February 22, 2013

Sprout Organic Baby Food

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It's always best to make baby's own food at home, and it is not that hard. There are times when convenience is needed, and thankfully there are many organic options available.

We were sent many samples of Sprout Organic Baby Food to try:


Sprout Organic baby food comes in all different stages from infant to toddler. The ingredient list is simple and understandable on each package. I did not taste this baby food, as I want to be able to give it to a family in need. My only criticism is the packaging, although BPA-free, is difficult to recycle. You can send them in for free to Terracycle though for upcycling. 

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

Read More in: Baby | Food | Product review

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February 21, 2013

EU Bans Sale of Animal Tested Cosmetics

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Every cosmetic sold in the European Union will now be "cruelty-free" meaning the products have not been tested on animals. Nation of Change explains:
After a "long-fought" campaign, The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) came up victorious as the coalition banned the sale of animal tested cosmetics in all countries within the European Union.

The ban, which will go into effect on March 11, also makes it illegal to use animals to test final cosmetic products or any of the products' ingredients from "high-end cosmetic manufacturers to drugstore brands."


A similar ban does not exist in the US, but all of the brands we feature on Really Natural are not tested on animals. If they are, we will definitely call them out on it and let you know.

There is no reason animals should be harmed so humans can adorn themselves with makeup. If a cosmetic includes ingredients that are potentially harmful and require testing on live subjects, then it shouldn't be put on your skin anyways.  There are plenty of safe, natural cosmetics available, like those from Dr. Hauschka

Image:  License

Attribution Some rights reserved by laverrue

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February 20, 2013

Pacific Ocean Garbage Dump [video]

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February 19, 2013

Really Natural Cookbooks: Modern Flavors of Arabia

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Modern Flavors of Arabia: Recipes and Memories from My Middle Eastern Kitchen by Suzanne Husseini is a beautiful cookbook!

Modern Flavors of Arabia takes you on a culinary journey to the Middle East to explore a food culture that spans centuries. Each of the recipes will surprise and delight you and bring new colors, aromas and flavors to your table. Join Suzanne as she pays tribute to her mother's cooking and enjoy her refreshingly new take on the traditional--pilafs fragrant with herbs and spices, crepes speckled with pistachios and sweetened with rose syrup, scones enhanced with dates, orange and cardamom. Discover the secrets of perfect falafel, shawarma, and homemade labneh, and try other classic dishes such as kibbeh and fattouche. Recipes are arranged by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert and a whole chapter is dedicated to mezze. Suzanne's stories and ideas on how to serve each dish accompany the beautifully illustrated and easy-to-follow recipes.

Let Suzanne's refined Arabian cuisine inspire you. Fill your kitchen with the warm, exotic scents of the Middle East, and surprise yourself with how easy it is to create these mouthwatering delicacies at home.
It is not a vegetarian cookbook, but there are some recipes for veggies like me.

The photographs are beautiful and inspiring! I really want to make the Spiced Ricotta-Stuffed Dates and the Baked Baklawa Cheesecake. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

There are plenty of other recipes to round out a meal like Braised Stuffed Cabbage in Lemon Garlic Sauce and Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate Dressing.

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

Read More in: Food | Product review | Really Natural Books

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February 18, 2013

Really Natural Self-Help: The Power of Personal Accountability

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As I mentioned before, I review all packages we receive. Sometimes they may not apply directly to this blog's ethos. I think Self-Help books fall into this category, but they may help you achieve your green living goals.

I don't so much like the title of Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability by Mark Samuel, but I like the idea of personal accountability.

Imagine waking up with enthusiasm every workday. Imagine being certain that you are highly valued by your boss and coworkers. Imagine feeling secure and in control because, even if jobs are being eliminated, you're too valuable to let go. In other words, imagine being indispensable

Sound too good to be true? Not according to Mark Samuel, who has helped thousands of people around the world get on the path to personal achievement and fulfillment. He shows why the key to becoming indispensable is to embrace accountability rather than run from it, in everything you do at work and in your personal life.

