Saturday, December 31, 2011

#Review - Tsp Spices, Spice Sets

The first things that struck me as soon as I opened up the parcel and caught sight of the Organic Sun Shine - lemon zest and orange zest spice set and the Organic Herb Sampler was how wonderful these to would be to give or receive. It has gift written all over it. The packaging resembles that of a CD or small book box set. The lines are clean and I'm fond of the chocolate with white trim on the boxes.

Inside the Organic Sun Shine spice set is 2 tins, one containing 12 - 1 tsp packets of Lemon zest and the other containing  12 - 1 tsp packets of Orange zest.

Inside the Organic Herb Sampler are 24 packets in total of 6 different spices: Basil, Dill Weed, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme

First of all I have to say that I find the whole idea behind tsp spices really interesting, because they are individually wrapped, the spices keep their potency longer. So there is a lot less wasted spice. I find the spices much more flavourful than any conventional spices I have recently purchased. It has a homegrown taste and I know any gardener will be pleased with that notion. I learned while browsing the tsp spices website that not only did a spice need to be free from pesticides and insecticides, but to be considered organic a spice had to be pure... or free from debris like twigs, fillers and other foreign matter. Tsp Spices supports sustainability and healthy farming practices. Actually, I have really enjoyed browsing through their website and I encourage you to do the same.

Disclaimer: I received a couple spice sets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are based upon my own experience with the product.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#Review - Organic Sencha Mint Green Tea

Those who have graced my door know all too well how big of a tea drinker I am... every few months I stock up my cupboards with classic teas and current favorites and a couple new treats to sample. When I have company over I'm quick to make everyone a hot beverage and yea I can be a bit of a tea pusher. When I approached Eden Foods about doing a product review, they offered me a selection to choose from and as soon as I seen the words "Sencha Mint Green Tea", I instantly became excited. In case you are wondering, Sencha Mint is a unique blend of Japanese organic green tea leaves, with Egyptian organic spearmint and organic peppermint leaves.

This box arrived last week and it is almost gone. I have made pot after pot of this tea and shared it with friends. I haven't encountered one tea drinker yet who didn't care for it. I serve it without milk or any kind of sweetener. The sweetness of the spearmint and mint are enough. The brew is very strong and I can re-steep the same bag a few times.

One thing I noticed about the packaging that caught my eye and made me feel all warm inside was that not only was the box printed on recycled cardboard, but it was printed with vegetable ink!

 Their catalog has over 250 items listed and you can download a .pdf or request a print copy here. With that large of a selection, I wonder what their other products taste like!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Product Review: Hugo Naturals - Essential Mist

I received a lovely amber bottle of Essential Mist in Calming French Lavender to review. You might remember my review of the Indonesian Patchouli & Sandalwood Massage and Body Oil. Hugo Naturals also sent that wonderful product.

The Essential Mist is a great all over body spray for after bath or shower. A few spritzes cools down my skin and is a great way to add quick hydration. This blend of purified water and essential oils can also be used as a fabric refresher. Consider spritzing a few pillows, a stuffed animal or a babies blanket in a nursery with this calming lavender scent. Even spritzing the furniture in the living area to give that calming effect throughout the house. You can even spray your hair with it if you like. Since there is no carrier oil you do not need to worry about greasy hair. I really love the quality of the products at Hugo Naturals. I love that they are cruelty free, vegan and gluten and Soy free.

One thing that I really love about the product is that they do not use any artificial colors or synthetic fragrances. I am allergic to yellow #5 and it bothers me to no end when companies needlessly add cheap synthetic dyes to a product that is going to be placed on the skin and absorbed into the body or ingested into the body. More and more people are developing sensitivities to these ingredients and suffer side effects from an accumulation of these toxins in the body over a period of time. So, I embrace companies that are conscious of that.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Product Review: Nature Balance Wellness - Part 3 of 3

Over the last few weeks I have posted 2 different reviews about various products from Nature Balance Wellness. You can read the review for the facial collection here and the second review can be found here. This is the third and final installment of this review series. I have been thrilled with the quality of these products and would have no objection to working with these company in the future. They have been a privilege to work with and I really encourage everyone to pay them a visit.

