Monday, February 28, 2011

Ma Mi Skin Care Review & Giveaway : Natural Skin Care for Mommy


Sponsored by Tomoson.com


Over the course of the last 2 years, when Jonathan and I decided to "green" our lives up for the sake of ourselves and our children, we devoted ourselves to researching and finding alternative beauty and skin care products.

These products could have anything from lack of parabens to having a USDA Organic certification.

No matter the product, we have done an outstanding job in replacing, slowly but surely, most all of the products in our home.

I recently discovered a new line of natural skin care products - Ma Mi Skin Care.  The mission at Ma Mi is to help moms and expecting moms around the world look and feel healthy, youthful and vibrant by  providing a highly effective, natural and safe skin care line made to address their unique needs.




Being a mom of a toddler and now expecting our second, I was excited in their strong belief in working in harmony with the body’s inherent renewal abilities to promote and protect healthy, glowing skin, while using natural ingredients that were safe for all three of us to be exposed to.



Don't forget my last research article that discussed the science behind fragrances and how unregulated that fragrances are.  Look at your products...do you see the ingredient "fragrance?"  This word can encompass the use of over 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that seep into your skin and enter your bloodstream.  Quite scary!


You won't find this ingredient in the Ma Mi Skin care line!  
With Ma Mi, your skin receives everything it needs and nothing it doesn't.  Ma Mi products contain pure, highly concentrated active ingredients that produce quick, visible results.  In a few simple steps you can experience dramatic, positive changes in your skins health and appearance.


I was very excited to receive a sample pack of the Ma Mi Skin Care: Natural Skin Care for Mommy line.    A cleanser, moisturizer and exfoliator - this great skin care line seemed to work quite well, but also smelled great, using only natural extracts for fragrance.


Make sure to visit Ma Mi Skin Care to check it out for you or your Mommy friends!


Want to win a sample pack of your own?


Mandatory Entry


Visit Ma Mi Skin Care and let me know which product you would like to try the most!




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Contest ends Friday, March 4, 2011, Midnight CST
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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Top 10 Ten Vitamin E Foods for Radiant Skin









While new research shows that vitamin C or E pills may not protect against cancer or heart disease, there's no doubt these nutrients are essential if consumed as part of a healthy diet. Nothing beats a balanced diet.


Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and could play a role in preventing a range of diseases. It's also considered important for maintaining healthy, youthful skin.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15 mg a day for adults. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, most Americans need to increase their consumption of foods rich in vitamin E, which can be tricky because foods high in vitamin E tend to be eaten in smaller amounts. Here are the foods where you'll find the greatest concentration of this nutrient.


For more on superfoods, visit TheDailyGreen.com/healthy-superfoods.

Fortified Cereals

Fortified ready-to-eat cereals will give you anywhere from 1.6 to 12.8 mg of vitamin E per serving.
If you're looking for a departure from the bowl, try these Cereal Tarts with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit.

Sunflower Seeds
One ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds delivers 7.4 mg of vitamin E and 165 calories. Sunflower oil is a good source too, providing 5.6 mg of the vitamin and 120 calories. 
Nuts

Almonds take the prize here, providing 7.3 mg of vitamin E and 164 calories per ounce. Try this recipe for Maple Crunch Oatmeal for a twist on the versatile nut.
Hazelnuts (4.3 mg of vitamin E and 178 calories per ounce); mixed dry nuts (3.1 mg of vitamin E and 168 calories per ounce); and peanuts (2.2 mg of vitamin E and 166 calories per ounce) are other good sources of the nutrient.




Vegetable Oils
One tablespoon of cottonseed oil offers 4.8 mg of vitamin E, while safflower oil isn't far behind with 4.6 mg. Try safflower oil to caramelize veggies or fruits, like the pear topping in this Butternut Squash Soup recipe

Turnip Greens

These may seem like an unlikely superfood, but don't give up on the humble turnip green: A half cup has 2.9 mg of vitamin E and just 24 calories.
The greens on this common root vegetable are just as edible as they are nutritious. In addition to Vitamin E, a half a cup of turnip greens have 441 mg of vitamin A (in the form of 
beta carotene) and 24 calories — and with Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K and calcium as well, they're far more nutritious than the turnip itself. Try young leaves as an accent to a salad, or boil twice, replacing the water in between, to serve as a side dish. Also look for mustard and dandelion greens for a similar leafy health boost.

