Tag Archives: green

What’s in the Box? #80

What's in the Box?

I think it’s safe to say, we are officially “OC” residents.  We have a library card (and have visited 3 times already!), spent an entire morning in line at the DMV in an attempt to get a new driver’s license (lost mine during our travels this summer) and Harper is enrolled in preschool.  Phew…it’s been quite a week, but everything is starting to fall into place.

Here is my little muffin on her first day at her new school… (in her chucks of course!)

Harper's First Day of Pre-School

(for the record, little miss came up with this pose all on her own.  I merely asked her to stand by the tree…)

And all the while, we have been enjoying our delicious and nutritious treats from our new CSA.  I have also been enjoying perusing over your CSA eats from last week.  We had 10 link ups and apparently it was all about the green.  Green beans, pesto, and green tomato bacon jam.  The perfect veggie color :)

Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their awesome ideas with us.  Keep ’em coming!

As for me, this is what I will be working with this week…

What's in the Box? #80And before we go any further, I have to mention the 3 garlic cloves that I forgot to place in the box before the picture.  Didn’t realize it until all the produce was put away…darn.

I am most excited about the figs!  I have never received figs in my box before, nor have I ever even tried one.  Not sure why, I have just never come across them before.  Looking forward to whipping up a savory dish with them that the whole family will enjoy.  Which means the garlic will come in handy for that recipe as well.  And Freddie and Harper can’t wait for a side of my famous mashed potatoes.

Next, 3 cheers for Thai basil!  It has been a while since I have gotten some in my box and I am looking forward to cooking with it.  It has such a lovely aroma and the flavor bursts in your mouth.

The taco salad last week was a big hit so I plan on duplicating that again.  I will chop up some of the tomatoes to throw on top in addition to some of those sweet peppers.

I am happy to see another bundle of grapes.  Our last batch went pretty quickly so I am hoping to experiment some more with recipes this week.

For the carrots, I have a great chicken recipe that calls for roasted carrots.  It’s a recipe I have been dying to share with you, so hopefully this will stand as a reminder for me to post it ASAP.

Speaking of roasting…love me some roasted cauliflower.  I roasted some last week for Harper to throw in with her broccoli and she LOVED it!

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals? Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.

Linking up for the first time? Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS: Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog. Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #8

What's in the Box?

Greetings from Ireland!  Harper and I just touched down this morning and are so grateful to be on the Emerald Isle.  After nearly 24 hours of traveling, we are officially exhausted!  Luckily, I have a rockstar of a toddler who was perfect every step of the way…

ireland trip

It’s going to be a pretty rockin party while we are here.  Harper and I have never been to visit since my mom moved to Ireland 7 years ago so she is pretty excited to be hosting us in her beautiful home.

Speaking of parties…we all know there ain’t no party like a produce party and this produce party don’t stop.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party.  For one there were 15 links…Woo Hoo!  And seriously, I need every single one in my belly immediately.  But I thought it would be fun to highlight some delicious summer dishes that are sure to take your family BBQs to a whole new level.  My favorite link this week comes from Meghan of Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Are you a strawberry lover?  Than you are going to die over this berry filled post complete with Strawberry Pasta!  Next, what BBQ is complete without some kebobs?  Luckily Lauren from Gourmet Veggie Mama has got you covered.  And finally, I am sure we have all enjoyed a nice juicy grilled piece of steak before but have you ever tried bison?  Melissa from Lettuce Never Squash Our Love has me curious to add this lean meat to my next cookout menu.  Thanks to everyone who linked up!  You continue to make my week extra special with your delicious and nutritious meals :)

Now on to some of my favorite green dishes in honor of my Irish Leprechauns :)

For starters, with all the avocados I have been getting in my CSA this summer, guacamole is the perfect solution.  And my recipe just happens to be the best… The Ultimate Guacamole

The Ultimate Guacamole - In Her Chucks

Next, what’s more green than, well…Green Rice!

Green Rice - In Her Chucks

And of course, what in the world is a green foods recipe roundup without a beautiful green salad…one of my favs by far…Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salad - In Her Chucks

Even though soup in the middle of summer sounds far from appetizing, this soup is magical, and totally worth a brow full of sweat.  Plus, it’s got amazing health benefits…Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup - In Her Chucks

And finally, a bunch of tasty meatballs, served on a bed of Boy Choy.  Sautéed greens at their finest…Turkey-Basmati Rice Meatballs with Bok Choy

Turkey-Basmati Meatballs with Bok Choy - In Her Chucks

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite green recipes?  Feel free to link up some of the CSA inspired meals that you are the most proud of.  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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October Photo A Day Challenge: Day 8-14

Two weeks into Lindsay’s October Photo A Day Challenge and I am having a ball!  I love that this challenge gives me even more reasons to capture everything from life’s most special memories to the most mundane tasks.  It motivates me to exercise, take care of myself and make good food choices :)  Which means it’s not only fun, it’s productive!  Here’s a glimpse at what last week looked like…

1. Day 8: Eat at least 3 different colors today– I do my best to eat a variety of fruits and veggies at every meal.  Having a produce box delivered to my house weekly definitely helps to keep things colorful.  And apparently it pays to eat your fruits and veggies because I actually won the challenge for Day 8…Go me!