The Marigold Magic Body Butter is one of's best selling products. It is great for eczema sufferers and those with sensitive skin. It is remarkable on really dry and even cracked skin. I get really dry feet in the winter and this did a fantastic job of breathing some life back into those tired feet and elbows. I like to put it on after a bath, my skin just soaks it right up. The sweet orange softens the skin and the calendula heals the skin and promotes skin growth.  Sweet orange oil also promotes optimism and calendula helps heal stretch marks! This cream is even gentle enough to use on babies

The Love Me Lavender Body Scrub is one of my favorite products hands down. Lavender is amazing for the skin. I use this product nearly every time I shower and a little goes a long way. I especially love to use this product on problem areas on my legs and bikini area. Some areas need a little more love, especially if you are a frequent shaver. Speaking of shaving, I was told that this product also doubles as a shaving oil. Use it first to exfoliate and then wait and you can use the extra moisture to shave. It really does keep the skin terrifically moisturized and give you a close shave without all of the ingrown hairs, but the downfall is that it gunks up the razor quickly. Perhaps I need to adjust the time in between exfoliating and shaving. Immediately after using this product I watch as the water beads right off of my skin. The smell is so calming, I'm in love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Product Review: Eden Botanicals - Essential Oils

I received a few samples of essential oils from Eden Botanicals a US company located in Hyampom, California. The samples included:  Sandalwood, Lemon, Lavender and a tiny Sample of Jasmine Absolute.

The samples included a note about how each oil was collected, its place of origin and the plant part that contains the essential oil. In the case of the tiny sample of Jasmine, the oil is collected from the flowers. In the case of lemon the oil is collected from the peels. The potency of these oils is impressive, I can distinctly smell each one through the tiny sample vial without opening it. Since the samples were shipping in clear containers I have been storing them in a dark spot in my home where the light won't reach them.

Certain methods of extractions are more costly then others but these costly methods help preserve more of the plants essential oils. These things help determine the cost of the oil. The Jasmine for example is a more expensive oil so the sample size was much smaller than the Lemon, Sandalwood or Lavender oil.

I recommend stocking up on some oils because not only to they offer terrific aromatherapy benefits but certain oils also have medicinal properties. Tea tree for example is a powerful antiseptic... Thyme oil is a wonderful disinfectant. Look to Eden Botanicals as a source for pure wholesale essential oils and even rare ones!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tsp Spices - Spicy Nachos

I received a few different products from Tsp Spices to sample and I was very fortunate to have been sent some organic mild ground chili pepper. So, I decided to make nachos. I did use ground beef in this recipe, you can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or opt out of the meat portion of this recipe all together. If you choose to opt out of the meat, might I suggest adding the chili pepper and splashes of hot sauce to the salsa. The salsa can be homemade or store bought, it is entirely your preference.

I used ingredients that I had on hand and I did not put any sour cream on my nachos because sour cream holds my hand and carries me into a world of pain. As you can imagine, "world of pain" isn't a prime vacation spot.

Ingredients: ground beef, 1 package kettle nacho chips, Salsa, Jalapenos, Choice of Olives (we used green and black), Cheddar, onions (green and regular), hot sauce, 1 tsp pkg of ground chili pepper.

While the ground beef was cooking we added the Chili Pepper courtesy of Tsp Spices and some hot sauce to taste. Spicy foods are high in request in this house during the colder months of the year.

Afterwards the children helped me scatter the prepped ingredients (except the salsa) onto 2 baking pans. I don't include the salsa in this step because it really does make the nachos too soggy. So I usually put the salsa on the side as a dipping sauce for the nachos or over them after they have been baked.  

 I bake them in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt and the chips to get warm and a little crispy. Allow to cool temporarily and enjoy.

These nachos were very spicy and that is to be expected when you put jalapenos on your nachos. I managed to sample the chili pepper when I first added it to the hamburger and I must say. There is a distinctive freshness to this product like no other in my spice cupboard unless it is homegrown and has been dried properly.

