Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soy-Free Organic Chocolate

Soy-free Organic Chocolate by Theo Chocolates
Yum! I just picked up a bar of Theo Organic Fair Trade Milk Chocolate from my local grocery store and I'm in heaven. The ingredients are 100% organic, minimal, pure and soy-free. Believe it or not, finding soy-free chocolate is nearly impossible. Even most so-called "natural" brands use soy-lecithin as an emulsifier which cheapens the taste and exposes you to genetically modified ingredients (since virtually all soy comes from genetically modified crops unless it is organic soy and you don't see much "organic soy-lecithin" in anything).

Next time you're craving chocolate, read the labels before you buy and try to skip the soy.

Theos Chocolate can is found in most grocery and healthfood store.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Safe Glass Storage for Homemade Baby Food

Safe Glass Storage for Baby Food by Wean Green

Check out these adorable eco-friendly tempered glass food containers by Wean Green. I wish this company was around during my kids' baby food years. I had to rely on small Pyrex bowls I bought in bulk from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Those are great from refrigerator storage but nowhere near as sturdy as the Wean Green's tempered glass so there was no way I was going to toss one in my diaper bag. Wean Green jars are so sturdy you can drop them countless times and they will not break. And of course because they are made of glass, they won't leach harmful toxins into your baby's food (the way plastic does - especially when heated or sitting in the sun). The Cube (pictured in blue above) is the perfect size for fresh baby food on the go. My 9 year old "baby" packs hers with carrots for school - and because the glass is so sturdy, I don't even worry about breakage.

Wean Green glass containers can be purchased on or on

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Most Harmful Sunscreens

One of the Safest Sunscreens - Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia
The Environmental Working Group ( recently released its 6th Annual Sunscreen Report, which analyzes the ingredients in over 1,800 sunscreen products and ranks them from least harmful to most harmful. Bottom line: stay away from all sunscreen SPRAYS and avoid anything that contains RETINYL PALMINATE (Vitamin A) or OXYBENZONE and anything ABOVE an SPF 40 (as higher SPFs require the absorbency or toxic chemicals).

I broke down EWG's findings into the following quick "at-a-glace" groupings according to (1) most harmful sunscreens ingredients and (2) safest sunscreens that are affordable and easy to find. NOTE: My consistently favorite brand, Badger, made the EWG "Safest" list yet again.

Some of the Most Harmful Sunscreens (Each with a "Highly Hazardous" score of 7-10):
Selected according to popularity of brand and ease of ability to purchase. Ordered alphabetically.
  • Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Spray Active, SPF 70
  • Banana Boat Sport Performance Active MAX Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
  • Coppertone Sport Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 90
  • CVS Sheer Mist Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 70
  • Rite Aid Extreme Sport Continuous Spray, SPF 70+
  • Wegmans Sheer Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 55
  • Walgreens Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Safest Sunscreens (Each with a "Low Hazardous" Score of 0-1):
Selected according to affordability and ease of ability to purchase. Ordered alphabetically.
  • All Terrain (following products only):
    • AquaSport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 28
    • KidSport Sunscreen Stick Skin Protectant, SPF 28
    • TerraSport Face Stick Skin Protectant, SPF 28
  • Aubrey Organics (following products only):
    • Natural Sun Green Tea Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    • Sun Sports Stick Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Natural Sun Unscented Sensitive Skin/Children Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  • Badger (following products only):
    • All-Season Face Stick, SPF 35
    • Baby Sunscreen, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30+
    • Broad Spectrum Sport Sunscreen, SPF 35
    • Chamomile Baby Sunscreen, SPF 34
    • Lightly Scented Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Lightly Scented Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    • Sport Sunscreen, SPF 35
    • Sunscreen For Face & Body, SPF 30Badger Sunscreen, Lavender, SPF 34
    • Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 34
    • Unscented Sunscreen All Season Face Stick, SPF 30+
    • Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  • California Baby (following products only):
    • Everyday/Year-round Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
    • No Fragrance Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
  • Kiss My Face (following products only):
    • Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40
    • 100% Natural Mineral Sunblock SunStick, Blue, SPF 30
    • 100% Natural Mineral Sunblock SunStick, Pink, SPF 30
    • 100% Natural Mineral Sunblock SunStick, White, SPF 30
  • Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • UV Natural (ALL products) :
    • Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Sport Lip Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
    • Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
Click here to view all sunscreens rated by the Environment Working Group.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

LifeEdited - A Modern Take on Living Small

The older I get, the less I need. I once fantasized about 4000 square feet homes. Now, that same image evokes in me a sense of waste, loneliness and high energy bills. I get the feeling founder Graham Hill felt the same way when he set out to design a tiny New York City apartment into a multi-functional, modern home with moving walls. After watching this video, which highlights the design project Hill calls "LifeEdited," I felt thoroughly inspired to keep on keepin' on with my small way of living.

About the LifeEdited project, The New York Times wrote last week, "It may be that the house of the future is an apartment — at 420 square feet, a very small apartment ."  (May we all live so small.)

Be sure to check out those amazing furnishing by Resource Furniture.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Organic Beeswax-Free Lip Balm - Great for Kids!

All-Natural Lip Balms by Ladybug Jane

My two daughters flipped over a few Ladybug Jane Lip Balm samples they received at a local eco-fair we attended recently (yes - we go to a lot of these : ). I often get an allergic reaction to beeswax when it is used in lip products,  making my lips swell up and look as though I'd just visited the doctor for an expensive cosmetic enhancement. So, I was thrilled to learn that Ladybug Jane Lip Balm is actually vegan and bee-labor free. It is also all natural, gluten free, nut and petroleum free. My girls both used their own money to buy the delicious Vanilla Cupcake flavor, but Crazy Coconut was a close runner up for top favorite flavor.

Since my daughters are at that age where they are fascinated with beauty products -- but nowhere near old enough to use them -- finding an all-natural, color-less, dye-free alternative to the tacky paraben-filled lip gloss that little girls love so much was a real score. Don't be fooled into thinking this product is just for kids though. Grown women (and men too - why not?) will love how soft the organic avocado and coco butter oils make their lips feel. Give your lips a lipstick break and order some Ladybug Jane for yourself too.

Ladybug Jane Lip Balms can be found in many Whole Foods Markets and also online at: