rejuvenated and relaxed.  But these products satisfy more than my body.  They satisfy my desire to live as clean and as green as possible.  Scientific Organics is paraben-free, petrochemical free, and synthetic fragrance-free, with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients in every item.  They are also committed to environentally-friendly practices in the way they run their business.  So you can truly feel good from the inside out.

One of Scientific Organics’ most unique ingredients is Kombucha, a fermented tea known for its many medicinal uses.  Kombucha in skin care yields countless benefits including minimizing the visible signs of aging, diminishing fine lines and blemishes, reduces swelling, naturally anti-bacterial and is a natural sun shield.  Kombucha can be found in a variety of Scientific Organics’ products but is the main ingredient in their Kombucha Cleanser, which I had the pleasure of trying when I received my Conscious Box.  Like I mentioned in my original review, this cleanser had my skin feeling like buttah!  A gentle, effective, deep cleanser for all skin types, the Kombucha Cleanser was able to remove environmental pollutants, excess oil and make up from my face without drying my skin.  In fact, it left my skin feeling more hydrated and soft than ever before.  I still have dreams about it :)

When I opened my package to find a bottle of Spirulina Toner and a couple of testers of Phytocell Detox Mask I was stoked!  Finding a toner that nourishes and re-balances your skin can be tough.  Trust me, I know.  Using a toner has always been part of my beauty routine, but to be honest, until I tried the Spirulina Toner, I never reaped the true benefits.  A good toner should tone, remove dead skin cells and prepare the skin for better product absorption.  The Spirulina Toner accomplishes all of these, plus more.  After applying the toner for the first time my skin felt clean, calm and smooth.  The main ingredient, Spirulina, is a blue-green algae found in fresh water that’s packed with amino acids, minerals and enzymes.  No wonder it left my skin feeling so good!

Thanks to the Phytocell Detox Mask, Mother’s Day at my house is still in full effect!  As I sit here, writing this post, my skin is soaking up all the goodness that this mask has to offer.  I normally leave the masking to the professionals and usually only enjoy them during my routine facials, but now that I have a stash of Phytocell Detox Masks all to myself, I am looking forward to making this a bi-weekly tradition.  An effective French-green clay based “detox” mask designed to draw out impurities, nourish, and sooth, Phytocell Detox Mask helps to fight free-radical damage and improve tone and texture.  After 10-15 minutes on my skin, my face feels brighter, healthier and detoxified with a radiant glow.  The only thing missing from my experience was a few cucumber slices for my eyes, note to self for my next home spa treatment :)

To no surprise, after testing two more fantastic products, my love affair with Scientific Organics is stronger than ever before.  With outstanding reviews for 3 out of 3 products, it is safe to say I am a true Scientific Organics believer.  And do you want to know about the cherry on top?  With every Scientific Organics retail sized item sold, emerginC will plant a tree using Plant-it 2020.  Just another reason why Scientific Organics has your best interest at heart.

Looking to purchase your own line of Scientific Organics?  Scientific Organics is now available at leading spas nationwide including The Wynn, The Trump, Miraval, Caesars, Sedona Rouge, and many more plus www.emerginc.com.  Hurry up and give Scientific Organics a try today.  Your skin will forever thank you!

*Full Disclosure:  Scientific Organics did provide me with a full size Spirulina Toner and a couple testers of the Phytocell Detox Mask free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post.  With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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I Think I’ve Got an ATTITUDE Problem…

And I am not ashamed to admit it :)

After Harper was born, I was on the hunt for the best baby wipes around.  My requirements?  Natural ingredients, hypoallergenic and fragrance free.  But they had to be strong enough to clean up a big mess.  So, I went to diapers.com and ordered every single wipe they carried that was labeled “green” (my dream job is to be a product tester…I jump at every opportunity to test!).  After exhausting each and every wipe, there was a clear winner:  ATTITUDE Baby Wipes.  I loved the wipes so much I went on a search to see what other products they carried.  And slowly but surely I got hooked on ATTITUDE’s household products, hair care products, and recently their body products.  Yeah, I definitely have an ATTITUDE problem.