Tomatoes
A quarter cup of tomato paste has 2.8 mg of vitamin E (about one-fifth of your daily allowance), 664 mg of potassium, 34 mg of lycopene, and 54 calories — a true superfood. Try this recipe for Pork, Beans and Organic Beer Chili.  


A half cup of tomato puree or tomato sauce both have 2.5 mg of vitamin E.


Pine Nuts
One ounce of pine nuts contains 2.6 mg of vitamin E and 191 calories. Pine nuts are a great addition to pasta dishes or salads, such as this recipe for Orzo Pasta Salad.
 
Peanut Butter
Peanut butter contains 2.5 mg of vitamin E and 192 calories per two tablespoons. A perfect excuse for a PB and J, or you could try this recipe for Sesame Noodles.

Wheat Germ
Plain toasted wheat germ, an excellent topping for hot cereals, has 2.3 mg of vitamin E and 54 calories per two tablespoons.
Avocado
Half an avocado has 2.1 mg of vitamin E and 161 calories.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Make it Yourself: End-of-Day Foot Spa





1/2 cup Epsom salts
Essential oils of your choice
  • Fill either a foot bath or your bath tub to ankle height with warm water.
  • Dissolve 1/2 cup Epsom salts in the warm water and add the essential oil of your choice, either the relaxing oils of lavender, rosewood, patchouli and sandalwood, etc, or the uplifting oils of lemongrass, eucalyptus, etc.
  • Soak for 10-15 minutes. Pat dry and moisturize

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Make it Yourself: Peach Firming Spa Mask






Makes 1 application
1 ripe peach — peeled and stoned
1 egg white
  • Whip peach and egg white together in a blender till smooth.
  • Gently pat mixture over face.
  • Leave on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with cool water.
Thanks to the Daily Green!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Make it Yourself: Brown Sugar Hand Softener






Makes 1 treatment
1/4 cup course brown sugar
Baby oil to make into a paste
  • Mix together.
  • Using a hand washing motion apply the mixture to the hands.
  • Continue the washing motion for a minute then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make it Yourself: Revitalizing Mask with Cucumber and Avocado





Makes 1 application
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped avocado
1 egg white
2 tsp. powdered milk
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until they form a smooth paste.
  • Apply the mask to your face and neck using circular upward movements.
  • Leave the mask on for 30 minutes, or until dry.
  • Rinse your face and neck with warm water and finish with a cold water rinse.
  • This mask will keep up to 30 minutes in the refrigerator if you need to prepare it slightly in advance.
Thanks to the Daily Green!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Chèvre: How to Make Goat Cheese At Home

goatcheese2.jpgPerfect for spring, goat cheese is lively and lemony. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you’ll never have it fresher.
Equipment 

Stockpot (large enough to hold a gallon of milk)
Thermometer
Slotted spoon
Butter muslin or high-quality cheesecloth
Colander
Cheese forms (optional, for making logs or other shaped cheeses)

Ingredients 
1 gallon whole goat milk
1 packet direct-set chèvre starter
Optional: fresh herbs, roasted garlic, cracked pepper or other flavorings

Instructions 

1. Heat milk to 86 degrees, then remove from heat. Sprinkle packet of starter over heated milk and stir in gently.

2. Cover milk and let sit at room temperature for about 12 hours. An easy method is to mix in the starter in the evening, and proceed to the next step sometime in the morning.

3. At this point, the curds should have separated out of the whey. Line a colander (or cheese forms) with muslin or cheesecloth. With a slotted spoon, ladle the curds gently into the cheesecloth.

4. You can let the curds drain directly in the colander or in your cheese forms. Or you can tie the cloth up into a bag and hang it to drain with the help of gravity. Allow cheese to drain for 6 to 12 hours. The more it drains, the firmer your cheese will be. A chèvre drained for 6 hours will have a cream cheese-like consistency. Chèvre that drains longer is more firm and can be shaped into a ball or log, if you like.