Product Review: Hugo Naturals - Massage and Body Oil

Have you ever heard of the company Hugo Naturals? If not I recommend that you take a peak at their product line. They have a wonderful selection of products for both mother and baby and even products for the men in your life. I received a couple products from Hugo Naturals to review. Today I am going to write about the Indonesian Patchouli and Sandalwood Massage and Body Oil.

While I am not a masseuse, (someday!) I absolutely love giving massages. It brings me great joy to help people heal their physical and even emotional pains and stresses whether it be in council or just in providing a calm, relaxing atmosphere for the people in this home and our loving guests. This oil is the perfect blend of masculine and feminine scents. Sensual is indeed the perfect description of this scent experience, the patchouli is strong but the sweet woodsy notes of sandalwood provide a delicate balance. I often find myself dabbing a drop of this oil on my wrists to use it as a nice perfume. Sweet Almond and Jojoba oils are the base oils so this product is great for skin. Naturally, to protect the oils from sunlight (which causes it to rapidly oxidize) it comes in a lovely amber bottle to filter out some sunlight. What I love about this product is it doesn't leave you feeling like you immediately need a shower like many other massage oils on the market.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Product Review: GoGo Quinoa - Granissimo Pilaf

As you know I received a few different products from GoGo Quinoa to review. Last week I reviewed the Granissimo Paella and this week I am going to review the Granissimo - Basmati & Wild Quinoa Pilaf.  Did you know that GoGo Quinoa is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization?

A quick rundown on the Pilaf. It is organic, gluten free and vegan. A great source of Iron, the Pilaf contains 5 grams of protein per serving. This 200 gram box has a suggested serving of 4.

We actually used this as a side dish and in hindsight I regret that decision. Don't get me wrong. It was delicious, although the kids didn't care for it nearly as much as I did. In their defense it is bland and they probably won't appreciate that as much as I do for another 10 years. Not to mention the oldest has been tremendously picky as of late. I blame his current tween phase for this finickiness. I added a little bit of homemade Greek vinaigrette for flavor and I really enjoyed it, of course that inspired me to think about how delicious this would have been mixed with a Greek Salad and stuffed into a nice giant pita. I'm drooling just thinking about it. You could stretch it further that way too. Again, like the Paella, I loved the consistence.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Product Review: Nature Balance Wellness - Part 2

I reviewed the facial collection for oily skin by Nature Balance Wellness . I had also received a few extra products at that time that I decided to review separately. So I could pay a little extra focus to each of these well deserved products without having a ridiculously long blog post. Today I'm going to review the Beach with Lime Body Wash, the Desire Body Lotion and the Healing Balm for Burns, Scrapes and Rashes.
Crisp, refreshing and lightly foaming, Beach with Lime Body Wash is the perfect embodiment of the ocean and the scent of that lime wedge on the side of whatever your drink of choice might be. I love using this in the shower and the smell has an invigorating effect on my spirit. I feel so uplifted and fresh every time I use it no matter how funky my mood might be at the time. Nature Balance Wellness seems to have a masters degree in developing luxuriously potent scent-scapes.

The Desire Body Lotion is absolutely amazing. It is very hydrating and not greasy whatsoever. It is gentle and it smells divine.  Unisex, the hubby and I have both been using it regularly. He tried to claim dominance over it when he first smelled it. Cute. It is also gentle enough to use as an eye makeup remover. I have nothing but good things to say about this product and the scent combination is so brilliant. I am a big patchouli and orange lover to begin with the addition of Jasmine and Sandalwood this is a truly spectacular blend.
What a great little soothing stick of wonder. The Healing Balm for Burns, Scrapes and Rashes provides a protective barrier for those who may have dry itchy skin like my youngest boy. It smells good too! My neighbor and good friend Travis tried some and he found the scent very much reminded him of a balm from Burts Bee's that he used to use as a child. It brought back good memories for him. One of the main ingredients in this balm is Chickweed!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Organic Alert: Product Review: GoGo Quinoa - Granissimo Vegetarian Paella

I received a few different GoGo Quinoa products to try out! Among this products were the Granissimo Vegetarian Paella, 3 Grain Pancake Mix, 4 Grains Hot Cereal, Granissimo Pilaf (in Basmati and Wild Quinoa), Mushroom and Quinoa Cream Soup and Minestrone Soup.

