Tag Archives: organic
Writing a blog has some fun perks.
Once in a while, I make a few dollars, and every so often, I get a free product to try out. That’s fun. But, the true treasures are found when I happen upon a new friend–a fellow conscientious greenie. No matter what your priorities are, life can get a little lonely when you don’t know many people who share them, so finding like-minded friends…well, it’s a gift.
So, when Jameson Morris contacted me to try out his new offering, the Conscious Box, I jumped at the chance. It was apparent to me right from the get-go that Jameson is 100% dedicated to introducing his customers to the best in eco-friendly, conscientiously and sustainably produced products. There’s no greenwashing here…the concept behind the Conscious Box is from the heart.
What is the Conscious Box?
“Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care for the planet.” These products are carefully vetted by the folks at Conscious Box, and meet their strict criteria. A pretty, seasonally decorated box arrives at your doorstep, complete with an inspirational, heartfelt message and filled with sample sizes of pure and natural products from ethical businesses you can trust.
Sounds like a fun thing to find in the mail, huh?
I received the November and December boxes to review. Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first. Samples sizes don’t excite me all that much. I guess I just feel like you don’t get much of a chance to really try a product from a tiny sample. Well, when the boxes arrived, I found that these were no tiny samples. Many of the products seemed nearly full size, and the ones that weren’t were still generous enough to really give them a good try.
Here’s the November box:
I couldn’t possibly provide a thorough review of all the products I received – there were too many of them! But I can tell you that there were several that I already purchased faithfully, and a few that have become new favorites.
Good Earth lollipops, Honest Kids organic juice pouches, Kind fruit and nut bars, Eat Cleaner wipes, Justin’s nut butter – they were all staples in our home already, and I was happy to see them among my Conscious Box loot. (A huge sign that Jameson and I are most definitely on the same page.)
Several new products that piqued my interest, and then FAR surpassed my expectations, include BerryPlus laundry soap (made from soapberries!) and EarthFriendly Products cinnamon-scented room freshener spray. Love, love, love…LOVE!! Scented products are one thing that many toxin-conscious folks miss, and I was thrilled to be able to spray and scent my living room (and cinnamon is my #1 favorite scent!) SCORE! These two will definitely be joining my regular arsenal of household products.
I saw a few differences in the 2 boxes I received, and they told me a lot. The November box was great, but the December box was even better. More products, bigger samples, coupons…that tells me that the folks at Conscious Box are working hard to find more and more companies to share with their subscribers, and they are succeeding. This is a company focused on growth, so, in my opinion, this is the time to subscribe. I would bet that these monthly deliveries are only going to get better and better!
Get your Conscious Box!
Gift yourself or a greenie friend with the gift of sustainable surprises each month! Visit Conscious Box to subscribe now, and be sure to like them on Facebook where you just might find fun opportunities to get extra goodies added to your next box just by leaving a comment or sharing ideas on how to reuse the delivery box.
Jameson has generously offered one lucky ABCs and Garden Peas reader their own December Conscious Box! (Trust me…you will LOVE it!)
Enter using the easy Rafflecopter form below.
The only mandatory entry is the first one on the form – Visit ConsciousBox.com and let me know what you’d like to find in a future delivery!
You come home from a long, tiring day at work, not feeling well and desperate for sleep. You have to cook dinner, get your toddler bathed and tucked into bed, and get everything ready for the next early morning. Then you remember with horror: you signed up to bring muffins to school tomorrow.
It happened to me, the night before my son’s first Halloween party. Why, oh why, didn’t I just sign up to bring juice boxes!? (This is my first child, so I’m still learning…)
I knew they had to be pumpkin, and they had to be cute. So I sat down to do some quick Googling and find something I could pull off by morning. That’s when I found it: the 2-ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe (visit Sweet Verbena for the post I found.)
Is it possible that I’m the last person in the world to know about this fabulous recipe? If so, color me humbled. If not, I hope you love it as much as I do!
