Love Your Planet Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love Your Planet Earth Day Giveaway is here! We want families to make an effort to be a little greener ñ every little bit helps and we can all make a difference. We have several amazing eco-friendly and organic brands coming together to give you a chance to win unique, innovative organic and green gifts for baby, kids and even mom! ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive ALL PRIZES! Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive something special after the giveaway as a thank you. Giveaway will run from April 16th through April 30th. Entering is easy and can be done below via our Rafflecopter below the prizes listed on this pageÖthe more points you earn the better chance you have to win!

Please share with friends and family and good luck!

Scroll below the entry form to get more info on our wonderful sponsors and prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsors:

 

 

Prizes:

So what are the AMAZING prizes? Here are the Participating Brands (Giveaway Open to U.S. Residents Only):

San Diego Bebe

sandiegobebe

The mom-invented, eco-friendly nursing pillow that offers support, comfort, and discretion for mom and baby. For nearly 20 years we have been providing moms with the best Eco-Nursing pillows that allows a mother to comfortably nurse her baby in private while being the safest choice for the environment and safe for babies.

www.doubleblessings.com

Kanga Care

Rumparooz Cloth Diapers contain multiple design elements that hold US Patent Applications. Dual inner gusset technology, and other features, are an exclusive patent pending feature of Kanga Care brand products. Kanga Care was born 8 years ago when Julie, our owner, found a need for a better cloth diaper after her second daughter was born with a sensitivity to disposable diapers. With years of sewing skills behind her, Julie created the Rumparooz with the patented dual inner gusset. Julie spent the first few years sewing diapers at her kitchen table, but soon demand became too much, and she found our amazing manufacturer where Rumparooz and all our Kanga Care products are made today.

http://www.kanga-care.com

ZizzyBee Bags

eco friendly storage bags travel bags

ZizzyBee Bags are handy, compact, reusable, washable storage bags convenient for every part of your life. The neat freak in your family will love that they help you store and organize just about anything! From diapers/wipes, make-up and sports gear, to even purse clutter these trendy bags makes organization easy and theyíre see-through so you can easily find what youíre looking for.

Reduce single-use bag waste while keeping lifeís clutter cleaned up. With two eco-friendly bag sizes to choose from, ZizzyBee Bags are a perfect fit for storage and organizational needs.

www.zizzybeebags.com

Blue Star Bazaar

Blue Star Bazaar offers unique gifts for women and children. For those looking for unique products, Blue Star Bazaar offers a range of merchandise that meets the tough standards of quality, individuality, style, and value. Product categories include apparel for women and children, jewelry, scarves, handbags, heirloom quality toys, and childrenís books. Find the perfect gift at Blue Star Bazaar, founded by Megan LaBant Abrahamsen. Chalkboard mat lets kids doodle away, erase, and repeat. Great for use at home, on road trips, or restaurants. Mat contains pocket with chalk included.

http://www.bluestarbazaar.com

Woombie Ultra Air Sleeper

The new Woombie Ultra Air Sleeper was invented by a mom of five, 19-year RN, and Infant Care Specialist. Made of 100% Organic Cotton, these sleepers are ultra breathable and come in 3 sizes, 2 Styles, and 15 great colors for boys and girls. Hat is included. Over a half a million babies and counting have used the Woombie and parents swear by it!

www.woombie.com

Piggy Paint

Piggy Paint is a natural, eco-friendly nail polish designed for fancy girls. Its non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula makes it safe to use on all piggies. Piggy Paint dries to a hard, durable finish that can easily be removed with our eco-friendly, low odor Piggy Paint nail polish remover. Both are made in the USA! Available in an assortment of gift sets perfect for Holidays and other special occasions. Say good-bye to harsh, smelly chemicals and hello to Piggy Paint…it’s as Natural as MudÆ! Piggy Paint Birthday Bash Gift Set is our best selling set. It includes shades Jazz it Up, Sea-quin, and Groovy Grape (value $24.99)!

http://www.piggypaint.com/

Wee Urban

Set the trend this season with Wee Urbanís The Owl Dress. Created for the confident little girl that embraces clean, simple lines, rich bold color and luxuriously soft bamboo/cotton fabric, this dress takes her to the spa or the park. A touch of spandex for comfort and stretch ensures a superior look and fit. Layer over with a cute cardigan, funky leggings or even jeans as this dress has it all.

http://weeurban.com

SoYoung Inc.

SoYoung offers a line of highly functional products designed in Canada, with great urban appeal for the modern family, including diaper bags, backpacks, lunch boxes, cooler bags and accessories. SoYoung strives to add beauty and fun to the everyday moments of life with children.

http://www.soyoung.ca/

Rockin’ Green

green laundry detergent

Rockiní Green is made for families that care about taking care of themselves and the Earth. We can all do our part for the environment while doing something good for ourselves. Rockiní Green products are made with a biodegradable plant-based and petroleum-free surfactant. They are septic and grey-water safe. They are never tested on animals.

www.rockingreensoap.com

Refresh-a-Baby

A Diaper Bag Necessity! Refresh-a-Baby turns ordinary water bottles into baby bottles keeping baby happy anywhere, anytime making feeding time easy for moms and dads! Simply pop the leak free Refresh-a-Baby on a water bottle of your choice, just add baby formula, and baby is ready to be hydrated.

*Fits on leading ìready-madeî formula/juice bottles *Made right here in the United States/BPA Free *Itís universal, reusable, convenient for travel, dishwasher safe, with virtually no clean up! *Refresh*Reuse*Recycle!

www.refreshababy.com

Organic Baby Elephant Ears

baby-elephant-ears

Support your baby in Style with Baby Elephant Ears. A multi-use head support pillow that can go wherever baby goes: stroller, bouncy, swing and carseat. It is offered with a coordinating blanket backed in luxurious cuddle fabric.

www.babyelephantears.com

Southern Yankee

Southern Yankee is a line of children’s clothing and gifts all handmade in Wilton CT, using vintage linens and up cycled fabrics.