Today I will be trying out the Granissimo Vegetarian Paella. The cooking instructions are fairly simple...

"Add 2 cups of water (or broth) to package contents and bring to a boil. Let simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 3 minutes before serving. "

My first impression is that for only 10 mg of sodium it is extraordinarily flavorful... its so good! I'm burning my mouth because it tastes so good and it is still too hot to eat!  The smell is enticing and the texture of the grains is pleasing.

GoGo Quinoa are currently offering $5 shipping for the month of December for Canadians which I completely welcome. Any break on the pocket book, this time of year or any other is certainly appreciated by my household.

You can connect with GoGo Quinoa on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I received this product free for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Product Review: Nature Balance Wellness -

Nature Balance Wellness sent me a 3 piece Yarrow and Rosemary facial for oily skin, consisting of Yarrow and Rosemary Deep Foaming Cleanser, Yarrow and Rosemary Clarifying Toner and the Yarrow and Rosemary Light Daily Moisturizer as well as an assortment of other products. However, I thought I would review this facial collection separately from the other products.

I began by reading the list of ingredients, as per usual. Containing 68% organic ingredients, I was happily surprised that the first ingredient listed on the Yarrow & Rosemary Deep Foaming Cleanser was Rosemary Tea brewed with Purified water. An infusion is an excellent way to collect all of the oils from the herb. Imagine how giddy I became, giggling as I showered, knowing full well I was washing my face with a blend of Rosemary Tea and Vegetable glycerin and other fine ingredients. Something about that sheer fact alone had my inner child quite excited.

The Yarrow & Rosemary Clarifying Toner contains 20% Organic Ingredients and the very first ingredient is Witch hazel Distilate! Witch Hazel is absolutely wonderful for the skin!The second ingredient is Rosemary Floral water. Now for those of you who are unaware, Rosemary Floral water (Rosemary in general) is said to be wonderful for for acne or oily skin.

All of the products worked wonderfully except I found the Yarrow & Rosemary Light Moisturizer to still be a touch to heavy for my skin. I live in a very humid, coastal region of Canada so it still doesn't quite put my skin in balance. I had much more success keeping the oily shine down on my face using only the Cleanser and the Toner.

With the holidays fast approaching, the facial products from Nature Balance Wellness makes a wonderful gift idea.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I received a small package containing various incense sticks to sample and review from Pure-Incense. The incense is crafted according to the ways of the ancients instead of the modern commercial world and was originally intended for temple deity worship. It wasn't even discovered by the Western world until the 1960's.

The Absolute Sandalwood smelled earthy and sweet. It burns very pure and it did not aggravate my delicate sinuses like cheap store bought commercial incense. A very comforting and calming scent, sandalwood promotes well being and has a 4000 year history as a meditative aide. While burning a stick of Frankincense our neighbor Darby came over, having previously spent a few months in India he found it quite strange that particular stick of incense smelled "so much like India". It was as though he walked into another country.

Upon first smelling the Absolute Agarwood, I was taken back to my childhood. It reminded me of the more masculine scents in the bathroom at my grandparents house growing up. I pondered if my grandfather used a product that contained Agarwood (Oud) oil. It is a very woodsy scent with a hint of spiciness. The Agarwood burns a little thicker than the Sandalwood but I adapted to it very quickly. It a very therapeutic and relaxing scent which serves to reason considering Agarwood has been used in ritual meditations for many generations. The more I inhale the aroma, the deeper the relaxation. Did you know that Agarwood is produced from a diseased Asian fur tree fighting a fungal infection?

Night Queen smells nothing like the first two sticks. It is Jasmine dominant with a note of another scent that I cannot put my finger on. It is pungently aromatic and I do understand the correlation between the jungle reference in the product description. Something in its aroma reminds me of growth and dense foliage. Hari Leela reminded my husband of an old friends home. It has a very stimulating and woody smell.  I really enjoyed both the quality of this incense so much I placed an order for bundle of assorted scents!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#Review - Organic India, Certified Organic Teas

Earlier this week, I reviewed some Herbal supplements from a lovely company called Organic India that started off in the 1990's as a small company and now have various offices located around the world.