5. If you wish, you can stir in herbs, specialty salts, cracked pepper, roasted garlic, roasted peppers or other flavorings at this stage. Your chèvre will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Yield: About 1 1/2 pounds fresh goat cheese

Did You Know?  
Not all milks are created equal. Goat milk contains more butterfat and protein than cow’s milk, but less lactose. It’s also naturally homogenized, all of which makes it easier for many people to digest.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Make it Yourself: Honey-Cocoa Butter Lip Balm





Makes 100 applications
2 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. honey
3/4 tsp. beeswax — grated
1/2 tsp. pure cocoa butter
Flavored oil of your choice
1 vitamin E capsule
  • In a small saucepan, heat oil, honey, wax and butter over a low heat until just melted.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in flavoring and contents of vitamin E capsule.
  • Pour into containers of your choice.

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Make it Yourself: The Ultimate Body Scrub




Makes multiple applications
1 cup course sea salt
1/2 cup baby oil
  • Stir the ingredients together in a bowl and put into a screw top jar.
  • Leave for 24 hours.
  • Stir the mixture and apply to any areas of the body you wish to exfoliate.
  • Massage into the skin for a few minutes then shower off.
  • Pat your skin dry

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Surprising Uses for Vodka

      


Vodka has been enjoyed since at least the early Middle Ages, and is well known as one of the world's most popular spirits. Its versatility in mixing and high alcohol content have made it extremely popular in cocktails, and it is still widely enjoyed 'neat' (straight up) in much of Eastern and Northern Europe.

Vodka also has a long history of use as medicine, having been sold by druggists to cure everything from infertility to colic and the plague. While some of those historic promoters were half-cocked, it's true that vodka has a wide range of potential uses beyond serving as a relaxer and social lubricant.

Why would you want to do anything else with vodka but drink it? It is widely available, effective and less toxic than many of the chemical alternatives you might use for these tasks.

Treat Poison Ivy

For many, one of the hazards of enjoying the great outdoors is an encounter with poison ivy, oak or sumac. It can lead to a nasty, long-lasting rash. Unfortunately, poison ivy is spreading, thanks to global warming.
To avoid the uncomfortable reaction, immediately pour vodka on skin that has come into contact with poison ivy, and the alcohol will wash away the itchy culprit, urushiol oil. Some have said that the vodka needs to be at least 100 proof to work.
Others have argued that straight rubbing alcohol works better, but we're guessing you may not have that as handy if you are on your average picnic.

Freshen Laundry

You can keep your clothes smelling fresher with vodka — really! Simply spritz your duds with the stuff, then hang to dry in a well-ventilated area. (Do a spot-test first to be safe.)
Vodka kills odor-causing bacteria, but doesn't leave a scent when dry.

Shine Your Fixtures

It's easy to get your chrome, glass and porcelain fixtures shining like the top of the Chrysler Building. Guess what does the trick?  Moisten a soft, clean cloth with vodka, then apply a little elbow grease.

Preserve Flowers

If vodka can help you find love, then it can also help you preserve it — or at least the symbols of it.
Add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water in your flower vase. It should help keep your flowers fresh longer. Change out the mixture with fresh ingredients daily.


Repel Insects

Unless you are intent on proving how hard-core you are, or you have a bizarre fetish, you probably don't enjoy getting feasted on by insects. But you've read media reports questioning the safety of DEET-based repellents, and you are pretty sure you don't want to take the risk of spraying yourself in the face with poisonous bug killers.

Who knew that vodka can kill pesky insects, as well as nagging doubts at the bar? Pour a little of the saucy spirit in a spray bottle and squirt on the little buggers, or yourself as a repellent. But please don't take aim at any beneficial bees!

Soothe Jellyfish Stings

Jellyfish are fascinating, beautiful sea creatures. But their stingers can pack a powerful, painful punch.
For vegetarians and others who don't travel with meat tenderizer (or who don't feel comfortable asking friends to, um, relieve the pain), take heart. Vodka can also disinfect and alleviate some of the bite of a jellyfish sting.

Get Great, Shiny Hair

Vodka doesn't just make you think people look prettier. It actually can make people prettier. How?
Try this remedy for healthier, lush hair: Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo.


Clean Away Mold

Got mold? The stuff spreads easily and can severely diminish indoor air quality. Unless you are shacking up with the Crypt Keeper, who wants to look at those grimy dark stains that build up on caulking (sometimes even on mold-resistant varieties)?

But instead of harsh chemical sprays, try filling a recycled spray bottle with some bottom-shelf vodka.
Spritz on, then let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub away with an old toothbrush (please don't use your sister's).