For your future chef or artist, child-size aprons made from vintage pillowcases trimmed in bright colors! Each one come packaged in a cute, reusable container which can be used to hold all sorts of treasures! Please remember that vintage & vintage items are not mint, nor are they perfect, but they sure are full of old history and charm.

http://www.southernyankee.com

GladRags

Inspired by the simple utility, earth-friendliness, and comfort of cloth diapers, GladRags was founded in 1993 in Portland, Oregon. It began as a home-based business that quickly outgrew the extra bedroom and moved to its own building. Today, GladRags is still a small company but with a big presence, promoting positive attitudes toward menstruation and making the environment a safer, cleaner place. GladRags can be found in health food stores and natural pharmacies nationwide.

http://www.gladrags.com

Mod’Swad

mod-swad
Karen Barski, mom of five, 19 year RN and creator of the Woombie baby swaddle, is now offering a line of ecoífriendly baby swaddles called ModíSwad. ModíSwad is an upscale, ecoífriendly and functional baby swaddle made from beautiful organic fabrics including heathered bamboo, Muslin, Cotton and 100% Australian Merino Wool. Also, the new baby swaddle design has a fashionable knot to customize length as baby grows.

www.woombie.com/MOD_4_cat.html

Spray Pal

Spray Pal was invented by a cloth diapering mom and dad when they started their oldest on solids and couldn’t get their diaper sprayer to work without making a big mess all over the rest of their bathroom. So they created the prototype, applied for a patent, and started making cloth diapering easier for everyone! Less than a year later, their son was born 3.5 months prematurely. Now all proceeds from their sales go toward his medical expenses and will hopefully allow these parents to stop teaching and work from home to be able to care for both of their kids and keep up with his appointments and therapies. You can follow their story on Facebook, Twitter (@spray_pal) and Instagram (@spraypal).

http://spray-pal.com

spbang

spbang reusable snack bags are created by a mom inventor who has a job in the automotive industry. She was tired of throwing out plastic bags and could never get the reusable fabric snack bags clean. spbangís unique and environmentally friendly snack bags are crafted with food safe material that contains no lead, no BPA and no phthlates. Made in the USA, the cool pattern and name plate on the back make kids the envy of their friends and classmates! The best part is you can toss them in the dishwasher and they actually come clean. No after smell from yesterday’s lunch or washing in the laundry!

http://www.spbang.com

Jaq Jaq Bird

Jaq Jaq Bird baby and kids accessories represents sensible style, self-expression, and a love for the natural world, all with a playful and natural elegance that appeals to both children and adults. Whether mom is feeding her baby, keeping big sister occupied, packing big brother’s lunch, or most likely, all of these things at once, our products make even the most mundane activities a little easier, a little smarter, and a little more fun. It’s about making a statement.

http://www.jaqjaqbird.com

Rock-a-Thigh Baby

Ask any parent and chances are theyíre frustrated by chilled ankles from hiked up pants legs and baby socks that donít stay on. As a Wisconsin mom of four young daughters, I developed a solution called Rock-a-Thighs. These are Made in USA, eco-friendly, thigh-length socks — sort of like legwarmers with feet. Chilled little legs, a pair of yarn tight, a pair of scissors, and two rubber bands, were my ìah-haî moment. Made in USA, eco-friendly, children’s thigh-length socks (like legwarmers with feet). These are “THE baby socks that stay on!” Available in six sizes ranging from 0-6m up to 6-8yrs.

http://www.RTBsocks.com

Zippyz by Little Trendyz

Zippyz are footed pajamas with a patented design that makes diaper changes easier while keeping babies covered and warm during the process. Zippyz are made of a blend of organic and cotton which is extremely soft and eco-friendly! ZippyzÆ (shopzippyz.com) was created by mom, Lisa Youngelson, who like most new parents, had been up night after night changing her newborn sonís diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her babyís pajamas.

Frustrated by endless missnapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her sonís pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of the freezing cold air. After endless research, Lisa realized there was nothing on the market that could be the solution to her problem. So, that night while feeding her son she thought of ìZippyzî.

http://shopzippyz.com

Hello Beach (Hello Homegrown)

Strain, no grain, fresh from the garden produce bag. Reap. Rinse. Reuse. Hello Homegrown. A product with purpose, hand sewn locally in Wilkes-Barre, PA. What makes our eco earth friendly chic bags different? Benefits of using our garden/market bag over single use plastic product bags or other similar products: “Reusable” doesn’t mean “self-cleaning.” Our bags can be rinsed directly under the faucet, or in a washing machine. Cleaned with hot soapy water and dried completely. Research showed, machine washing or hand washing reduces bacteria levels to almost nothing. Here’s to planting, plowing and tilling and no more guessing what’s in your bag and eww, no more germs making you sick.

http://www.hello-beach.com

5 Phases

5 Phases is the first bottle feeding system to introduce an interchangeable glass insert. Our unique design kept the Eco-mom in mind providing the healthful benefits of glass + the protection of BPA free plastic all while reducing the carbon footprint on the environment! Our ìgrow with meî feeding system truly makes our bottles the most eco-friendly bottle feeding system out there!

http://www.5phases.com

Babee Talk

Babee Talk offers organic and eco-friendly baby bedding and plush toys with healthy, safety and style in mind. Drool-friendly and chew-friendly, our products help to ensure a healthy start in life for your baby.