As much as I love the products ATTITUDE produces, I love what they stand for even more.  ATTITUDE is committed to developing, manufacturing and marketing eco-friendly consumer goods.  Their mission is to promote responsible consumption by offering high performing products that minimize the impacts on health and the environment.  ATTITUDE continues to push the envelope for eco-responsibility by becoming the world’s first and only line of eco-certified and carbon neutral household products.  And any company that is committed to the highest standards for their consumers and the environment, is #1 in by book!

So, because there are so many wonderful products to choose from, I have decided to give you a quick rundown of my top 5 to help you narrow your choices (although I wouldn’t blame you if you bought every single product that they offer…I might have even done that myself…just sayin’)

1.  Baby Wipes:  The product that started it all.  I buy these babies in bulk!  I love how soft they are and how clean they feel.  Harper has super sensitive skin and even products that are meant for sensitive skin seem to make her break out.  Not these!  They are gentle enough for my darling baby’s bottom, but do a great job at cleaning up the mess.  They are made with vegetable-based, natural and biodegradable ingredients so they aren’t chock full of yucky chemicals.  And I can feel good about that!

2.  Hand Soap:  With a baby around, it is important to always have clean hands.  But so many of the hand soaps out there don’t have “clean” ingredients.  When you wash your hands with ATTITUDE’s hand wash, you can be sure that your hands are clean all around.  And they leave my hands feeling soft and smelling great!  Every sink in my house has an ATTITUDE hand soap sitting next to it.  An absolute household staple!

3.  All Purpose Cleaner:  Having a reliable all-purpose cleaner in the house is a must!  Now more than ever, I need something that is as safe for my family as it is for the environment.    And it has to work…well :)  I am sold on ATTITUDE’s All Purpose Cleaner.  Not only does it smell delicious, and leave my surfaces clean, but I don’t have to worry about it leaving behind any chemical residue.

4.  Natural Air Purifier:  Having a home that smells fresh has always been important to me.  But not at the expense of my health.  When I found ATTITUDE’s Natural Air Purifiers, I immediately fell in love.  Not only do they smell great, unlike so many of the air fresheners out there, but they are safe.  Did you know that synthetic fragrances and perfumes contain more than a hundred chemical compounds, many of which may be harmful to your health?  ATTITUDE’s solution purifies the air in your home with active coals while using natural essential oils to make things smell great!

5.  Eco-Friendly Diapers:  After months of searching for the perfect diaper for Harper, I was thrilled when I found ATTITUDE’s Eco-Friendly Diapers.  A true ecological alternative to traditional disposable diapers, they are effective, absorbent and comfortable.  Made from renewable and compostable materials, they are also carbon neutral, making ATTITUDE diapers the greenest disposable diapers in the world!  What’s not to love about all that?  Unfortunately, the fit isn’t right for Harper (she has her mama’s hips and booty…) but as she continues to grow I always buy the next size up hoping we can eventually make it work.

After learning all about ATTITUDE and their wonderful products, I hope that you want to have an ATTITUDE problem too.  Check out their “Where to Buy” page to find ATTITUDE products near you.

Full Disclosure:  This post was in no way sponsored or endorsed by ATTITUDE.  In fact, they don’t even know I exist…yet :)  I just happen to be a huge fan of everything that they stand for and couldn’t help but spread the good news!

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Conscious Box

It’s no secret I have a thing for boxes. And I am also passionate about going green. Put those things together and you get none other than a Conscious Box. My new favorite obsession!

So, what is a Conscious Box? Well, Conscious Box is a subscription service that delivers a package chock full of unique, pure and natural products to your doorstep monthly. It is a great way to become familiar with businesses that are working to make a happier, and healthier planet. And the best part…every month is a new surprise! You might not know what is going to be in the box, but you can rest assure that whatever you find will be in line with the Conscious Box’s missions and values.