"Real silence is when you have a silent mind, even when you are speaking."
~ Papaji, Sri H.W.L. Poonja ~

Today, I am going to talk about a couple of the teas that Organic India sent me to review. All of Organic India's tea's contain Tulsi or "Holy Basil". As posted on the Organic India, the health benefits of Tulsi are many.

"Modern scientific research offers impressive evidence that Tulsi reduces stress, enhances stamina, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, eliminates toxins, protects against radiation, prevents gastric ulcers, lowers fevers, improves digestion and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients. Tulsi is especially effective in supporting the heart, blood vessels, liver and lungs and also regulates blood pressure and blood sugar." Dr. Ralph Miller, former Director of Research for the Canadian Dept. of Health and Welfare.

This 18ct box of Certified Organic Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea is infused with the following herbs:

Organic Tulsi Blend (Leaf & Flower), Organic Chamomile (Flower), Organic Rose (Petal), Organic Lemon Myrtle (leaf), Organic Stevia (Leaf)

Upon first opening the individual package the sweet aroma of rose petals immediately entrances you. The infused aroma is sweet, sensual and earthy. The result is a calming cup of relaxation, why not clear your mind for a while.

I also received a 100g tin of  Certified Organic Tulsi Orginal loose tea which is the Proprietary standard blend of Krishna Tulsi, Vana Tulsi and Rama Tulsi.

I really enjoy this tea a great deal and I can see it quickly becoming a part of my daily regimen. It is earthy and I feel very comfortable while drinking it. I started adding it to food in small amounts as well. In fact, I made myself a Greek salad the other day and in place of the fresh home grown Oregano that I usually sprinkle on top of my salad, I sprinkled Holy Basil instead. It was delicious. I would recommend the same for pasta and even pizza crust.

I really encourage you to explore the entire product line at Organic India, you might find exactly what you need.

Disclosure: I received this product for the purpose of this review. All of my opinions are honest and are based upon my personal product experience. Your experience may be different. I received no additional compensation for this review.

Friday, November 11, 2011

#Review - Organic India, Herbal Supplements

Organic India is a company that develops Ayurvedic herbal formulations for the health and well being of the people. It began as a small business during the 1990's when thousands of people from all over the world came to India in search of truth and realization, inspired by the simple truths of Papaji:

"Keep Quiet.
 The Eternal Truth exists within you.
 Do not entertain a single thought and the Truth will reveal itself to itself

The Turmeric Formula contains:

370mg - Organic Turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa)
  80mg - Turmeric Extract - 95% curcumimoids

  50mg - Organix Ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale)

Formulated for Healthy Inflammation Response, Organic India's Turmeric Formula has been created with the healing attributes of Turmeric. Turmeric has known blood purification attributes and aids the lymph system in cleansing the body thus improving inflammation and immune response.  Any Precautions when taking Turmeric? If you have any upcoming surgeries or are taking anti-coagulation drugs like Warfarin it is not advisable to take Turmeric as it will increase both the strength of the drug and the risk of bleeding after surgery.  In fact, it is recommended to discontinue use of Turmeric by mouth 2 weeks prior to having surgery to insure proper coagulation.

The Tusli - Holy Basil contains:

133mg - Organic Krishna Tulsi leaf (Ocimum sanctum)
133mg - Organic Rama Tulsi leaf (Ocimum sanctum)

133mg - Organic Vana Tulsi leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)

In India, Holy Basil is revered as "The Queen of the Herbs". Holy Basil (aka: "Tulsi") is a stress fighting adaptogen that builds energy and stamina. We all understand the link between stress and the immune system. This makes Holy Basil a wonderful immune system supporter. Additionally it helps support the body's natural detoxification process and helps supports mood stability, all of the wondrous things that come with stress reduction.