Babies love the cushy, coziness of our Eco-Budsô Take-Along Pals. Earth friendly, parent approved. These portable little playmates attach to strollers, carseats, high chairs and more quickly and easily. No Hassle. No Fuss. And he promises never to turn into a butterfly. All of our Eco-Budsô Take-Along Pals are made using organic cotton fabric, inside & out. Delightfully entrancing colors are achieved using only low-impact dyes with absolutely no heavy metals. Soothing sounds engage babies and hold their attention. These little companions are hypoallergenic, non-toxic and phthalate-free.

http://www.babeetalk.com

Carseat Sidekick

The Carseat Sidekickôis designed to attach to the carseat and hold the straps out of the way while you place your baby into the carseat. No more waking your sleeping baby just because it’s time to get into the carseat! The Carseat Sidekickô was an invention of necessity. While taking our first child home from the hospital and laying him in his car seat, we realized there was no way to easily get the car seat straps out from underneath him, without waking him up and making him cry. Thus was born, the Carseat Sidekickô. The Carseat Sidekickô is not only extremely functional, it’s also chic and attractive in design with a variety of colors to match your carseat. It is compatible with all major carseat brands. This brand donates 10¢ of every Carseat Sidekickô order to Living Water International, an organization that helps provide clean drinking water to those that would suffer without it.

http://www.shortstackjack.com/

Giveaway Sponsors:

New Jersey Suburban Parent represents a group of 3 parenting newspapers
we have a controlled circulation covering Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer & Somerset counties
the target market is the parent age 25-45, reached via their children’s activities, schools, medical and retail

http://www.njcoups.com

VentureMom
VentureMom.com is a web site to help you create your own job, become an entrepreneur, and get paid. See what other moms have created and learn how to start your own venture. Get ideas and inspiration every day from the site. If you have a venture, list it free in the VentureMom Directory.

http://venturemom.com

Ahh~Mazing Reviews

Ahh~Mazing Reviews is run by a group of moms with children of all ages, from newborn to teenagers. We provide our readers with honest reviews of all kinds of products, including baby products, childrenís products, cool stuff for teenagers and Mom and Dad, electronics, gadgets, kitchen accessories and appliances, jewelry, gourmet food, restaurants, music, movies, and much more!

www.ahhmazingreviews.com

As a mother of two, Julie found she was continuously retrieving dropped pacifiers, because even though they spit them out, they still want them immediately! She called it “the pacifier game,” and, at times, it was difficult to play. One day, she thought, ‘I wish somebody would invent a …’ A what? What could make it so babies can keep up with their pacifiers? Several designs later, the PullyPalz were born… The first ever pacifier toy that – with the help of baby’s interaction – keeps pacis coming back!

Her goal is to offer unique products that make life and parenthood just a little easier, and ultimately more enjoyable. Compatible products (teethers and toys) will be coming to market soon. Julie also offers product development and consultation services for other aspiring entrepreneurs.

www.pullypalz.com

Jennifer Jacobellis started Baby J when her son was just a few months old. She ventured out to mommy and me classes and play groups, armed with just a blanket for him to lie on. After class, she would fold up her blanket and stick it in the diaper bag, knowing that when she got home it would have to go straight into the laundry basket. There had to be a better way!

One day she decided it was time to solve this problem. She ran to the fabric store and began tinkering. She designed this play mat with her germ-a-phobe tendencies in mind, as well as being soft, baby friendly, and chic. The Baby J padded play mat was born!

www.babyj.com

Owner and Hales Corners, WI, mommy of two Kelley Legler hand-makes all baby Jack blankets and puts a lot of love and time into these creations. This business started out as a hobby after Kelley saw how much her son loved to play with ribbons but did not enjoy seeing his fingers intertwined in the loops. After careful consideration, her mother-in-law, Nancy, and Kelley started sewing ribbons shut into tabs, leaving only one ribbon open as a “link loop” to attach a pacifier clip or toy (toy link included!). These custom ribbon-tab blankets are perfect for baby showers & gifts!

http://www.babyjackblankets.com

Oh My Goodies does product reviews to feature on gift guides! That way we can help readers with a guide line and ideas of what we like best! We love to help with giveaways and host giveaways as well!

http://www.ohmygoodiesfreebies.com/

Mommy blogger, recipes, reviews, Disney, parenting/kids, life

http://jennunplugged.com

I am an everyday mommy trying to blog my way through. Sharing my Crafty side of life, with a little bit of Spice. Parenting, educational tips, recipes, reviews and giveaways. Family always comes first.

http://www.craftyspices.com

Resources, reviews and entertainment recommendations for growing families.

http://happyhealthyhip.com/blog

Momís Blog is PR friendly and owned and published by Stefani Tolson that was originally started in 2004 as a way to create posts about my children, like a baby book. My passion for writing turned Momís Blog into more than just a way to share stuff about my family. Today, Momís Blog now includes variety of topics including:product reviews, giveaways, recipes, blogger events, travel and entertainment reviews and more.

http://www.mommyenterprises.com

Welcome to Sweetly Made (Just for you) where you will find organizational tips, business reviews, giveaways, personalized Christmas stockings and more. I’m Emilee and currently live in Sandy, UT. I have been knitting since 2005 thanks to my sweet and patient Grandma. I love the creative art and look forward to sweetly knitting just for you.

http://emileeschristmasjoy.blogspot.com/

Brittlebyís Corner is a blog devoted to organic living. My blog features reviews and giveaways and I enjoy sharing about products and companies that promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. I especially love when companies use sustainable resources and make their products in the USA. My goal is to show people that life can be simple and organic.

http://brittlebyscorner.com/

Hi and welcome to my blog! I started this blog when I started seeing the potential to help other moms and dads with saving money on the things they needed and wanted. I began seeing posts on facebook for product reviews and for links to free items and thought I would love to do that! If I could just help one family in this economy I would be happy. So that is how Five Lil Bass In Tow started. Why that name, you might ask? Well my sister actually came up with it. We have 5 children ranging from 5-16 and our last name is Bass. (now in the process of adopting a little girl we have had for a year and half) People would stare at us when we “towed” all the kids to restraunts and stores. AnywayÖ..my goal is just to bring you the savings, and the product reviews so you can shop wisely, and maybe you can make some friends along the way!