I first came across the Conscious Box on the blog Peas and Crayons. It was love at first sight. I know I had to have one. So I went ahead and wrote an email to the “powers that be” over at Conscious Box to see if they would be interested in having me do a review of their product. And Jameson Morris, one of the founders and Executive Officer of Conscious Box, emailed me back right away. He said they would be happy to send me a courtesy box for review. So thank you Jameson and the folks at Conscious Box for your generosity. I am officially hooked!

What are we waiting for? Let’s dive in to the goodies, shall we?

1. Treehouse Herbs: I am tea lover to the core. So I was beyond excited to learn about this family run business that sells organic herbs and all natural teas. Besides offering an array of high quality herbal teas, Treehouse Herbs uses unbleached, compostable tea filters. So you can feel good about treating your body, and the planet, with respect.

2. Bloomin: Wanna take paper recycling to a whole new level? How about writing your next thank you note on a seed paper card. Bloomin carries seed paper products for everything from journals, to place setting cards to calendars and beyond. What a great way to make a difference on our impact of paper usage. I can’t wait to plant my little heart and see what grows!

3. Olbas: Boy am I glad I ran into these little guys! After contracting Harper’s cold I have been having a miserable time with congestion and a sore throat. Not one to take many medications, I felt safe trying this pastilles. Not only were they effective but they were refreshing as well. I will definitely be stocking up on these for the future.

4. Badger Balm: During this cold and dry weather, it is important that you have something to keep your lips protected and hydrated. And who said it can’t give you a little oomph in your step too? This tiny little lip tint and shimmer makes your lips feel good, and according to Freddie, makes them look good too. And to top it off, all of Badger Balm’s products are fair trade and cruelty free. Gotta love a company that’s got love for the animals :)

5. Natural Vitality: Let’s be honest, everyone has a little stress in your life. So why not beat it with a tasty, simple and oh-so-bubbly drink! Natural Vitality Calm is a magnesium supplement that will help you beat stress, boost energy and get your body back in balance. This may or may not end up in Freddie’s lunch box (he is SUCH a hard worker!)

6. C3 for Stress: And while we are on the subject of beating stress, why not try out this yummy all natural and sugar-free supplement as well. With a unique blend of herbs, vitamins and minerals, each sip of this delicious treat will have you feeling calm and collected. Looks like I might be trying one of these myself :)

7. Good Clean Love: Once you take the edge off and are calm and relaxed from your de-stresser drinks, why not enjoy a romantic evening with your partner. When Freddie found this lying on the counter, he asked “what type of box did you subscribe to?”. To which my response was, “green folks need love too!”. So, why not make love organically with a lubricant that is free of petrochemicals, parabens, and glycerin and bring all the benefits of purity into the bedroom.

8. ResVez: What is a Valentine’s Day without wine and chocolate? Well WineTime brings the best of both together in a yummy, surprisingly healthy treat. So go ahead and enjoy all the benefits of red wine and chocolate without the alcohol, without the hangover and without the guilt.

9. Nature Crops: Recently gluten-free (a conversation for another post), it can be hard to find snacks that you can enjoy. Made with a blend of quinoa and tasty fruit flavors, Nature Crops bars are a delicious treat. And the best part…they are high in protein and fiber so they will keep you going for a while.

10. Love Grown Foods: I have seen this brand all over the blogosphere. And I have been dying to give it a try. I wouldn’t consider myself a granola person, but then again, this isn’t your average granola. Made with gluten-free oats (yay me!), organic agave syrup and a variety of flavors from plain to chocolate, I have just fell in love with my new favorite snack. I can’t wait to get this bag of Simply Oats over a fresh bowl of berries and greek yogurt. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like heaven to me!

