December 19th, 2013
They will be gentle on your family and the environment and won’t hurt your wallet either.
If you need something for the chef in the family, consider the 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set from ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Energy (yes, I know, the 10 includes the lids too – I also hate the way they count cookware). Each piece in the set features fully-clad, 3-ply stainless steel construction with a thick aluminum core that conducts heat quickly and evenly, and is covered in a PTFE- and PFOA-free Ceraforce™ nonstick ceramic coating to ensure that the food neither sticks to nor burns in the pan. The set includes 8″ and 10″ open fry pans, 1-qt. and 2-qt. covered saucepans, and a 6-qt. covered Dutch oven. The best news is – it is available from Bed Bath & Beyond for just $399 for the whole set – and if you use your 20% off coupon – well, don’t the savings just add up?
If a wine connoisseur is on you list, take a look at Eisch’s “breathable” wine glasses. They are made in Germany of lead-free crystal. You can buy them online from a variety of retailers – check them out on Casa (Casa often has good coupons, especially for first-time customers. These breathable wine glasses are perfect when paired with organic wine – try King Estate wines from Oregon. The winery uses organic farming techniques and uses solar panels to generate its own energy for its winemaking operations.
If natural / organic skin care is the name of the game, you are in luck again. My all time favorites Dr. Hauschka and Weleda present great options for gifts – just check out Weleda’s Holiday Store full of wonderful gift ideas for the natural skin care fan (including a men’s line and kids’ products too). The Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Capsules are new and great. You get free shipping over $50. Alternatively, go to KiwiShop for free shipping on all orders – including their great selection of Weleda products. Dr. Hauschka does not want to be left behind, offering free shipping on all orders, no minimum – and check out their great sale just today, 25% off all products!
Need more ideas? Check out my category pages for safe & eco-friendly products, including toys for the younger set.
Enjoy! And have a Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!
December 11th, 2013
We all know that leading a healthy lifestyle can contribute to having a healthy pregnancy – we do not need research results to tell us that. Refraining from smoking, drug use, and excessive drinking, as well as eating well and exercising all keep us and our babies healthy before, during, and after pregnancy. But complications and issues can still arise and there are no guarantees – moms living the healthiest lives can have complications and so can their babies.
Yet new studies show that living a healthy lifestyle does make it more likely for a woman to have a healthy and good pregnancy. These positive lifestyle factors include increasing fruit intake before pregnancy, being a healthy weight, reducing blood pressure, stopping drug and alcohol misuse, and (perhaps as it reduces stress) being in paid employment during pregnancy. Earlier studies have focused on the association between risk factors and adverse pregnancy outcomes, but this is one of the first focusing on positive factors associated with subsequent healthy pregnancies.
As part of this study, about 5,600 women were recruited and observed, with testing conducted during pregnancy and following delivery. Sixty-one percent of the women had an uncomplicated pregnancy and the key positive factors in those were high fruit intake in the month before pregnancy and being in paid employment 15 weeks into pregnancy.
So, while much of this is common sense, there may be more to it after all.
You can read more about the study here.
December 6th, 2013
I had high expectations for this BPA-free and stylish water bottle with a built-in filter.
I already use the Bobble Water Pitcher (which is also stylish and BPA-free but does have its own challenges – we’ll reserve for another review).
As for the water bottle, first, it is not that easy to clear – the mouth is tight and, thus, the bottle requires either vigorous shaking with an eco-friendly cleaner or a bottle scrub. Then, it takes quite some time to “clean” the filter – after letting the water run through the filter as instructed, the water still had lots of black particles in it from the carbon filter, and I had to repeat the exercise six times before getting clear water.
The bottle is also rather noisy to drink from – it makes a squishy sound as you press the water out of it.
On the positive side – it is cute, easily fits in your purse, is eco-friendly, and relatively budget-friendly.
That said, I don’t think I would buy it again.
November 29th, 2013
There are so many great deals out there, both at brick-and-mortar and online stores – this morning I woke up to 34 (yes, thirty-four) promotional emails….
Here are some of my favorites:
Weleda Black Friday Sale lasts all weekend and offers 25% off the ENTIRE site – plus free shipping on all orders over $50. Use code FRIDAY.
Jurlique has three Black Friday sets at 50% off retail price (this includes the Anti-Aging, Daily Radiance, and Travel Essentials sets). Prices already reduced on the site – no code required.
Sticky Socks is offering its full stock of organic nonskid socks (in 5 sizes ranging from newborn to 7 years) at 40% off all weekend. Use code CLEARANCE.
November 24th, 2013
Mothers to be are generally advised against taking ibuprofen (sold under bran names such as Advil and Motrin) during pregnancy as ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that belong to the same family are thought to result in delayed labor and cause lung damage and even death to the unborn child. As a result, pregnant women often take acetaminophen (sold under the brand name Tylenol), which is generally thought to be safe, to combat head aches or back pain during pregnancy.
But new research evidence suggests that the frequent use of acetaminophen may also be damaging to the unborn baby – it is potentially liked to poorer language skills as well as behavior problems.
Past studies have found that there was no positive correlation between the use of acetaminophen and miscarriage or premature birth. However, researchers in Norway, at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo posited that the drug’s therapeutic index (which is the difference between the effective and the dangerous dose) is rather small and studied 48,000 young Norwegian children whose mothers took Tylenol while pregnant.
The mothers then completed a follow-up questionnaire about their children’s developmental milestones at age 3. The study revealed that children of mothers who took Tylenol for at least 28 days total during pregnancy had poorer motor skills than those children whose mothers did not take the medication or took it fewer times. In addition, children exposed to acetaminophen in utero tended to start walking later, have poorer language skills and more behavioral issues, on average by 70-percent at age 3.
Although this is only one study of its kind, pregnant women may want to pause, just as a precaution, before popping a Tylenol for a minor ache.
The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Ammonia, BPA, Chlorine bleach, PBDE, PFOA, Phthalates, Polyurethane, PTFE, PVC, Toluene, VOCs
Materials & Ingredients:
Acetone, Aluminum, Ceteareth-6, Coal Tar, DEA, DEET, Diazolidinyl Urea, Dioxane, DMDM Hydantoin, Formaldehyde, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Nitrosamines, PABA, Parabens, PEG/PG, Petrolatum/Mineral Oil, PPD, Sulfates, Talc, Toluene, TEA, Tetrasodium EDTA