http://ltsteelswife.blogspot.com/

Family Friendly & PR Friendly Blog. I write about content that is about reviews, giveaways, recipes, crafts, family friendly attractions & events.

http://www.mommalewsblog.blogspot.com

At Life of a Southern Mom Iíll share with you anything mommy related, product reviews, giveaways, recipes and much more.

http://lifeofasouthernmom.com

I post about a wide variety of thingsÖgiveaways, reviews, health, pets, etcÖ

http://www.missirosesviews.com

Personal blog confessing all the ways I save and earn for my family.

http://confessionsofafrugalmind.blogspot.com/

Cake Mom is a product review and giveaway blog that also focuses on baking and cooking.

http://jamielz.blogspot.com

Coupon Friendly is a family-friendly website, striving to help save people money by sharing great deals, printable coupons and freebies along with samples by mail and product reviews. We understand life is hectic, so we also work hard to save you time so you have more opened windows of opportunities to relax and do things that YOU want to do. We save you money with a smile! We LOVE working with family-friendly companies! If you have an awesome deal going on, contact us so that we can share it. We also promote giveaways, so let us know if youíre having one, so that we can help you out! Have a product you would like reviewed? Weíd be more than happy to work with you on it. Let Coupon Friendly assist you!

http://couponfriendly.com

We’ve been working with Brands, on a large and small scale. We love bringing our readers a little bit of everything including recipes, DIY projects, Green Living and more.
A little bit about Mom Blog Society. Mom Blog Society has a huge social media following with a social media following of nearly 195,000. We also have over 40,000 email subscribers. We have a rank of 23,000 in the world according to Alexa.com.

http://momblogsociety.com

reviews, samples, freebies, online deals, sweeps, giveaways, coupons, etc..

http://fabulousdealsandsteals.com/

I offer my fans in depth family friendly reviews, as well as giveaways, savings, parenting & pregnancy advice.

http://missfrugalmommy.com/

ABCD Diaries

Family-friendly product review blog

http://christinbanda.blogspot.com

A great place that has lots of product reviews and giveaways!

http://kswederski.com

Moaxis

Moaxis is dedicated to helping make mobile easier by extending the smartphone features you use the most to your computer, tablet, TV, gaming console, and many more devices to come.

http://www.moaxis.com

Social Media 22 is a family-owned web design, PR and internet marketing firm that helps companies gain online visibility and obtain new business using forward-looking marketing strategies. Known for results as well as fair and reasonable pricing, Social Media 22 helps product and service based companies grow to the next level. They specialize in working with mom business owners in the baby/kids industry.

http://www.socialmedia22.com

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions ñ feel free to send us an email: tasha@sandiegobebe.com. San Diego Bebe is not liable for any of the products given away. The brands may send an email once the giveaway is over with a special offer as a thank you for entering.

Healthy Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry

A dessert to satisfy any sweet tooth. The best fruit tart recipe, appropriate for any occasion, from family gatherings to birthday parties, baby showers.

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Vanilla Pastry Cream:
1 cup Half and Half
3 Large Egg Yokes
1/3 cup Powdered Honey
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon White Spelt Flour or White Flour
Pinch of Sea or Pink Salt
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
In a small sauce pan, gently warm the half and half on medium low heat. You do not want to boil it or bring it to a simmer, just gently warm it until you see steam coming up. While the half and half is warming, start on the rest of the ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, combine your egg yokes, salt, powdered honey, cornstarch and flour. Whisk mixture together until nice and smooth. Once the egg mixture is smooth and creamy and the half and half is warm, carefully pour half of the warm half and half into the bowl with the egg mixture and quickly whisk together. This process helps temper the eggs. Whisk until the mixture is well combined. Next, pour this mixture back into the sauce pan with the rest of the half and half. Place the pan back on the medium low heat and begin whisking to incorporate. Continue whisking the mixture until it become thick and creamy. If the mixture starts to simmer, lift it from the heat and keep whisking. Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken up after a couple of minutes, just keep whisking! It will begin to thicken after about 4 or 5 minutes. Once the cream has thickened, add the butter to the mixture and whisk to combine. Take the cream off the heat and add the vanilla.

At this point, pour the cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer into a clean bowl. If you don’t have one of these, that’s okay since the fruit placed over it will hide any imperfections. But straining ensures that you will have an extra smooth and creamy pastry cream. When all the cream is in the clean bowl, cover it tightly with the plastic wrap (plastic wrap coating the cream) and place in the refrigerator to chill for 3 to 5 hours.

While your cream is chilling, begin on your tart crust dough:

Tart Crust:
1 1/2 cups White Spelt Flour or White Flour
1/4 cup Powdered Honey
Dash of Sea or Pink Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 stick Ice Cold Butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2-3 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water

In a food processor or large bowl, mix together your flour, honey, and salt. Pulse until well combined. Add the vanilla and ice cold butter chunks. Slowly, add the ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If using a food processor, pulse on and off while slowly adding the water. Mix until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with the plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven. Take your tart pan and generouslybutter the bottoms and sides. I used a 10 1/2 inch tart pan, but you can use a little bit small pan if you wish. Remove your dough from the freezer and dump it onto the tart pan. Using the plastic wrap or your bare fingers, mash the dough in to the pan to spread evenly. Press the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick if using a10 inch pan, thicker if you are using a smaller tart pan. Once your dough is spread out and even, gently poke the bottom of it with a fork to prevent rising. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the cover. With a spoon, gently pat down any areas of the crust that may have puffed up. Return to oven and bake for an additional 1 to 2 minutes for a beautifully golden crust. Let the crust sit until completely cooled before assembling the tart.