11. Blossom Organics: For those of you looking for a Valentine’s Day #2, look no further than Blossom Organics’ intimate care collection. With everything from natural moisturizing lubricant to personal arousal gel, Blossom Organics is perfect for you and that special someone :)

12. Nutcase Crunch: As I continue on my search for gluten-free foods, I am more than thrilled to come across this little bag of goodness. A perfect alternative to sugary, wheat based cereals that will keep you satisfied all morning. Sounds like a cereal lover’s dream to me! I will be enjoying a bowl for breakfast…can’t wait :)

13: Dr. Cleangreen: We all know that there are a million options out there when it comes to hand sanitizers. But most of them are full of harsh chemicals or alcohol. So not only are they unfriendly to your skin, but they are unfriendly to the planet. Developed by physicians and made with on the purest organic ingredients, Dr. Cleangreen’s kills over 99.99% of common bacteria and viruses naturally and effectively. Perfect to slip in your purse or diaper bag.

14. Mayron’s Goods: As a parent, there is nothing worse than when your baby has a bad diaper rash. But it can be hard to find products that are not full of harsh chemicals and fragrances. Mayron’s Goods Best Barrier & Diaper Cream is a safe way to keep those precious little booties protected. Made with shea butter and beeswax and infused with vitamins and essential oils, this diaper cream is sure to become your favorite.

15. Scientific Organics: When it comes to skin care, I tend to have a closed mind. I have been using the same products on my skin for over 15 years. And I have been more than happy with the results and have never had a reason to look elsewhere. As they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Well, what if you receive a free sample of an all natural product that makes your skin feel like buttah? Then you might reconsider your former skin care choices and decide you now need to order the entire Scientific Organics line. Yes…it’s that amazing!

16. Soap Box Soap: To be honest, I have never been a big fan of bar soap. It tends to leave my skin dry and dingy (yes, even zest doesn’t get me zestfully clean…gotta love those old school commercials though!). But this bar soap is different in more ways than one. Every time you buy one of their soap bars, they’ll send a “companion bar” to a child in need. So just when you thought your soap couldn’t save a life, now it can :)

17. Himala Salt: I can remember my brother handing me a bag of pink salt one day. I thought it looked cool but I had no idea how cool it really was. Himalayan salt’s rare, gorgeous pink color stems from its naturally high content of wholesome essential minerals, and is well-known for its restorative properties. Although there are many other pink Himalayan sea salts on the market, HimalaSalt is the only one that is ethically sourced.

Wow…that is a whole lot of cool “green” stuff. And did I mention that most of the products come with a generous coupon too? So who’s ready to go shopping! I think I could easily buy 5 of each product listed. I just have to find where Freddie hid the credit card ;)

Want your own Conscious Box? February’s boxes are currently on sale for only $9! But they are almost sold out. So go ahead and click here and grab one before it’s too late!

If you want to learn more about Conscious Box or are interested in a monthly subscription, click here to choose a plan that works for you.

Having a hard time finding a gift for a friend, family member or co-worker? Why not give them a one month subscription to Conscious Box for under $20! And not only have you supplied them with a gift that will keep on giving, but you have introduced them to green living, and that is what the Conscious Box is all about!

My appreciation, again, to Conscious Box for your generosity. I am excited about your mission to acquaint others with ethical, sustainable and honest businesses around the world and support you in your cause. I support you in your endeavor. Go Green!

*Full Disclosure: Conscious Box did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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Green Cleaning

Everybody’s doing it!  And the good news is, the more people who do it, the better off we will be.  I am talking about going green.

I have been going green for a while now.  I recycle, reuse and reduce.  But my newest project has been “greening” my cleaning.  To be honest, a lot of my inspiration for changing my cleaning products was coupled with the birth of my daughter.  But there’s nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone, right? (Oh, that’s probably not a very appropriate phrase if we are talking about the environment, huh!).

It hasn’t been easy to rid our house of toxic cleaning chemicals.  Freddie and I like things very clean and in the past that meant bleach, Ajax, and Pine Sol kind of clean.  But what we began to realize is that even though those products might clean on the surface, they are also full of toxic chemicals that leave behind a whole other kind of mess.  So slowly but surely we have been trying greener products and as they have proven themselves worthy, we have invited them to stay.