I received both of these compounds to review as well as some teas which I will review seperately.  I am very impressed with both of these compounds. The herbal supplements have been finely ground and precisely measured. I can almost visualize the mortar and pestle and the care put into each ingredient right now to the finest of details. The herbs are contained within vegetable cellulose capsules. Despite being contained, you can still taste the herbs through the capsule so it a good idea to have a glass of water on hand to immediately wash them down. I didn't have a problem ingesting these formulated capsules although a friend of mine with a sensitive belly found them to be a little heavy on her system without food in the belly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#Review - Manitoba Hemp Hearts

Deliciously nutty and crunchy, the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts are a nutritious addition to many snacks and meals. They contain no-Gmo's and are an easy way to add omega's, protein and fibre into your diet. Specifically, Hemp Hearts contain a rare EFA called Gamma-Linolenic-Acid (aka GLA) which has been shown to help arthritis, hormone imbalance, migraines, menopause in women, healthy cholesterol levels

I was sent a package of Hemp Hearts to review by Manitoba Harvest. Incredible versatile, this product was added to cereal, yogurt and salad, all of which were delicious. I have even put some on top of toast with peanut butter and sliced banana's for an extra nutritional boost.

Like Almonds, Hemp Hearts are a little high on the fat content at a whopping 20 percent of the recommended daily value for 3 Tbsp (30 g) of Hemp hearts. Consider that this provides you with 10 grams of protein and 110 percent of the recommended daily intake of Manganese, 30 percent zinc and 70 percent magnesium to name a few; I consider Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to be a dietary staple.

Disclaimer: I received a bag of Manitoba Hemp Hearts for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are based upon my product experience. Your experience may differ. I received no additional compensation for this review.

Monday, October 24, 2011

#Review - Crofters Organic Premium Spreads

The lovely folks at Crofters Organic sent me 4 different spreads to review. Morello Cherry, Raspberry, Mango and one of their North American Super Fruit. Crofters Organic spreads are GMO free.

The flavor of the spreads is true to the fruit. They are delicious and contain very wholesome ingredients. For example the Morello Cherry Spread contains:

Organic Morello Cherries, Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar, Natural Apple Pectin, Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) and Citric Acid.

Simple and flavorful.

I had company at the time and the most common statement between all of us who tried the various spreads were how earthy and natural everything tasted. It was fresh and the chunks of fruit were a pleasant and well received surprise. The Mango fruit spread was my favorite even though all of them were delicious.

I really like the super fruit, in taste and concept. I think making a spread out of the super fruits and berries found in specific regions and naming them with appropriate names to suit their regions is a wonderful way to taste the corners of the earth.

While I was on the companies website I noticed that they had a page of recipes posted online. You could make full meals by slow cooking the meat and spreads. This was a very interesting idea. I cooked some pork in the Morello Cherry Premium spread with onions and then made a gravy out of it afterwards. I really didn't know what to expect. Not only was the idea of cooking a main course with a fruit spread a little strange to me, I opted to create my own recipe as well. I spooned some over some Rice of the Prairies and was quite surprised with how good it tasted. Not only are the spreads delicious but my experience with Crofters Organic in general has been very pleasant.

Disclaimer: I received a few jars of Crofters for the purpose of this review. I received no additional compensation. All opinions are my own and are based upon my personal product experience. Your experience may differ.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#Review - Taste of Nature Bars

Taste of Nature has a large selection of bars in all sorts of exotic flavors. Nova Scotia Blueberry Fields, Canadian Maple Forest, Persian Pomegranate Garden, Caribbean Ginger Island to name a few of the deliciously organic wonders. Made without fillers and nasty chemicals, Taste of Nature contains no GMO's or anything artificial. They are certified kosher, certified vegan and gluten free.

My first impression upon trying these bars was the quality of the ingredients. You can taste the purity of the product. They are remarkably nutritious. One of these bars could easily be a light breakfast and provide nutrients and energy to get you through a large part of the day. To top it off the nuts in these bars can help curb hunger cravings! My oldest son couldn't resist helping himself to one of these tasty treats. He enjoyed it and asked if we could pick up some more.

The Canadian Maple Forest bar contains:
organic pecans, organic apricots, organic brazil nuts, organic honey, organic brown rice syrup, organic raisins, organic whole brown rice crisps, organic agave nectar, organic maple syrup, organic maple flavour, organic vanilla flavour and sea salt.