Next, wash and slice your fresh fruit.
You can use any fruit you’d like, but for best results, use fresh seasonal fruits that have bright colors that will compliment each other. You can use kiwi, strawberries and blueberries like I did or just use your favorites! Some other ideas that would look very pretty are peaches, raspberries and blueberries. I also love the look of all raspberries and blackberries placed in a checkered pattern!

Once your tart crust is cooled, and your cream has been chilling for at least 3 hours, you can begin to assemble your tart. Remove your cream from the fridge and gently spoon it onto the tart crust. Spread the cream evenly and smoothly. Arrange your fruit as desired. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready.

tart fruit close up

 

SOME TIPS FOR MAKING GREAT PASTRY CREAM AND CRUST:

  • When I begin cooking something like cream or eggs on the stove top, I avoid stress or panic by having everything out and ready (including utilizes and appliances). Sometimes it’s crucial, because things need to be added immediately, and other times, it helps me feel in control over what I am doing. This also alleviates any risk of being rushed or forgetting something during any part of the recipe.
  • Take caution to not cook your pastry cream in an aluminum pan. Aluminum can leach both chemicals and color into your cream, giving your cream a grey, muted appearance. Not pretty.
  • Be patient when whisking it to thicken! If it’s not thickening up after 4 or 5 minutes of whisking, your heat could be slightly too low. Turn up your heat a tiny bit and continue whisking. The cream will also set and firm up a tiny bit more once chilled.
  • Always strain your cream when warm. This makes it easy to strain it, but also once the cream is done, it needs to cool in the fridge as soon as you can for best results.
  • Make sure your crust ingredients are cold! I like to cut up my butter before hand and place it in the freezer so that it is truly ice cold. I also put ice cubes in the water that I will be using for the crust. Having really cold ingredients helps me not feel rushed because I know everything won’t become room temperature quickly and my crust will still turn out great.
  • If you want a lighter pastry cream or want it to be less custard like, add 1/2 cup of whipped cream to this recipe for a bit of a different treat!

 

Article from natural sweet recipes

More Natural & Healthy Treat Options

More Natural & Healthy Treat Options – Just in Time for Easter!

With Easter just around the corner, families are stocking up on all kinds of candy and chocolate in preparation for the festivities. In fact, Americans are expected to spend approximately $2.2 billion on Easter candy this year, according to the National Retail Federation. This is clearly a huge market right now, as families hope to fill children’s Easter baskets with a variety of sweets and treats – most of which are often filled with artificial colors and sweeteners. However, we know that many parents are looking for more natural options of candies and sweets that contain less harmful ingredients for the whole family to enjoy.

To help you out, we’ve found ten companies dedicated to providing natural, healthier options for sweets and desserts. With vegan, all natural, organic, and some gluten-free options, the variety offered by these companies will be sure to meet the tastes of family and friends, not just on Easter, but all year round!

1. Strawberry Hill Confectionary

strawberry hill

 

2. Sjaaks Organic Chocolates

Organic_Fair_Trade_Milk_Chocolate_Sitting_Bunny-large

 

3.  Lovely Candy 

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4. Surf Sweets 

gummyworms_sub

5. Chocolate Decadence

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6. Premium Chocolatiers

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 4.57.44 PM

7. Indie Candy

900-2

8. Rose City Chocolatier 

easter-lime-egg-275

9. Rescue Chocolate

rc_mocha_squares_in_tall_tower_small_large

10. Go Naturally 

Go-Naturally-Organic-Gluten-Free-Hard-Candies-Cherry-030568115229

Happy Easter!

GladRags Giveaway

April is know as Earth Month, here at NCW we want to take some time and make resolutions that help make our planet a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place.

As women let’s start this resolution with a healthier, easier and safer period. Safer not only for our body but for mother nature as well.

How can we achieve such a thing? It is very simple

Green your menstrual days with GladRags Cloth Pad Sampler Kit

Did you know?

Disposable menstrual products are bad not only for your body but also for the environment. Most of the feminine hygiene products are harmful, may cause itchiness and irritation due to chemicals and fragrances they contain. Not to mention the bleach enhancements that are carcinogenic. Once disposed all these chemicals leach out into the environment and re-enter the ecosystem, the food and water supply.

This month we’ve teamed up with GladRags and we give you the chance to win a Cloth Pad Sampler Kit

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chinese Herbs- The Evolutionary Solution To Springtime Allergies

Chinese Herbs Offer New, Natural, and Effective Solution to Springtime Allergy Flare-Ups


Thirteen-herb blend Rootology: Breathe Free combats allergy symptoms for free-breathing in 20 minutes for most users, says herbalist Lexi Hagenson

Spring is here, and in many parts of the nation pollen counts are soaring, making life miserable for millions of allergy sufferers.

To combat annoying symptoms like runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes, most allergy sufferers typically reach for the battery of drugs available over-the-counter. But according to a leading herbalist, a new, all-natural formulation based on Chinese Herbology, called Rootology: Breathe Free, can quiet springtime allergy symptoms in a way most Americans have not experienced.

“Rootology is a blend of 13 concentrated herbal extracts that works to immediately support nasal and sinus health against environmental allergens, like pollen, pet dander, dust, mold, chemicals and even wild fire smoke,” says nationally certified herbalist Lexi Hagenson, herbalist for Rootology. “Every one of the 13 herbs has a function, and they’re even more powerful in synergy, working together to support against congestion, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, sinus pressure and headache.”

Hagenson says that Xanthium fruit, one of Rootology’s main components, has been used by Eastern herbalists for thousands of years as an effective natural remedy for opening clogged nasal passages. Angelica root is a well-established remedy for relieving headache and sinus pain, and Ledebouriella root is an age-old treatment for itchy eyes.

“Rootology contains these three proven allergen fighters, plus 10 additional powerful immune-boosting extracts,” says Hagenson.