Here is a short list of some of our favorite cleaning products:

Laundry:  I am proud to say, that I have been green cleaning my laundry for quite some time now.  Even before Harper was born I was into the fragrance free, dye free detergents.  But I recently came across three new products that are not only green but are convenient as well.

1.  I love how there is no mess involved with Dropps.  You literally take the gel pack, drop it in, and your job is done.  Easy as pie!  And not only is the formula environmentally friendly, it leaves absolutely no waste behind, as all packaging is recyclable.  There are many other products out there now that are similar to this type of gel pack design, but do not be fooled.  I have tried many of them and have found Dropps to be the best, hands down.

2.  I have always been a fan of method products.  They are clean, green and safe.  They are also very innovative.  This new detergent bottle is very smart.  And it houses a detergent that is equally as smart.  So you only have to use a few squirts.  Which means, one bottle will last you a long time.  But once you are done with that bottle, you don’t need to throw it away because there is a refill pouch that you can buy to make sure your squirt bottle never runs empty.  No mess, no chemicals…works for me!

3.  I can’t tell you who is right on the dryer sheet debate (whether or not they are good or bad), but I can offer you a delicious alternative.  We all know how much I love Trader Joe’s.  Well, here is yet another product that I can’t get enough of.  I don’t use them all the time, especially when I am washing Harper’s clothes because I worry about the scent being too strong, but I do use them in place of dryer sheets when I clean our clothes and household laundry.  They are a nice way to get a slight bit of fragrance, without all the yucky chemicals.

Kitchen:  The kitchen has been half green for quite a while now.  We have been using green dishwasher detergent since we got married because it was the only detergent we could find that was friendly to our silverware.  Our dish soap is also green.  But some of our newest conversions have been with our countertops and appliances.  A few years back, we moved on from nasty chemicals in the kitchen for more friendly disposable green wipes.  That statement seems to be quite the oxymoron because the solution may be green, but the wipes themselves end up in the trash.  So then I decided to move on to using green sprays but I was still using paper towels.  But I recently began using reusable towels for the kitchen with the spray.  So here are my new favorite green sprays for granite and stainless steel that I use with my reusable towels.

Bathroom:  When it comes to the bathroom, this has always been the room that gets hit with the most toxic chemicals.  But, I am very excited to say that we no longer use any chemicals in the bathroom.  It took us a while to find the right products, but we have finally found some green cleaners that fit our standards.

1.  As you can probably tell, I am in love with method products.  But this might just be my most favorite of all.  The scent is magnificent and it works very well.  This spray comes in the form of wipes as well, but I was finding myself using it so much that it became wasteful to use the wipes.  So now I tend to use a paper towel or reusable towel instead.

2.  This was the first product that I have ever used from Enzyme Fresh Home.  I have to say I was very pleased with the results.  I was not familiar with the enzyme cleaning approach before, but I am definitely a believer now.  In fact, because I was so impressed by its ability to clean, I recently purchased some other products from them which I am excited to try.

3.  I try not to use wipes often because I feel that they can be wasteful, but for small jobs, sometimes a wipe is all you need.  Freddie and I have experimented with probably every brand of disposable wipe out there.  This is by far our favorite.  Not only does it clean well, but the scent is quite pleasant.  And the good news is, the scent is available in some of their other products as well.  J.R. Watkins has been in business forever and has proven themselves to be a quality product.  In fact, they have been making natural products before it was the “in thing”.

Floor:  For the longest time, we used the Swiffer Wet Jet to clean our floors.  Mostly because of the idea that it was disposable and would store without hanging on to too many germs, since traditional mops can hold on to so much bacteria.  But the chemicals in their products were pretty strong.  So we did some research and decided to start using a steam mop.  Not only did we find that this method yielded the cleanest results, but it is also the greenest.