Disclaimer: I received various Taste of Nature Bars to sample for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are based upon my own personal experience. Your experience may differ. I received no additional compensation for this review.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#Review - Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal

Holy Crap is a Canadian made cereal with all natural ingredients. It is gluten free, lactose free, vegan and free of GMO's. It is high in important things like dietary fibre, iron and a great source of omega 3 & 6 and calcium and protein.

The ingredients are highly nutritious and the cereal is a little on the pricey side. However, because you are only using 2 TBS or the cereal mix with with your choice of milk (almond, soy, hemp....etc) the cereal does last quite a bit longer than you think it would. Since many of these ingredients expand slightly, they leave you feeling much more satisfied then you could ever imagine. The cereal softens after sitting in the milk for 3-4 minutes and does not taste gritty as one might expect being contrived of seeds. Oh yea, and your energy pretty much doubles! Seriously, I felt more energetic and lively after a serving of Holy Crap then I have in a long time. The nutritional value found within the chia seeds alone makes Holy Crap a dietary staple.

Holy crap contains:
organic chia, organic hulled hemp hearts, organic buckwheat, organic cranberries, organic raisins, organic apple bits, organic cinnamon. 

Holy crap tastes delicious in any kind of milk and on yogurt with fruit. It contains 6 grams of protein per serving which is a great source of protein for our vegan friends.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#Review - The Ginger People, Organic Ginger Syrup

The Ginger People were kind enough to send me a bottle of Organic Ginger Syrup to review. The syrup comes in an 8 oz/237 ml glass bottle. The product branding is adorable. It is a animated piece of ginger root sitting on top of a stack of pancakes and syrup. The product arrives with a recipe for a ginger martini which sounds absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I was missing a few ingredients and I just didn't want to compromise the taste.

I am a ginger lover. At home, I often drink cups of freshly infused ginger root for the health benefits and the spicy lemon-like flavor. Ginger is a known immune booster. It fights pain, combats nausea and helps increase digestive movement. Ginger helps to break down food which can aid your metabolic function. Did you know that ginger was called "the Great Medicine" by ancient Indian vaids as it removes toxins and restores balance to the body.

As soon as the bottle arrived my husband immediately opened up the bottle put some in his coffee as a sweetener and wandered off about his day. Later on he passed by and informed that the syrup tastes terrific in the coffee but he might have overdone it a little bit. He wasted absolutely no time, it was quite amusing to witness. His silent excitement echoed through his actions.

What I really enjoy about this product is that there are only 2 ingredients and that is Organic Cane Sugar and Organic Ginger. This makes me really happy. I have been making ginger teas with this and it is absolutely delicious on ice cream. It is so versatile that you can use it as a sauce for waffles, chicken, ribs. The list is endless.

If you would like to purchase a bottle of Organic Ginger Syrup it is can be purchased here and shipped anywhere within Canada and the United States.

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Organic Ginger Syrup for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are based upon my product experience.

Monday, October 3, 2011 - Creating Sustainable Communities

Imagine wearing a bracelet hand rolled out of recycled paper. What if I told you that many of the women who crafted these bracelets were Ugandan mothers with HIV  or war refugees, all of which are suffering from extreme poverty? What if I told you that buy purchasing a bracelet you are helping these women (and some men) help themselves.

The goal of the BeadforLife program is simply to have their members become independent and self-sustaining. All net profits earned through BeadforLife sales are invested into holistic programs designed to eradicate poverty. These beads are made as part of the income generation program. One of the various programs that BeadforLife offers is a membership program in which beaders are trained to roll beads and make jewelry which is then bought from each beader twice a month at fair trade prices.

What can you do to help?

Among the many programs that BeadforLife offers one of the more interesting is the option to host a Bead Party. This can be done in your Home, Office or Community... heck, this can be done on Twitter. The bead parties are given by volunteer hosts in an effort to raise awareness about poverty. It is a great time to see the beads and share all of the amazing inspiring stories of the beaders. Not really much of a host/hostess? Read on...

Beadforlife's income generation program is not limited to rolling beads. 450 women and their families in rural Northern Uganda are rebuilding their lives by collecting shea nuts. A living example of this would be Akite Grace, a 37 year old woman. She cares for 9 children, has never set foot inside a school and was "inherited" by her brother in law after the death of her first husband. She and her 7 and 8 year old daughters were nearly abducted by rebels, but after realizing she had an injured leg and could not walk easily, they took Grace's 11 year old niece instead. She has not been seen since.