You'll see how Samuel's Personal Accountability Model really worked for people such as:
· Lynn, who transformed herself from the worst teacher at her school to one of the most respected.
· Dan, an office assistant of ten years who finally figured out how to jumpstart his career.
· Mary, a super visor who had continually been skipped over for promotion, until she finally decided to stop "playing it small."
· Jerry, a plant manager who got stuck in a "victim loop" when his division began to underperform. Only when he stopped blaming others could he find the energy and ideas to help his plant overcome its challenges.

Becoming indispensable doesn't require a fancy degree, a senior management title, or a huge income. It's a mind-set available to anyone, as you'll learn from these and other inspiring true stories. You'll also discover Samuel's proven strategies for letting go of victimhood, figuring out what's really holding you back, and taking smart actions to achieve your highest goals.


As self-centered as the title implies, the advice is not. The six choices promoted in the book included things like being "we" centered and valuing others. This is good advice!

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

Read More in: Product review | Really Natural Books

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February 14, 2013

Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Red Hen and More Cooking Stories

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Cooking food definitely leads to better eating. Stories about cooking inspire children to explore the world of whole foods rather than fast food dining.

The Red Hen and more cooking stories is a read along DVD collection from Scholastic Storybook Treasures.

You can collect the entire library of Scholastic Storybook Treasures and read along on screen with your favorite classic children's stories, brought vividly to life on DVD.

THE RED HEN (Written and illustrated by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley, narrated by Walter Mayes) Filled with humor and sparkling illustration, this is the classic story of Red Hen and her adventures in baking.

BREAD COMES TO LIFE (Written and illustrated by George Levenson, narrated by Lily Tomlin) Watch each step of how to bring bread to life, from the sowing of the seeds to the shaping and baking of the bread dough.

HOW DO DINOSAURS EAT THEIR FOOD? (Written and narrated by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague) These mischievous dinosaurs show that burping, spilling and playing with one s food are not the best ways to enjoy a meal.

ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT (Written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott, narrated by Michael McKean) When Mr. Bing buys Arnie in a doughnut shop, Arnie realizes he must persuade Mr. Bing that a doughnut can be more than just a sweet snack.


These are sweet stories, and the next best thing to actually reading to your child (which is the best thing!).   There is even a recipe included for Simply Splendid Cake that children can make with a little assistance.

There is nothing eco-friendly about this product; however, it may inspire your child to eat better or at least take an interest in food preparation.

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

Read More in: Kids | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

February 13, 2013

Natural Beauty: derma e Exfoliating Mask Deep Cleans and Detoxifies

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I have yet to meet a derma e product that I do not love. derma e Natural Bodycare Cleansing Enzyme Facial Mask is no exception. In fact, it won the Best Face Mask of 2012 award from Natural Solutions magazine.

In introducing the award-winning beauty products, Natural Solutions magazine states, "The old adage says you are what you eat - but you are what you put on your skin, as well. It matters." With skin being the largest organ of the body that directly reflects your health, beauty products that are healthy and effective are essential. After reviewing numerous submissions, Natural Solutions chose, "the very best" in 17 personal care product categories.

Best Face Mask! Exfoliating Mask
with Fruit Enzymes and Dead Sea Salt

"This mask deep cleans pores, detoxifies and absorbs excess skin oil with the help of fruit enzymes and Dead Sea salt," say the editors of Natural Solutions. Enriched with detoxifying Sea Kelp, antioxidants Green Tea and impurity-absorbing Bentonite and Kaolin Clays, this formula leaves skin clean and healthy.

I agree completely! I only want to put natural products on my skin, and this does not in anyway mean compromising quality and effectiveness. derma e always delivers and is affordable too.

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


Read More in: Beauty | Product review

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February 12, 2013

100% Natural No Calorie Sweetener Nectresse Made from Monk Fruit

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I am always a little reticent about zero calorie sweeteners, as I don't think they are the solution to weight loss. Healthy eating with lots of raw foods and exercise are the solution. Furthermore, many zero calories sweeteners are full of artificial ingredients that are harmful to your health, like aspartame.

NECTRESSE Natural No Calorie Sweetener is 100% natural and made from monk fruit.

NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener is a combination of deliciously sweet Monk Fruit Extract blended with other natural sweeteners (erythritol, sugar and molasses) to bring you the rich sweet taste of sugar without all the calories...

Erythritol is an all-natural, sugar alcohol that is naturally fermented from sugars and is found in many vegetables and fruits. Erythritol contributes zero calories per serving of NECTRESSE™ Sweetener. Consuming erythritol from NECTRESSE™ Sweetener is not expected to result in laxative or other gastrointestinal effects that are known to sometimes occur with other sugar alcohols...

Monk Fruit is a round, green melon that grows on vines on remote mountaintops in central Asia. The fruit has been cultivated for centuries. An extract from the fruit has been recently re-discovered as an ingredient ideally suited for sweetening foods and beverages. Monk Fruit Extract is about 150X sweeter than sugar and contributes zero calories per serving of NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener.


This product is made by the makers of Splenda, which does concern me, but Nectresse does not contain any of the sucralose found in Splenda.

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

Read More in: Food | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

February 11, 2013

The Unofficial Lego Technic Builder's Guide

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Legos are fascinating, and although you don't need a manual to create interesting things, what you can do with a little help is amazing.

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide by Pawet "Sariel" Kmiec is not endorsed by Lego. It doesn't need to be.

The LEGO® Technic system opens a new realm of building possibilities. Using motors, gears, pneumatics, pulleys, linkages, and more, you can design LEGO models that really move.

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide is filled with building tips for creating strong yet elegant machines and mechanisms with the Technic system. Author Pawel "Sairel" Kmiec will teach you the foundations of LEGO Technic building, from simple machines to advanced mechanics, even explaining how to create realistic to-scale models. Sariel, a world-renowned LEGO Technic expert, offers unique insight into mechanical principles like torque, power translation, and gear ratios, all using Technic bricks. You'll learn how to:

  • Create sturdy connections that can withstand serious stress
  • Re-create specialized LEGO pieces like casings and u-joints, and build solutions like Schmidt and Oldham couplings, when no standard piece will do
  • Build custom differentials, suspensions, transmissions, and steering systems
  • Pick the right motor for the job--and transform its properties to suit your needs
  • Combine studfull and studless building styles for a stunning look
  • Create remote-controlled vehicles, lighting systems, motorized compressors, and pneumatic engines
This beautifully illustrated, full-color book will inspire you with ideas for building amazing machines like tanks with suspended treads, supercars, cranes, bulldozers, and much more. Your Technic adventure starts now!
There are some amazing ideas in this book, although there is nothing eco-friendly or natural about it. Your kids will be inspired and amazed by this book, but they will need your help to accomplish these Lego engineering feats!

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

Read More in: Product review

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February 8, 2013

Organic Frozen Food: Mom Made Foods Munchies and Meals

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Even the most devoted parents to cooking organic whole foods for their family sometimes has a rushed evening when they need a quick meal. Of course, it is great to freeze some of your own leftovers for such a pinch, but another alternative is organic frozen food like Mom makes.

Mom Made Foods uses organic ingredients and encourages you to take their healthy pledge:

Have you made a pledge to get healthy? Mom Made wants to make it easier for you to keep your commitment to feed your family healthy food, and to teach your kids that nutritious can be delicious! Mom Made cares deeply about children's health and nutrition, and we pledge to do our part to make positive changes. It's not a New Year's resolution; it's what motivates us every day at Mom Made!

Mom Made invites you to take our Healthy Pledge, and receive healthy tips, recipes, deals and more from us all year long.

"I pledge to nourish my kids with the foods they love that are also good for them; read nutrition labels; cut out artificial junk; and help my children learn about the importance of good healthy eating."


We were sent several Mom Made Foods products to try, and yes, they arrived safely and still frozen. My children liked the Mom Made Foods Cheese Pizza Munchie and Apple Pie Munchie.

Mom Made Foods remind me of some of the traditional frozen food I grew up with like mac and cheese and the above products my children liked. I am pleased to see more options of convenience available organically, but my daughter did say my apple pie is much better than the frozen kind!

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

Read More in: Food | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

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