One of the most helpful tools we have found in going green has been online shopping.  Unfortunately, there is a very limited selection of green products in our local stores.  Soap.com has a large selection of green cleaning products and offers 1-2 day free shipping on orders over $39.  Amazon is always a good way to go too.

So where do your cleaning products rate on the green scale?  Check out this website to read reviews on hundreds of products and learn how you can find better alternatives that are green, healthy and safe.

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Bottle-less Water

I have recently kicked a bad habit.  Drinking bottled water.  It was a pretty tough habit to kick because I have been drinking bottled water for as long as I can remember.  And believe it or not, there was only one brand that I would drink.  It was the same brand I grew up drinking.  All the other brands tasted different to me.

So why was it necessary for me to kick this habit?  Well, after watching the documentary Tapped, I felt I had no choice.  The movie educated me on so many issues regarding the bottled water industry that I was moved to action.  Here is a short list of reasons why I decided to go bottle-less.

1.  I learned that the water I was purchasing in a bottle was taken from free sources.  So, in a nutshell, large corporations were pumping small town spring water, bottling it and selling back to us for an extremely large profit.  Meanwhile, the towns in which they took the water from, were experiencing drought like conditions and were offered no compensation.  Golden Nugget:  I felt it was unethical for big business to come in and steal water that was not theirs.  In truth, ground water is considered a free for all, but it seems unfair for companies to come in to small towns where they don’t belong and take large quantities of it, and then profit from it.  Therefore, I did not feel right being part of this cycle.

2.  Forty percent of bottled water comes from municipal sources.  Which means that companies are taking tap water, bottling it and selling it back to us for 1900 times the amount we pay for our tap water.  Golden Nugget:  So many people choose to drink bottled water over tap water because they think that they are purchasing something of “higher” quality.  The truth is that companies are selling you the same water you can run from your tap under the false pretense that you are getting something different.  What is most misleading is that the manufactures are not putting this information on their bottles.  Rather, they are decorating their bottles with pictures of mountains, natural springs and icebergs.

3.  Bottled water has less regulations for testing than tap water.  Which means in many cases, your local tap water is safer to drink than what you buy in a bottle.  Golden Nugget:  Even though we have been socialized to believe that bottled water is safer and more pure than tap water, in many cases this is not true.  Because the bottled water industry is largely self-regulated, no one really knows what could be under that cap.  In private studies reviewed in the movie Tapped, contaminants such as paint thinner, pharmaceuticals and bacteria were found in the bottle water tested.

4.  BPA:  I am sure you have seen these letters around, but what exactly do they mean?  Well, instead of me explaining it to you, here is a link to Wikipedia for a quick understanding.  Golden Nugget:  You do not want this chemical in your body.  Because it is the building block of the plastic that makes up the bottle, the BPA is leached into the water.  This can lead to a variety of health problems.  Your best bet is to stay away from plastic bottles and find another way to consume your beverages.

5.  The impact that bottled water has made on the environment is tragic.  Even though water bottles are said to be recyclable, they won’t walk themselves to the recycle bins.  And unfortunately, consumers are still not recycling on a regular basis.  In actuality, only 20% of bottles get recycled.  The other 80% end up in landfills and the ocean.  Golden Nugget:  We can’t take back the damage we have already done, but we can make a difference moving forward.  Buying a reusable water bottle can help cut down on one less bottle that will end up in an undesirable place.

The bottom line:  When I learned about the information listed above, I wanted to change my habits.  So, I purchased a reusable water bottle and installed a water filter in my kitchen sink.  Are there still times where I buy bottled water?  Of course there are.  My goal is to limit my consumption and do my best to find alternatives.  Because bottled water is so much a part of our modern-day culture now, it is hard to escape it.  But being educated about what you put in your body and how it affects the environment can help you make better decisions.

For further reading on this subject, check out these websites: Tapped the MovieEMagazine, The Water Filter Lady’s Blog

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