When BeadforLife first met Grace she was struggling to support her family, she has now located her children to a remote bit of land where they are trying their best to farm local crops. With the markets that BeadforLife is creating Grace will have an income to buy a bull to plow the land so she can grow more food and pay school fees so that all of her children can go to school!

To support this cause and help women like Akite Grace, please purchase something for the BeadforLifeStore!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beautiful Sunflowers and Giveaways

I have a few sunflowers in my garden at different stages of their development. They are not very tall. Being the 3rd batch that was planted, there was not much time left in their natural light cycle to vegetate and gain the height for which they are known. The first 2 batches of sunflowers that I planted were uprooted by the crows and other birds. They are very fond of the sprouts.

The sunflowers are so beautiful to watch this time of year. The geometrical patterns at every stage of flowering is quite breathtaking.

My oldest son has started Middle school and the change in him from School aged to Teenager was almost immediate. He has a new girlfriend that he speaks with on the phone at least 6 times a night.

In the week ahead, I have 2 products that I will be reviewing here at Music and Mommies. One of these products is a Degreaser from Stanley Home Products. It was sent to me with a list of 50 uses for this product. I plan on trying out use #28 and cleaning my BBQ racks with it and whatever other random uses hit me in the moment. If you happen to 'like' their facebook page, be sure to say hello.

The second review I will be posting this week is a Chickweed Herbal Salve and Serenity Moisturizing Lotion from Meadow Muffin Gardens on Etsy. The shop owner Stacy has also offered up a prize for residents of the US and Canada. If you check back sometime during the day on Friday you should be able to enter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Etsy #Review: Madame Scodioli's Solid Perfumes

I recently stumbled across the most delightful Etsy shop. Madame Scodioli Bearded Proprietor has a wonderful line of solid perfumes and shaving soaps made with natural ingredients. The shop, product descriptions and visual artwork carries you away to a small gypsy caravan where Madame Scodioli charms you with her luxuriously scented potions. The magic of the carnival, the music and the memorizing people grant you a freedom that you have only felt fully now for the first time in your life.

I contacted Madame Scodioli about reviewing a product and she graciously sent me a full sized Clofullia solid scent and samples of Gypsy Caravan and Drabardi to review. I also had to ask about the product branding because I found it very impressive and Madame S. informed me that her assistant is a graphic designer.

The solid perfumes are deliciously pleasing to my senses. Since they are crafted with natural ingredients there is no chemical irritant to mangle my sensitive snout, which is great for the obvious reason... and also because I can now live with my nose buried in these wonderful scents.

One of her more complex scents, Clofullia is crafted with jasmine, patchouli and orange. Jasmine is the first scent that hits you, so those of you who don't care for floral scents might find this discouraging. As you breath deeper the patchouli and orange undertones surface creating depth and balance within this scent. I highly recommended this to Jasmine lovers.

Drabardi is a very relaxing and uplifting scent. The bergamot is calming and the coriander gives a very complimentary spicy lemon scent. I adore it and I think it will get put to good use this winter as part of my plan to alleviate the winter blues. I find myself opening up the container and getting a whiff of it when I feel a little down in the dumps or anxious.

Gypsy Caravan is my favorite of the 3 scents. Romantic, captivating and sweet scent oozing with fresh, ripe pomegranates. Madame S has captured the essence of two lovers sharing a blanket, feeding each other pomegranates seeds over a bottle of wine at sunset in a field of fruit trees and wildflowers.

Madame Scodioli also offers sampler packs for those of you who do not wish to commit to a full sized scent without smelling it first. The samples are a good  size and will last for awhile. So if you are unsure, this is a great way to try out the different scents and still have some duration of use.

I am so very impressed with this shop,  I plan on ordering a couple full sized solid oils in Gypsy Caravan because it is wonderfully intoxicating and also some samples of the scents I haven't tried yet to see what else I enjoy! Please I encourage you all to buy something from Madame Scodioli's Bearded Proprietor.

Disclaimer: I received samples of these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are based upon my honest product experience.