Here’s what you do:
2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 cake mix (white, yellow, spice or carrot)
- 1 15-oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix both ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended (batter will be thick).
Line muffin pan with paper liners; fill liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20–25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins.
That’s right – no eggs, no oil, nothing. You don’t add anything to the mix but the pumpkin. It’s ingenious, and it’s delicious. The perfect cross between a moist, dense muffin and a yummy cupcake – and you’ll still get to bed on time.
I knew I had to decorate these, and lately I’ve struggled with how to make things fun for kids without using tons of awful, yucky dyes. I’ve come up with a solution that seems like a good compromise to me (at least until I find affordable, natural dyes that actually work.)
I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese icing with real ingredients (butter, 10x sugar, almond milk, cream cheese and pure vanilla.) I piped a small rosette on the top of each cupcake, then topped each with a mini Nutter Butter/Hershey’s Kiss acorn. (Thanks to the hubby for running to the store!) …and voila! A perfect little fall accent that can be eaten or popped off, depending on dietary preferences.
They received a resounding thumbs up from my coworkers (who affectionately nicknamed them “muffcakes” and the kids at school loved them. The director even texted me for the recipe! Now I just have to decide if I really want her to know how easy they were…
A few side notes:
- This recipe is a great way to add a healthy dose of nutrient-rich pumpkin to a fun treat, AND it’s easy enough that your toddler can help with the mixing!
- Depending on the price of the cake mix and pumpkin you find, these cupcakes are very affordable. (Mine were organic and worked out to .16 each before decorating.)
- It’s the perfect time of year to cook up some fresh pumpkin to store in the freezer. Just premeasure into 15 oz containers, and you’ll have a nice stash to whip up easy muffins all year long. (This is our plan, since we try to avoid cans whenever possible.)
- This also works with chocolate cake mix, although I haven’t tried that one yet. I hear it’s heavenly, though!
- These are especially good for folks like me, who use few eggs and little dairy and often don’t have them on hand.
- If you prefer to use an organic cake mix, you may have trouble finding a spice-flavored variety. If you choose to use white or yellow, add 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice so you don’t miss out on that yummy, spicy pumpkin flavor.
Have you ever made 2-ingredient muffins?
I think I might have superpowers, and you can have them, too!
Let me explain…
Eating healthy with NO fridge for 5 whole weeks? Nearly impossible! But now that the new fridge is in the hizzy, I finally feel like myself again! I went out and stocked up on tons of fresh fruits and veggies, but I think I may have gone a little overboard. So what to do with all the extras? Juice them! And since I have been feeling a little sluggish and tired lately, I thought I’d take a chance on a product designed to provide a boost of vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients and essential Omega 3 fatty acids from cold-milled Golden Flax. (Phew! That’s a mouthful!)
Antioxidant Natural Greens from Tropical Traditions is a premium dietary supplement, featuring 3 different blends in one delicious and nutritious berry-flavored powder:
- Quality Fiber Blend
- Delicious Greens Blend
- Organic Vegetable Blend
Now I’m definitely not an advocate of juicing or supplementing instead of eating a healthy diet. But since my diet contains lots of whole foods already, I thought it couldn’t hurt to add a little punch to my morning juice or smoothie, especially since it’s so easy to do. Just add a scoop of powder, and blend it in. It mixes easily, with no weird, powdery taste. And no artificial ingredients – because I have a strict no-tolerance policy for junky stuff in my health food, natch.
So, how do I feel? I feel good! Ok, so maybe not exactly like a superhero, but pretty darn good. A litle more alert, a little less pooped. Sure, that could be just because I’ve been making an effort to do something good and healthy for my body. That tends to make me feel better all on it’s own. And I’d hate to make any kind of health claim, because, well, we’re all different. But what I can tell you is that the pleasant berry flavor of TT Greens Supplement makes it truly easy to get used to, and it doesn’t ruin the lovely juices and super yummy smoothies I put it in.