Hagenson says Rootology begins working in 20 minutes, to restore free breathing and stop itchy eyes and other annoying allergy symptoms. The herbal formulation can be taken as often as needed, and most users report no side-effects.

“After trying Rootology, consumers are starting to give both expected and unexpected feedback via reviews on our website, email, Twitter, and on our Facebook page,” says Rootology founder Simar Singh.

Singh says they heard from a personal fitness trainer who used Rootology as a performance enhancer, because, it opened up his air passages and enhanced his breathing and oxygen intake. The trainer said, he now recommends the product to all his fitness clients.

“We have quite a few people telling us they use Rootology when traveling, or when allergies or sinuses flare up in a new locale,” says Singh. ”You never know what’s going to hit you when you travel to someplace new, so it’s always smart to keep some Rootology in your flight bag. Why let a little pollen, smog, or smoke from distant wild-fires ruin your business trip or vacation?”

Parents are advised to consult with a physician before giving Rootology to children under 12 years old.

ABOUT LEXI HAGENSON

Lexi Hagenson is a Nationally Certified Herbalist, Holistic Nutritional Counselor, and Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in Chicago, Illinois. She worked to perfect the formula that is Rootology.

ABOUT SIMAR SINGH

Simar Singh is the Founder and CEO of Rootology. Introduced to ancient Chinese herbal formulations by his father, he’d been benefitting for years before realizing that all Americans should also benefit, founding Rootology to ensure just that.

ABOUT ROOTOLOGY

More information, including location of retail stores where Rootology can be purchased, can be found at www.rootologyhealth.com.

CanvasPop – Personalized Art for the Modern Home

Some of you may have encountered a snag when it comes to decorating your modern home with framed pictures of family, friends, and your favorite places. The struggle is figuring out how to fill your home with these beautiful memories without sacrificing the contemporary style and decor you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Sometimes the traditional clutter of bulky picture frames just doesn’t flow with the sleek style of today’s modern decor. Luckily, we have found a solution.

CanvasPop (www.canvaspop.com) takes your photographs of all your most treasured memories and transforms them into high-resolution, high-quality, canvas artwork of any size.  Whether it be a landscape of your favorite vacation spot, a collection of family portraits, or your own photography, CanvasPop offers an affordable way to make it the new focus point of any room in your home. You choose the style, size, or optional filters to ensure that it will fit in seamlessly with your style and taste.

This company is so dedicated to customer satisfaction that they even offer a 100% Love Guarantee – either you love it or they’ll make it right! They print your photos on the highest quality canvas, ensuring that it will never crack, fade, warp or crease. And while they’re hoping that they never disappoint, if your canvas print does not turn out exactly as you want it to, they will reprint for free or give you all your money back. Over 100,000 loyal customers have already trusted CanvasPop to turn their photos into stylish additions to their homes, and now you can too. Enter promo code “NCW” to receive 30% off anything from www.canvaspop.com until April 30! 

Canvas prints are a sleek, stylish way to incorporate your own artistic abilities and cherished memories into your contemporary home. The fact that you can choose every detail about the photo, the size, and style of the print means that you can fit it perfectly into the carefully decided themes and schemes of your home. Let CanvasPop make your decorating dreams a reality.

10 Dirty Places In Your Home

We teamed up with Beth Greer, in-home consultant, award-winning journalist and author of Super Natural Home, to identify some of the dirtiest places in your home.  Greer says, “Everything that goes in us, on us, and surrounds us can have a hugh impact on our health and well-being, so it’s important to choose products that come from nature whenever possible. Eat real food, not processed; use personal care products made with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance; clean your home with simple yet effective cleaning products like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide; choose glass over plastic, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping you and your children healthy and happy.”

1. Your Morning Cup of Joe

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Coffee beans are one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world. If you add a hormone-filled splash of milk and artificial sweeteners, it’s not the best way to start your day. Try organic coffee, organic milk and skip the sweetener (or try a natural one) to get you going on the right foot.

2. The pile of shopping receipts

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You’ve likely heard of bisphenol A (BPA) as an endocrine disruptor recently banned in baby bottles. You may not know you could be exposed to it through cash register receipts. The Environmental Working Group found BPA from major retailers, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and automatic teller machines (ATMs).  Refuse receipts, ask for e-mail proof of purchase when available, and never give a child a receipt to play with.

3. Carpet

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We track countless bacteria, viruses, and pesticides into our homes with our shoes.  They lodge into our carpets where our children are crawling or walking around. The fastest way to a cleaner, healthier home is a shoeless home. Designate “indoor-only shoes” or simply re-use those hotel slippers you know you took home from your last vacation.

4. Chewing Gum

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Think you are taking the short cut to fresh breath with a stick of gum? Turns out most chewing gum contains monosodium glutamate – yes, that’s the MSG you’ve been avoiding in your Chinese food. MSG has many aliases including glutamic acid, gelatin, and hydrolyzed protein among others. The key is to read labels carefully and if you are eating processed food, make sure there are no food additives.

5. Indoor air

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says your indoor air may be 2 to 5 times as polluted and in some cases, more than 100 times more polluted than your outdoor air.  Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. (Dr. Bennett tackles this one in Wellness For Life, p. X)

6. The Shower

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You know that new plastic shower curtain liner smell?  The PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic shower curtains have high concentrations of phthalates.  The Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice says VOCs always come from easy to clean wallpaper made from PVC, shorted to “vinyl.”  There are many natural alternatives including paper-based wallpaper and bamboo shower curtains, but check the ingredients list to make sure they haven’t been mixed with vinyl.

7. Kitchen Counters

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If you are using conventional cleaners to wipe down your countertops, you could be putting your family at risk for exposure to a host of toxic chemicals. The word fragrance can mean there are up to 100 different synthetic chemicals inside. “Fragrance” is a manufacturer’s catchphrase. The Natural Academy of Sciences (NAS) says 95 percent of the ingredients used to create fragrance comes from petroleum and other known toxic and sensitizers. Check out Behind the Label: Cleaners on p. X for more.