Make a Soothing Lavender Tincture

Do you find the scent of lavender soothing? Did you know that herbalists have used it for generations to naturally ease aches and pains? Here's a fun DIY tip:

Fill a clean glass jar with fresh lavender flowers, then top off with vodka. Seal the lid tightly and place in the sun for three days (same idea as making sun tea!).

Strain the resulting liquid through a coffee filter, and poof! You have a homemade tincture to rub into aches and pains. You can pour into smaller bottles, decorate them and give them as unique gifts.

Ease a Toothache

Got a toothache? Your first priority should be to see a dentist. But sometimes you can't get an appointment right away, or the professionals tell you it will just have to heal on its own.

In that case, try swishing a shot of vodka over the affected area. It can help disinfect, and should numb some of the pain in your gums. Just beware that your honey may accuse you of smelling like a saloon.

Thanks to The Daily Green!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Make it Yourself: Tightening/Toning Lemon Egg-White Mask





Makes 1 application
Juice from 1/2 a lemon (strained)
1 egg white
  • Beat together the egg white and lemon juice for 3 minutes.
  • Apply directly to your face, avoiding the eyes.
  • Leave on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water
Thanks to the Daily Green!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Make it Yourself: Honey-Avocado Invigorating and Revitalizing Hair Treatment




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Makes 1 application
1 medium avocado — peeled and stoned
2 tablespoons honey
  • Mash together the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Massage into hair.
  • Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  • Wash hair as usual

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Antidepressant Drugs Found in Drinking Water

I was appalled to hear this and recently found this article.  Take a moment to read it and let me know your thoughts!!

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Antidepressant drugs found in drinking water; pharmaceuticals have now become environmental pollutants


by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

antidepressants.jpgPharmaceuticals are now being found in drinking water, according to a study conducted in England. The study looked at 12 pharmaceuticals thought to pose an environmental threat, including painkillers, antibiotics, and antidepressants, and it found traces of these pharmaceuticals in both sewage waters and drinking water. It also found traces in the rivers downstream from the sewage treatment plants.


This is shocking information -- apparently we are dosing ourselves with such high levels of pharmaceuticals that we are now collectively polluting the rivers, streams and even the drinking water for the mass public. Even though this study was conducted in the U.K., there's little doubt that much of the same story would be found here in the United States as well. Why? Because in the United States, these drugs are also being prescribed at alarming levels, and after people take these drugs, they are, of course, entering the sewage treatment centers and being dumped into the rivers and streams that later on are used to make drinking water for people downstream. (Which reminds me, check out a book entitled, "Living Downstream" if you want the details on what's really going on with our rivers these days...)


All of this comes down to the mass medication of the public with trace amounts of prescription drugs. In another words, if you're drinking tap water that's tainted with these drugs, you're getting a little bit of Prozac whether you like it or not. And since we now know that antidepressant drugs promote violent behavior, including suicides and homicides, there's justified alarm at the idea that we're going to medicate the entire country with trace amounts of antidepressant drugs in one grand experiment. Maybe we'll just dump all of these drugs into the water supply, and step back and see what happens. There's already been talk of dumping statin drugs into the water supply because they are presumably so good for your health that everyone should be taking them whether they like it or not.



All of this brings up an issue that has been largely ignored by the pharmaceutical companies, and that is: what is the environmental impact of the mass prescription and mass consumption of their drugs? If millions upon millions of people are taking these drugs, then the environmental impact is potentially quite large. These drugs are, of course, synthetically produced, highly toxic chemicals that not only impact the health of human beings, but also potentially compromise the health of fish and creatures in our oceans. This could be one of the reasons why ocean life is continuing to decline around the world, and it seems like it won't be very long at all before these prescription drug pollutants start showing up in shrimp, crab, lobsters and perhaps someday, even in seaweed. If you thought mercury poisoning was bad, just wait until you hear the announcement that shrimp is contaminated with Prozac.

Interestingly, most pharmaceutical chemicals are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and thus there is no enforced limit of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water. In fact, in the United States, there is no government agency that is even testing the level of pharmaceuticals in public drinking water on a regular basis. So it is possible, and in fact likely that these levels will continue to rise in the years ahead without being detected or reported to the public at all.

