Friday, September 12, 2014

Organic Argan Oil for Natural Beauty


A couple of years ago, I simplified my beauty routine and focused on natural and organic. When I look for green beauty care products, I look for a short ingredients list. Oils are a great addition to my green beauty care routine. 100% organic oils are easy to find, even in stores. Organic oils contain one ingredient - the oil - you cannot get any simpler than that. Argan Oil has been around for a long time and is used extensively in non-Western cultures to moisturize hair, face and skin. Argan Alchemy organic Argan Oil is the best natural beauty treatment for your hair and skin.


Organic Argan Oil       ($24.95, 2oz)
Rating: total green check marks out of 5.

The Good
The Not So Good
100% organic and pure

Comes in a dark blue glass bottle

Absorbs quickly

Immediately softens hands


Argan Alchemy's 100% organic Argan Oil is pure, cold pressed and unrefined oil. Argan Alechmey sources the Argan Oil from southwest Morocco, where the Argan trees have grown for thousands for years. The Argan Oil is certified as USDA Organic and EcoCert. The oil comes in a dark blue glass bottle, which is necessary for preserving the qualities of the oil and extending the shelf life. Argan Oil storage is important because oils are sensitive to light and must be stored in dark amber bottles to prevent oxidation. Oils that are not stored in dark bottles will oxidize, lose potency and become ineffective.

One of my favorite parts about Argan Oil is that it can be used as part of just about any beauty care routine.

  • Naturally softens and moisturizes skin
  • Smooths hair naturally
  • Repairs dry and frizzy hair
  • Moisturizes and shines nails
  • Helps to prevent pregnancy stretch marks

Some of the ways that I like to use Argan Oil:
  1. Remove makeup on eyes and face
  2. Moisturize the face and body
  3. Moisturize nails and cuticles
  4. Quick conditioner for my fine hair
Argan Oil has become one of my favorite products. Winter left my hands red and dry. After the first application of Argan Oil, my hands felt silky and supple. Even coconut oil could not touch the dryness of my hands. I love that Argan Oil absorbs quickly and does not leave a greasy feeling. My skin stays moisturized and supple for several hours (until I hand wash dishes again).

I have even been using Argan Oil to moisturize my face and my legs. The best application so far has been to moisturize my dry hands after gardening or washing dishes by hand.

Argan Oil is rated as 0 (no hazard) by the EWG Skin Deep database. I feel completely safe using it for moisturizing and other beauty applications. 

Argan Oil does have a bit of a nutty smell to it. The smell reminds me of Neem Oil, but disappears within a few minutes. I have come to like the nutty smell.  

I would highly recommend Argan Alchemy's 100% organic Argan Oil. Argan Oil is the best natural beauty treatment for skin, hair and nails.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Organic Heating Pad [Review]


I was just saying the other day that I feel like I am getting old. I have heard many times in my 20s that once you hit your 30s, your body changes. Add pregnancy and a toddler that likes to be carried and those aches and pains start become more frequent. Carrying around, lifting and putting down and wearing my 17 month old boy has been hard on my back lately. St. Croix Valley Naturals organic heating pad offers a natural and organic solution for pain relief.

Organic Heating Pad       ($45.00, Large size)
Rating: total green check marks out of 5.

The Good
The Not So Good
Removable/washable organic cotton cover
White cover could get dirty easily
Hot and cold therapy uses






The organic heating pad came just in time. I had been carrying and wearing a clingy baby more often than usual, so my shoulders and back were very sore and achy. During nap time, I decided to try the organic heating pad for hot therapy. The instructions recommend heating the pad in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it gets to the desired heat level. The organic heating pad is filled with organic flax inside the inner seed bag, so heating it for a longer time in the microwave could cause the flax seed to overcook or burn. I heated up the heating pad 3 times, for 30 seconds each time. The heating pad became hot fairly quickly, though I would heat it for 2-3 more times next time because I liked a hot heating pad. 

I sat upright and placed the hot heating pad on my shoulders. I really liked the weight of the heating pad. The weight of it, along with the heat, helped to ease shoulder muscle pain and helped the muscles to relax. The size of the heating pad (large) went all the way across my shoulders and stayed on very well.  

The organic heating pad can also be used for cold therapy. Chill in the freezer for a few hours in a plastic bag, for protection. 