8. Toys

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The US government does not require full testing of checmicals before they are added to toys. HealthyToys.org reported the presence of lead (yes, lead!) in 35 percent of toys tested.  If you have a hand-me-down toy manufactured before February 2009, it may have  phthalates, a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that make plastic soft.  Read labels to make sure it says “no phthalates” and stick with wooden toys colored with natural dyes or a few boxes, pots, pants and wooden spoons always do the trick!

9. Living room couch

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The contents in the cushions of your comfy, kid-friendly couch may be sprayed with polybrominated diphenlyethers( PBDEs) also known as flame-retardants. They are designed to slow a fire, but in fact, they are linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health issues. It is recommended you mop and dust often with a microfiber cloth and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

10. Microwave popcorn

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The Food and Drug Administration looked at microwaveable popcorn packaging and found a toxic chemical called PFOA (perflurooctanoic acid). It is used as a coating inside the bag to prevent food from sticking and the PFOA  leaches into the popcorn during the microwaving process. Make your own popcorn on the stove. It’s a lot more fun that way anyway!

 

Article From The Dirty Issue

Q&A with CBS Lucky Dog Host: Brandon McMillan

Brandon McMillan

Animal Expert, Trainer, and Host of the Hit CBS Show Lucky Dog

NCW:  Tell us about your show Lucky Dog on CBS.

BM:  Lucky Dog is a show where I prove that shelter dogs are just as trainable and lovable as breeder bought. In every episode of Lucky Dog I rescue one dog from death row, take it back to the training facility and transform the unruly and untrained into amazing dogs that now serve a purpose in someone’s life. Every episode has a happy ending as I find the perfect family for the dog. Just a week earlier the dog had no hope and now their future is bright as day. I believe every dog deserves a second chance. That’s exactly my goal on Lucky Dog.

NCW: If you could give one piece of advice to pet parents, what would it be?

BM: I say follow through when working with your animal. Too many people say a command once, the dog doesn’t respond and the parents give up. You’ve just taught the dog that you’ll give up before they do. The game is chess not checkers.

NCW:  Has there been one experience on the show so far that stood out as unusually challenging?

BM: I had one woman who wanted to get a dog for her son. Halfway through the process I find out she’s petrified of dogs herself. So I went from dog trainer to human trainer. I had to get her over her fear of dogs. It was quite the process.

NCW: Tell us about your experience with the Great White Serial Killer on the Discovery Channel.  What was it like being in the water with great whites?

BM:  Working with Jeff Kurr on GWSK was amazing. He’s the best in the world when it comes to filming sharks. He called me up and asked if I wanted to host one of his shows, and I didn’t even let him finish his sentence. The great whites were absolutely scary and beautiful at the same time. I had an 18 foot, 2 ton, great white attack my cage when we were shooting in New Zealand. It was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had – definitely thought it was the end. Even Jeff said he’d never seen anything like that moment…Bucket list checked for me, lol!

 

Q&A With Spot On Square Founders Bob & Nicole

1. Who does what?

We are fortunate we both have individual skill sets that play important roles for Spot On Square. Bob is an accomplished product designer who has designed all Spot On Square products to date. He is heavily involved in the manufacturing process, tech aspects, and overall planning/growth of the company.  As a former teacher, Nicole hones her multi-tasking and organizational skills in overseeing operations, marketing. We also have great team members that oversee daily operations, sales and customer support.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

We live in the Bay area in a neighborhood of Mid Century Modern homes that is full of family focused, design centric and creative people. Through our daily experiences with the awesome people and architecture in our community, we are constantly inspired to create better products.

It goes without saying that our daily inspiration definitely comes from our home and family. We design for our family and what would work for our home environment. We will not offer products that we would not be 100% happy to have in our own home or used by our own children.  We actually use most of the products we offer. This gives us the best opportunity to experience our products as our customers would and inspire new ways of developing future products.

3. What is is your favorite material or texture?

This is an ever-evolving answer for us. We love the mixed material usage in modern architecture and our offerings reflect that. Our first collection in 2007, the Hiya Collection, was originally offered in a sustainable bamboo, which was not used in nursery furnishings at the time. Our popular Roh Crib was the first acrylic crib in the US market in 2009 and our new Alto Collection (available mid 2014) uses interchangeable translucent panels with encapsulated natural materials. We strive to be ahead of the curve in using new architectural quality material that has not been used in a nursery setting before.

4. Is your home the house of your dreams?

Mostly, the answer is a heartfelt yes… there are always more dreamy offerings and certainly always things we wish could work better for a family of five, but we do really love our current home. We have always been fans of mid-century modern homes and are so happy to own what’s called an Eichler home in the Bay Area. We actually owned a different Eichler home in southern CA before moving up north. Joseph Eichler worked with architects in the 50’s through the 70’s to build beautiful mid-century modern homes. To us, our home is an architectural gem and something that we knew we would be inspired by on a daily basis. Many of our neighbors are in the design industry as well, so it’s proven to be a dynamic and inspiring place to live.

5. What is your favorite room in the house?

Our favorite room in the house is our kitchen. Bob did a complete remodel all on his own – from the designing to the hands on demo and rebuilding –  to create a beautiful yet family friendly space for our family. It’s the heart of our home where we all cook/eat together, plan our week on the giant chalkboard wall, play games at the table and open the large sliders to our courtyard for outside dining and playing.

6. Which design blog or website  you can’t enough of?

There are so many… we love Design Milk, Designspiration and Contemporist come to mind quickly… the list can go on and on.

7. East Coast/West Coast? How do they differ design wise?

That’s a big question.  We love both areas. While they may have some differences, overall, design has become global and we see influence merging and evolving on a broader scale. From our experience living on the west coast, the design industry is more laid back, open to color/material exploration, entrepreneurial and technology oriented.