Of course, as I've often said on this site, if you're drinking tap water, you're probably quite foolish to begin with. Most people reading this aren't drinking tap water, and thank goodness for that, because prescription drugs are just one of the many potential toxic pollutants in tap water. You certainly don't want to be consuming this stuff -- instead, you want to be drinking spring water or filtered water, using a quality water filter such as a carbon block filter or a reverse osmosis filter. Distilled water is also good for drinking.

If you're not drinking tap water, the potential for exposure to these toxic pharmaceutical chemicals in the water is remote. If you're showering in water that has some tiny amount of Prozac in it, for example, chances are you're not going to be absorbing a very high dose of Prozac, or at least not high enough to the point where it would be biologically active.

But sadly, most of the population is drinking tap water, and that's where this is a real concern. Just as America Online is now being increasingly questioned over the environmental impact of their tens of millions of free CDs each year that are distributed all over the country, I think it is reasonable now for pharmaceutical companies to answer to the justified accusation that they are manufacturing and releasing toxic chemicals into the environment through human customers. The fact that these toxic chemicals move through the bodies of human first doesn't make them any less toxic to our environment. They should be regulated by the EPA, and they should not be allowed in our rivers and streams, and in a very real sense, pharmaceutical companies should be held financially responsible for the environmental damage caused by their chemical products.

Another interesting thought on all of this is that many plant fertilizer products and soil products contain treated biosludge, which also contains, of course, human waste. These biosludge soil and fertilizer products will also undoubtedly be found to contain levels of pharmaceuticals such as Prozac, Viagra, statin drugs, and antidepressant drugs. The question then becomes, what happens when you start growing crops in these soils? Are these drugs neutralized by the plants, or are they in some way absorbed by the plants where they once again enter the food chain when human beings consume those plants? Is there any regulation of the use of biosludge fertilizers that contain toxic pharmaceutical chemicals?

Sadly, we are increasingly living in a world that is polluted not only by heavy metals, PCBs, and emissions from gasoline engines, we are now living in a world where even our water is polluted with pharmaceutical chemicals which is a direct result of the reckless and widespread prescription of pharmaceuticals by practitioners of conventional medicine. Once again, it seems that as long as there are profits to be made, everybody in the pharmaceutical industry is happy, regardless of the negative impact on the environment. In fact, I don't think you even hear much talk at all these days about pharmaceutical companies working to protect the environment. It's pretty much just, "Here, take this drug, pay us $100 a pill, and then flush it down the toilet. After that, we don't want to think about it anymore."

Make it at Home: Mayonnaise-Baby Oil Dry Skin Treatment




beauty.jpg


Make your own beauty products to keep harmful chemicals off of your skin. Homemade creams, soaps and other products can be just as luxurious and fragrant as their commercial counterparts but you can avoid artificial chemicals – and the headache of dealing with all that packaging waste.

Although beauty products don't have to list their ingredients, they often contain pthalates, formaldehyde, parabens and other chemicals that have been shown to harm animals in lab tests, and which are being phased out in Europe in favor of less toxic alternatives. Prenatal exposure to pthalates, for example, has been linked to liver and kidney damage and effects on baby boys' reproductive organs, and the chemical has been implicated in male obesity. The CDC found the potentially harmful sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone in 97% of Americans tested.

Plus, you don't want any nasty stuff getting into our fragile waterways, do you? That's what happens when cosmetics and personal care products are washed down the drain. Frogs and aquatic life are highly susceptible to damage from even minute contamination.

Why not get beautiful in less risky ways? Remember that many of these recipes can be put into reusable containers — which can also be decorated and given as unique, homemade gifts.
- by Helen  ItsEcoTime.com

**********************************************

Makes 1 application
2 tablespoons real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon baby oil
  • Combine both ingredients.
  • Smooth onto face, neck, rough elbows and knees or anywhere else you feel might benefit from it.
  • Leave for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off thoroughly with tepid wate

Thanks to the Daily Green!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Raw Milk: Pros and Cons

So, in my mom's group today, we had a Toddler Nutritionist come and speak to us.

She commented on the importance of drinking raw milk, from a certified local farm.

I had always heard of the dangers of consuming raw milk, but she was stating that pasteurized milk actually strips a lot of the beneficial elements of milk.

I wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this!

I found a great article describing the pros and cons to raw milk on Treehugger.com, but am still torn.


Leave a comment and let me know!