I love that the heating pad cover is made from organic cotton and is filled with organic flax. I do worry that the off white cover could get dirty easily, especially when placed in a microwave. Therefore, I used a plate to hold it. I would like to see the cover be offered in a naturally colored fabric that would hide any potential stains easily. Though, the cover can be removed and washed if any staining does occur.

If you are looking for natural pain relief through heat or cold, St. Croix Valley Naturals organic heating pad is a great solution for natural pain relief. Aside from using the microwave or the freezer to warm up/cool down, the organic heating pad with flax seeds uses absolutely no electricity. I look toward using the organic heating pad in the winter to warm cold feet. 

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zero Waste at the Grocery Store [#CTWW]

Zero Waste challenges are one area where I can improve. These challenges are always difficult for me. I am not sure why. I few years ago, I made a huge switch to green and eco-friendly products, including reusable grocery bags, reusable menstrual products, cloth diapers, etc. I still feel like a lot of packaging gets thrown away, recycled, and in some rare instances, reused. My focus on this round of the Zero Waste challenge will be the grocery store.


This week's challenge:

This week, look for one more way to reduce the amount of waste you generate. Need some inspiration? Check out the Zero Waste Week Facebook Page and scroll through the posts for tips and ideas. Perhaps buy "naked" produce (items without any kind of packaging), carry a reusable bag at the market, or find creative uses for leftover food. If you have a baby in the house, try cloth diapers (nappies) and reusable wipes rather than the disposable varieties. Consider reusable menstrual products instead of single-use items. Find creative ways to upcycle "trash" or donate used items to charity. The idea, this week, is to find one more way to reduce waste.

There are two Whole Foods Markets in our city. We shop at the second one every couple of months if we are around that area, usually after Sunday morning church.

One of my favorite aisles at the grocery store is the bulk bin aisle. The Whole Foods Market that I frequent most often has a big bulk section. Shopping in the bulk bin section allows me to purchase exactly how much product I need or want. Let's say I need 1 cup of a specific type of bean or I want to fill up my quinoa container. Though the bulk bin allows reusing of your personal container (have the cashier weigh your container before you fill it), most people, including me, use the plastic bags and containers that are provided. Usually, the plastic bags and containers are reused another time, but I ultimately throw them away or recycle.

I have not been able to bring myself to lug my glass containers to the store when they empty. I cannot even remember to take the recycling that Rumpke does not accept to Whole Foods. How do I reduce my reliance on plastic bags and containers??? The second Whole Foods Market in our city has solved this problem, or at least made it better! No more plastic bags and containers for the dried bulk bin goods. These have been replaced with brown paper bags! Take a pencil, write down the name and the number of the product. The brown paper bags can be reused, recycled or composted. My plan is to reuse for lunches and then compost. While recycling does require energy, composting is a more eco-friendly option that requires no energy.

I hope my preferred Whole Foods Market switches to brown paper bags. I will speak with an employee next time to see if they have considered this option. In the meantime, I will be reusing the small brown paper bags in the bulk bin aisle.

>> How do you reduce waste during your grocery shopping trips??
  


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Earth Weave Area Rug [Giveaway]


earthweave-rug-giveaway-revised

Welcome to the Earth Weave Carpet Mills Area Rug Giveaway, hosted by the Green Moms Network. Today we’re excited to share a truly safe carpet company with you, and offer you the chance to win one of their safe, non-toxic and natural area rugs!

 When you’re thinking about re-carpeting your home, what are the things that are most important to you? Many people rarely think about the toxins contained in most carpets, padding and the adhesives used to install them.

Indoor air has been found to contain 10 times as many pollutants as outdoor air. So it’s increasingly important for us to be aware that toxins that will be emitted into the air in our homes from carpet, that we otherwise wouldn't think much about.

Did you know that new carpets contain volatile organic compounds (VOC's), which include acetone, benzene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, styrene and toluene? Many of these compounds are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s register of Extremely Hazardous Substances.

They also contain substances known to be carcinogenic, including p-Dichlorobenzene, styrene (classified as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen) as well as other chemicals that are known to cause nerve damage, respiratory illness and hallucinations. In addition, new carpets are usually treated with other toxic chemicals, including brighteners, artificial dyes flame retardants, stain repellents, and moth proofing (a known neurotoxin).

And you’re not safe just because your carpet is Green Label Plus Certified. These carpets contain harmful chemicals, which are deemed to be low emitting in regard to volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) but the SBR adhesive buried within the backing is made up of more than 20% stryene and over 70% butadiene. This is where the term Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) comes from. Even synthetic carpets such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester carpets can display the Green Label Plus Certification. Consumers are not made aware that chemical laden synthetic carpets meet the same testing standards as the wool carpets that claim to be "green", "eco"' "natural" etc.

Even the padding used under most carpets is not safe! According to studies, the padding most carpet companies use contains flame retardants that are considered toxic.

Fortunately, there is one company that offers all natural, non-toxic carpet, area rugs and padding – Earth Weave Carpet Mills Inc. Their innovative product, Bio-Floor, is made using undyed, untreated, wool together with hemp, cotton, jute and natural rubber.

Don’t be fooled by other companies that claim to be “green” or “natural.” Bio-Floor is the only truly nontoxic, all natural, healthy carpet made in North America. It’s great for people and families concerned about the toxins in their home and the environment.

earth-weave-construction

Earth Weave starts with the finest, most resilient wool available - British wool. There are no dyes, pesticides, moth proofing or stain protections used, which contain toxic chemicals negatively impacting your health. The primary backing they use is a combination of cotton and hemp (which is a great fiber due to its strength, durability and mold/mildew resistance). Earth Weave is the only carpet manufacturer in North America to incorporate an all-natural primary backing where the rest of the industry uses synthetic polypropylene for their primary.

The adhesive used to lock the wool yarns into place is natural as well, and is derived from the rubber tree. Paired with an all-natural jute secondary backing, the carpet is entirely biodegradable.

If you’re thinking about re-carpeting your home or business be sure to ask for Earth Weave at a carpet dealer near you. It’s the purest, healthiest carpet on the market, so you can feel confident it’s the best choice for your family.

Enter the Giveaway


Now onto the giveaway! If you’ve read this entire post, you’ll understand why I’m so excited to offer my readers a chance to win a completely safe and natural 4’ x 6’ area rug from Earth Weave Carpet Mills. The winner will receive the Pyrenees Wheat Rug, valued at $375! This mid-weight rug (38 oz.) is constructed with a distinct two color pattern. It’s very durable and soft, and made from the finest natural un-dyed, untreated wool available.

This giveaway runs through September 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST and is open to US residents only. Enter for your chance to win via the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: All Natural Katie was not compensated for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact Chrystal at Green Moms Media with questions about this giveaway or for help organizing one for your brand.
  


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Train Bulletproof Picasso Album [Review]

Music is a big part of my life. I love listening to music while I am cooking or working around the house, while driving in the car, and while running, among many other times. Though I do have my favorite artists and songs, I always love to discover new artists and songs. Train is a group that has been one of my favorites for quite some time. Train's new album, Bulletproof Picasso, has a distinct musical style and lyrics that connect with you on a personal level.

On the drive to the grocery store and back, I started listening to the album. I love how the songs are pretty representative of Train as a group, but also vary in their styles. Some songs reminded me of being on the beach, while other songs, like Cadillac Cadillac, would be great motivational songs during my runs. Don't Grow Up So Fast and Baby Happy Birthday touched me on a personal level. Overall, the songs were upbeat and put me in a good mood.

Bulletproof Picasso Album Tracklist:
1. Cadillac, Cadillac
2. Bulletproof Picasso
3. Angel In Blue Jeans
4. Give It All
5. Wonder What You're Doing For The Rest Of Your Life
6. Son Of A Prison Guard
7. Just A Memory
8. I'm Drinkin' Tonight
9. I Will Remember
10. The Bridge
11. Baby, Happy Birthday
12. Don't Grow Up So Fast



Train will be on tour during the dates below and will officially release the record on September 5 at 5:00 PM EST with a live performance on the QVC channel. Bulletproof Picasso album can be pre-ordered on iTunes and on Amazon.

Train On Tour:
8/28 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook
8/29 Lenox, MA Tanglewood
8/30 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel and Casino

Record Release Shows:
9/5 5pm ET Live 1-hour performance on QVC
9/17 Los Angeles, CA Pantages Theatre
9/18 Los Angeles, CA Pantages Theatre
9/21 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
9/22 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
9/25 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall

Disclosure: I participated in the Train Bulletproof Picasso album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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