2. Day 9: Spend 15 minutes stretching– I was most excited about this task because I know how good stretching makes me feel but I rarely take the time to sit down and do it.  So a big thanks to Lindsay for reminding me to block off a few minutes in my day to get my gumby on :)  Hoping to make this a regular part of my routine.

3. Day 10: Show your favorite healthy fat!– Back when I was in high school I had the pleasure of going to Spain for the summer to brush up on my Spanish.  The family I lived with owned an olive orchard and turned me on to Spanish Olive Oil…the best olive oil I have ever tasted!  But until recently, I had trouble finding it at my local grocery stores.  Yet another reason why I love Trader Joe’s…they always come through on my favorite foodie items, and even offer it organic.  Haven’t tried Spanish Olive Oil?…you must!

4. Day 11: Run some sprints– Sprints?  It’s been a while.  I used to be pretty darn fast, but sadly I think my glory days are a thing of the past.  However, I had an idea that being back on a track would spark my inner olympian.  So Freddie and I ventured out to the local school to see who had the fastest wheels.  I guess you can say we are a bit competitive…

5. Day 12: Buy yourself flowers.  You deserve them– My husband’s pretty awesome.  He buys me flowers often.  But I have to say, it was a treat to buy this bunch of flowers for myself.  I have been eyeing this bouquet for a while now.  I love the variety of colors and the fact that it is small enough to display on the dinner table.  Simply gorgeous.

6. Day 13: Make something with pumpkin!–  Pumpkin might possibly be one of my favorite flavors of the season.  So any excuse to make something pumpkin is alright with me.  My mom and I whipped up a fresh batch of pumpkin bars with mini chocolate chips and homemade caramelized pecans.  They were delish!  Can’t wait to share the recipe with you soon.  Stay tuned!

7. Day 14: Burn some calories cleaning the house!–  Weekends are usually the only time I get to do my chores so this task was right on track with my daily activities.  These are some of my favorite cleaning supplies that helped me clean the bathroom, do some dusting and tidy up the kitchen.  And to know that I burned some calories in the process…now that’s a win/win!

Wanna join me in the October Photo A Day Challenge? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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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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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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Green Rice

Everyone that knows me, knows I love to cook.  I rarely need an excuse to get busy in the kitchen.  So when my girlfriend called me the other day and asked me to help her make food for her party, I was all in!  She told me she was making enchiladas and needed me to make something she could serve on the side.  My first thought was to make my famous guacamole but then she told me she was expecting 25 people and I realized that would be A LOT of guacamole!  So she suggested I bring some sort of rice dish, and I was excited to have the prefect recipe :)

Unlike Freddie, who can’t get enough of Mexican rice, I am not the biggest fan.  Usually when I make Mexican food, I serve it with cilantro and lime rice, like the rice you get at Chipotle.  But once I found this recipe, it has become my new favorite staple.

I love to watch cooking shows.  Not only do they teach you about different ingredients and cooking techniques, but they always help to inspire me to try new dishes.  I don’t normally watch Ingrid Hoffmann’s show Simply Delicioso, but I am glad I happened to stumble upon it the day she was sharing this recipe.  When I saw how easy this rice was to make and how beautiful it looked on the plate, I knew I would have to give it a shot.

What I like most about this green rice, is that the idea is unique and fresh yet it has all the delicious flavors you crave from Mexican cuisine.  And my favorite part is that it is not spicy!  I am a huge wimp when it comes to heat so the milder the better for me.  But this rice is so tasty, those who are expecting heat, don’t even miss it.

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth

2 pasilla peppers (also known as poblano chile peppers), chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped

Salt

3 tablespoons corn oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, sliced

Preparation

In a blender (I used my Vitamix), warm chicken broth, pasilla peppers, cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt.  Blend until smooth.

In medium saucepan heat corn oil over medium heat.  Saute onion until soft, 2-3 minutes.  Add rice and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add chili puree, cover and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cooking until liquid is absolved and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff with fork.  Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.  Garnish with scallions and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann via foodnetwork.com

Since this recipe only yields 4-6 servings, I made 5 batches.  I cooked each batch separately because I wanted to make sure that the rice cooked all the way through and that each batch turned out perfectly.  The recipe is so easy to follow and quick to prepare, I was able to make each batch in no time.

Served on the side of enchiladas, tacos or stuffed in a burrito, this rice is sure to take your favorite Mexican meal to the next level.  And because it is so full of flavor, it’s not limited to a certain cuisine.  It can be enjoyed alongside a roasted chicken breast, piece of fish or accompanied by your favorite veggies.  No matter what you choose to serve it with your taste buds are sure to have a fiesta!

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