Month: May 2009

Organic Wine – differences are on the label (& in the bottle)

There are a few different labels that organic wines can carry and I recently found out what means what!

 

In 2001, the USDA issued the following guidelines for wines that are labeled as organic:

  • “Made with Organic Grapes”- these wines are made up of at least 70% organic grapes and have added sulfites*.
  • “Organic”- no added sulfites and at least 95% of the grapes are organically grown.
  • “100% Organic”- 100% organic grapes and no added sulfites.

*Sulfites are a natural by-product of the wine making process and are present in all wines to different degrees. Very often, sulfites are added to wine to make it more stable and to extend its shelf life. Unfortunately, some people don’t do well with these additional sulfites and have reactions such as skin redness or headaches. For people who have these troubles, organic wines are a great and more pleasant option!

Natural Lip Color

Aubrey Organics Natural Lip Sheer Tints are a great natural choice for lip color. Organic coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil keep lips shiny and smooth. Meanwhile, organic food-based flavors like organic peppermint and strawberry oils keep lips naturally fresh and sweet. The coloring in the tints come from sustainable sources, including beet powder, caramel, and radish.  These natural tints are available in eight shades and they retail for only about $7.50!

Photo Credit: Aubrey Organics®

Photo Credit: Aubrey Organics®

Aloe – one of nature’s best skin foods

I recently used Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera and it reminded me just how much I love using aloe on my skin. Aubrey is one of the older and better natural skin care companies around today. For this great natural beauty product, Aubrey simply combines organic aloe vera with grapefruit seed extract and vitamin E (two natural preservatives). The Pure Aloe Vera is so excellent as a daily moisturizer for all skin types. It’s also one of the best remedies for sunburns and it’s especially lovely on summer skin when it’s stored in the refrigerator for a cooler splash of natural goodness!

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Rosehip ice cubes!

The next time you’re looking for an easy way to to give your face a healthy lift, make some rosehip ice cubes! First, brew a pot of strong rose hip tea (packed with vitamin C). Then pour the tea  into an ice tray and let it freeze. When your skin needs some refreshing,  just wrap one of the cubes in a handkerchief (or a tissue will do) and massage it over your face to release nutrients that will perk up skin while countering puffiness.

 

MORE INFORMATION ON ROSEHIP TEA

One With Nature

I tried a One with Nature bar soap for the first time last night and my only disappointment is that I didn’t start using this soap sooner. I really think it has the creamiest lather I’ve ever experienced! Since One With Nature makes their bars twice the size of most glycerin soaps, you can enjoy this all natural 100% vegetable-based soap even longer than usual! With scent selections like Orange Blossom or Lemon Verbena and ingredients like shea butter, dead sea salt, and vitamin E, these chunky bars of shower goodness are perfectly refreshing and therapeutic for the summer months (as well as year-round).

 

An added bonus to using this soap is knowing that One With Nature is currently partnering with Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME)– a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the Dead Sea. One With Nature donates a portion of their profits to FoEME to help fund research and awareness of  the Dead Sea. I also enjoy the fact that One With Nature never tests fragrances, colors and ingredients on animals.

 

One With Nature Bar Soaps retail for $3.79 (a great deal for the size and quality)! The soaps can be found in over 1,500 natural foods, specialty and grocery stores nationwide or at onewithnature.com.

Photo Credit: One With Nature

Photo Credit: One With Nature

Sydney Hale

Sydney Hale was born from a woman’s passionate hobby and dedication to nature-inspried, high-quality home and bath products. I recently discovered this very impressive, handmade line of home and beauty products while browsing an outdoor market in Northern Virginia. The packaging looks like the products are straight out of a high-end boutique, and the smells and quality match that impression 100%! The prices are absolutely excellent for the quality of the products.

 

The creator formulates her skin care using organic and wild harvested ingredients whenever possible.  I am also happy to say that the products are all free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, parabens and phthalates. The lotions are so rich and nourishing without being greasy or overwhelming. Now for the home…With scent combinations like sweet orange, clove, ylang ylang and ginger, the hand poured candles smell absolutely divine!  I really can’t wait wait to try more luxurious Sydney Hale products (like the body washes and lip balms)!