8. Sustainability and Design? How do they synergistically influence each other?

For us, sustainability and design naturally influence each other. We approach each concept not only in terms of what might be different or exciting from a design perspective, but also with thoughtful consideration in regards to materials and processes available that will allow us offer eco-friendly, sustainable products.

9. What are the trends in furniture design?

We are greatly influenced by architectural trends with exploration in color, form and material offerings. Our Roh Collection and soon to be released Alto Collection  are great examples of this. With growing emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable design, it’s an exciting time to see a wide range of new material offerings available to us that are modern, eco-friendly and sustainable.

 

Raise A Glass

CADE Winery Photos by Adrián Gregorutti / Stratus Winery Photos by Ben Rahn

The warmth of the afternoon sun mixes with the cool breeze of the quiet blue sky, working in perfect harmony to combine the scent of rich soil and sweetly ripened grapes hanging from the vine.  Each ingredient comes together in one taste of fine wine, when the intriguing flavors and complex aromatics reach your palate.  Great wine is the culmination of many different variables, all working together – sun, soil, site, grapes…and wineries are taking steps to preserve the land for generations to come.

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PAVING THE WAY TO SUSTAINABILITY

“The wine we grow is dependent on the health of the land on which it is grown. 
We foster that health with every step as we farm our vineyard and guide our winemaking. 

Each vintage bottled is a reflection of this ongoing commitment.” – Stratus Wines Environmental Mission Statement

A leader in sustainability, Stratus Wines’ philosophy is forward thinking and boundary pushing in terms of everything that they do.  So it’s not surprising that in 2005 this Ontario, Canada based winery became the first winery, globally, to be fully LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Not just the barrel cellar, not just the hospitality retail area, but the entire winemaking / hospitality facility is fully LEED certified.  Suzanne Janke, Director of Hospitality and Retail at Stratus Wines stated, “It was important to be as thorough as possible, and to let both the lifestyle aspects of the wine business as well as the wine production area really reflect the idea of preserving the land.” She went on to say, “We really try to do things thoroughly.  We don’t like to stop half way, and so to have the barrel cellar LEED certified and not everything else would have been fine but it wouldn’t have been true to the goals of the entire project, which are really to do things in a complete way.”

Unique in the fact that they use geothermal technology to heat and cool the entire building, including the fermentation tanks, Stratus aims to push the boundaries in all facets of the winery from building design, to vineyard management, to the wine making approach.  Additionally, glass was used in both the building and winery cellars, which provide the workers with an open environment allowing natural light and vistas through the windows that connect them to the land.  Stratus didn’t stop there, the environmental consciousness continued to smaller gestures such as the composting of all waste from plant material; washrooms with waterless-flush urinals and motion-detector light switches; bicycle racks and showers to encourage cycling to work; and even a hybrid, gas-electric Toyota Prius to make winery deliveries.  Ian Theaker, Principal of Integral Green Consulting and member of the Canada Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, commented on Stratus’ thoughtful design, “Your efforts have resulted in a building that will protect our common resources and environment over its entire life.”

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WHY IS LEED IMPORTANT FOR A WINERY?

Winery or not, sustainable practices are important, period. Which is why the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developed the green building rating system, known as LEED.  It was created to promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Minimizing the environmental impact on your land and the land of your neighbors, conserving water, energy and materials, demonstrating the importance of social responsibility, and creating a healthier work environment for your employees are only a few of the many benefits to a LEED design.  While LEED and sustainable practices are critical, they are especially so for wineries. Janke explains, “Wine is a byproduct of the land…without great fruit we can’t make great wines, and we need to preserve these lands for generations to come.”

AND THE TREND CONTINUES…

Janke believes this is growing trend, and a prime example is a neighboring winery to Stratus, which also received LEED certification. Janke goes on to say, “And not just wineries, but there are some other park related or environmental attractions that have since received LEED certification in the region, and I think that one certification sort of fuels the other.“ Juancarlos Fernandez the visionary architect behind CADE Winery, believes that LEED certification amongst wineries is more than just a trend, rather it is becoming the norm, explaining that the new building codes in California require wineries to build to a basic level of LEED. “Now when you do a use permit for a new winery they ask you ‘What are you going to do that’s sustainable and green?’ and you have to have minimum requirements…In California right now buildings over 7,000 sq. ft. are required to have basic LEED requirements.”

In 2010, CADE Winery, was awarded LEED certification becoming Napa Valley’s first 100% LEED Gold certified estate winery. Fernandez’s strong and masculine design had already encompassed many sustainable design elements before LEED certification was ever discussed, which made obtaining LEED certification that much easier.   Some of the “green” elements implemented by Fernandez were the use of recycled steel; concrete mixed with fly ash to reduce the use of cement; naturally insulated caves and fermentation room; additional insulation from recycled materials, such as blue jeans; individually jacketed fermentation tanks; and structural glass and solar panels to minimize the use of electricity.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

“We have an ongoing commitment to our practice…to not just rest on our laurels after receiving this LEED certification.  It’s a holistic approach to the way we run the business”, explains Janke of Stratus’ long-term approach to sustainability.  Which begs the question, ‘After certification, what’s next?’  Although LEED certification is an important step in the right direction, sustainability doesn’t end there.  Rather, companies and wineries alike must continue to push boundaries and challenge themselves to constantly implement new and better practices. Janke explained that every year at Stratus, they have a green committee that looks for ways to improve the sustainability or the operations in all different departments.  From small changes, that you might say are negligible, like improving the way they recycle, or the way they discard of organic matter, to more significant expense related items.  Much like the integrity of the wine that we love, our health and well-being are directly linked to the health of the land that we live on – you can’t enjoy one, without the other.

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Article From The Happiness Issue