And that’s KEY to a product like this because, as I’m sure you can guess, in order to reap the benefits, you have to be able to actually get the stuff down the hatch.
So, with Tropical Traditions, drinking green is easy! Score! Now, to figure out whether I can add my Floradix into my juice, too. (That really might catapult me into superhero status, and frankly, I’m not sure I am ready for that kind of pressure.)
Want to try Tropical Traditions Antioxidant Natural Greens?
Enter to win it!
**This giveaway is closed. Congrats to Gaby, with comment #6!**
Mandatory Entry: Tell me your favorite green vegetable. (That’s it! Easy as asparagus!) Leave your answer in a comment below, and please be sure to leave me your email address in EACH comment.
Optional entries (one entry each):
- Follow ABCs and Garden Peas via GFC, and leave a comment below letting me know your GFC name.
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- Like Tropical Traditions on Facebook, and leave a comment below with your Facebook name.
- Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me one other product you’d like to try in a comment below.
- Leave a comment on one of my other non-giveaway posts, and leave a comment below letting me know which post.
- Tweet about this giveaway using the share button below (tweet must contain a link to this post), and leave a comment below with a link to your unique tweet. (May be done once daily.)
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The entry period for this giveaway is open until Nov. 10th, 2011 at 8pm. A winner will be chosen on or around that time via Random.org, and notified via email. Winner must confirm win with an email response within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Residents of US only, please. I received a product sample for review purposes, but all thoughts expressed are my own, honest opinions based on my personal experience with the product.
We just finished our third week of daycare, and things are swimming right along beautifully!
(Can you tell we’ve been watching a lot of Nemo lately?)
I expect that there will still be bumps in the road, and yes, there is a lot of crying in the morning during the dropoff. But – and this is pretty dang amazing, if you ask me – the director of the daycare has been sending me a text message when little man settles down (which is usually about 5 minutes after I leave) and she’s even been sending me photos on my phone! I’ve been able to steal of glimpse of art projects, snack breaks, and big smiles throughout the day, and it’s made SUCH a difference in my adjustment (it’s harder for us than it is for them, right?)
For this mama who works 60 miles away from that daycare, a photo to calm my nerves midday is absolutely priceless!
But then, on Friday, I got a different kind of text message. It struck fear into my very soul.
“Project today is decorating cupcakes. We’re going to eat them at lunch. Wanted to check with you to see if its OK. We can take him into another room if you want.”
Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdear. What do I DO!?
Well, I say NO of course! I tell her to take my son as far away from those evil things as she can. Wrap him up in bubble wrap and don’t even let him hear you say “cupcake”!
Yeah, right. If only. (I did NOT tell her that.) I chilled out for a moment, and thought about it, and ran it by my coworkers (One of whom called me a food freak and mocked over the cubicle wall in his best teacher voice “Oh no, little man, you go into the closet by yourself and play with a carrot.” Haha. )
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I go to pretty good lengths to make sure my family eats the most natural diet possible. We fall off the wagon once in a while, but when it comes to my son, I’m pretty vigilant. He gets his fair share of treats, but they’re always healthy, “real food” ones, and he really hasn’t had any cake other than on his first birthday, 11 months ago.
But it’s not the cupcake itself I have an issue with. Really. As I’ve explained to my mom a bunch of times – he can have cupcakes. And cookies. And ice cream. And all the good stuff that I sure as heck grew up with and loved. He just gets pure, natural versions of them.
THIS is my real fear:
I’ll admit: Cupcakes are happy food. Ingredients ending in “5 & 6″ are not.
And even though I knew (as my coworkers dutifully pointed out) that one cupcake never hurt anyone, there was one thought I just couldn’t escape: If you say you believe in something to your very core, what does it say about you if you buckle when that belief is challenged? Who are you, really, if you let that happen?
Can you guess what I did? Cupcake or no cupcake?
What would you do?