Valencia Gift Set

Photo Credit: Sydney Hale

To learn more/to purchase some Sydney Hale products: www.sydneyhaleboutique.com (Take a look today because there are currently sales being offered on the already reasonably priced products!)

Pinot Noir in your glass And your bath!

The next time you have some red wine you aren’t so crazy about or you let it sit around just a little too long, well here is your solution: put it in your bath! Not only will it make your bath seem more luxurious, it will also help soften your skin. About a glass (or 3/4 cup - 1 cup) of any red wine added to bath water should do the trick. The resveratrol in red wine is known for making skin firmer and improving elasticity. So if you’re pouring yourself a nice glass of red wine before you take a bath, don’t forget to pour some in the tub!

Less or no chemicals in the pool this summer…

If you’re interested in using less chemicals in your pool or if you’re trying to go chemical-free all together then here are some companies and products I came across that should be helpful!

 

ZODIAC POOL CARE’S NATURE2 – uses mineral technology to sanitize pool and spa water without heavy doses of chlorine. 

 

ECOSMARTE – look here for non-salt, non-chlorine, chemical-free pool water technology.

Eco-friendly Dishwashing Detergents

Here are some automatic dishwashing detergents that clean without the use of bleach and phosphates:

  • Seventh Generation - retails for about $5.99 for a 45 oz box.
  • Mrs. Meyers - around $7.99 for a 48 oz bottle.
  • Method - about $6.50 for a bag of 20 detergent tabs (cleans 20 loads of dishes).
Photo Credit: mrsmeyers.com

Photo Credit: mrsmeyers.com

Nature’s Neosporin

Looking for an all natural product that is ideal for insect bites, rashes, scrapes, and cuts?

Skinbiotics Treatment Oil by derma e® is the perfect addition to your medicine cabine. This potent mixture consists of two of nature’s greatest germ fighthers: tea tree oil and oregano oil. Tea tree oil and oregano oil are naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic. These powerful oils have been proven effective in aiding the combat of organisms such as Staphylococcus and E Coli. 

 

Photo Credit: derma e®

Photo Credit: derma e®

 

Skinbiotics Treatment Oil not only kills germs, but also naturally stimulates healing of the skin. This is a great product to add to your home or first aid kit, especially during the summer months!

Spinach & Beet’s Cousin – Swiss Chard

Nutrition Information for Swiss chard (1 cup cooked):

  • Fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Magnesium: 150 mg
  • Vitamin C: 31.5 mg
  • Vitamin E: 3.31 mg
  • Vitamin K: 572.8 mcg

In addition, Swiss chard contains beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help maintain eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts. Chard also contains B6 and potassium, which may reduce the risk of heat disease and high blood pressure.

You can find three types of chard in stores and farmers’ markets: Rainbow (colorful stalks), Fordhook Giant (crinkly leaves and thick, white stalks), and Ruby Red/Rhubarb (thin, red stalks and slightly stronger taste).

Both the leaves and stalks of chard are edible. Personally, I love swiss chard sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic with a dash of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. It’s so delicious (and healthy)!

Something to help you stop killing those nice plants!

For novice gardeners and/or hard-to-grow plants, here’s a really useful tool I came across: EASYBLOOM. This sensor will actually tell you if something you are growing needs more water or light (how cool is that!).  Between the sensor itself and the EasyBloom website, you can figure out key information like where a plant would grow best in your yard or  diagnose a plant’s ailment so you can try to bring it back to life! This is definitely a perfect gift for anyone who likes plants and/or gardening.

Photo Credit: EasyBloom.com

Photo Credit: EasyBloom.com

Wrinkles? Stop worrying…

No Worries face cream for sensitive skin by Garden Girl Skin Care has no scent, a great consistency, and is quickly, well-absorbed by the skin. With aloe, jojoba oil and hylauronic acid, this cream richly moisturizes skin to fight lines and wrinkles without clogging or irritating your complexion. Once you have purchased your first jar of cream, you can order an eco-friendly refill (which has minimal packaging) so you can refill your original jar yourself! 

Photo Credit: Garden Girl Skin Care

Photo Credit: Garden Girl Skin Care