Back-to-School with CLIFKid

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Last year I shared my love for CLIF Kid snacks with you (to read post: Click Here). My family and I have been a big fan of their Zbars for a while now. Well, with back-to-school around the corner, I could not pass up the chance to share their latest product with you…CLIF Kid Zbar Protein! These nutritious snack bars are made with organic whole grains and contain 5 grams of protein. They are also a great source of calcium, fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin D. They do not contain any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives or artificial flavors. They are also low in calories, fat and sugar. They are a great alternative to conventional granola bars, snacks and sweets that are filled with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

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Zbar Protein is available in 3 flavors: Chocolate chip, Chocolate Mint (my daughter’s favorite!) and Peanut Butter Chocolate (my favorite!).  All three are super yummy…your kids won’t even know they’re actually good for them. A box of 5 sells for approximately $4.99…just around 99 cents per bar! I don’t know about you, but this is the type of snack bar I am happy to pack in my little girl’s lunchbox.  It also makes a great after-school snack , fuel for after-school activities, or a post-practice recovery snack. It is essential that growing, active children get their daily intake of nutrients in order to perform and flourish.

So, in honor of Back-to-School, I would like to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to be a “lunchbox hero.”  Be the first to leave a comment below sharing your most creative healthy lunchbox snack and you will win a half dozen variety of the new CLIF Kid Zbar Protein snack bars…simple as that!

For more info on CLIF Kid visit the Website or follow them on Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

 

Final Ecocentric Mom Review

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Yes, sadly, this will be my last Ecocentric Mom review. I have had such a great time being a part of the expert blogger team and receiving goodies to review and share with you, but my time has come to move on. This past year was a very busy one and after some R&R this Summer, I’ve realized the need to slow down a bit. With a new school year around the corner, I am looking forward to new projects and responsibilities. However, the focus on my priorities and time management will be much clearer. Family comes first and Ecocentric Mom has played a big role for me in making sure I do not forget that.

As a busy mom it can be difficult to find the time to ensure you are providing your family (and yourself!) with the healthiest and safest options. That’s where Ecocentric Mom subscription boxes can help. Every other month you will get a box of organic, natural and healthy products right at your doorstep. You can discover and learn about some of the healthiest snacks, safest bath products and cosmetics, and so much more.

Being a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I want to make sure I keep up-to-date with what’s out there for new moms and little ones too. So, without further ado, check out the great products I received in my July/August “Mom-to-Be” Ecocentric Mom Box…..

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Cream Foundation ~ this has become one of my favorite make-up lines thanks to Ecocentric Mom. I’ve tried their lipstick and glosses and love them. While I’m not a foundation fan, this stuff works great….super lightweight, all-natural and contains SPF-28. I received a 3 pack travel size worth $1.40.

Savannah Red Lip Balm ~ this balm comes in a variety of flavors. I received the Beautiful Sugar and love how it smells. Best of all, the natural and organic ingredients leave my lips feeling so soft. One tube of lip balm sells for $2.99. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Bears Beauty Belly Balm ~ This organic skincare line will be a great recommendation for my doula clients. Hand-made, chemical free and made with organic hemp oil, this vegan belly balm is a safe choice for your baby. I received a travel size balm worth $1.50 and a 15% online discount code.

Water Wipes All-Natural Baby Wipes ~ This is the second time I receive Water Wipes in my Ecocentric Mom Box…but I’m not complaining! In fact, they are the brand I recommend the most. These are truly the purest baby wipes ever…made with 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract. I received a 10 wipe travel pack which sells for 99 cents. They can now be found at most major retailers, including walgreens.com and diapers.com.

Happy Baby Meal Time Board Book ~ This adorable book would make a great gift for any new mom and baby, especially when it is time to introduce solid foods to your little one. The bright pictures and clever words will keep baby entertained and expose him or her to meal time fun and reading. The board book sells for $9.95.

eInvite Sample Personalized Cards & Stationery ~ I received 5 sample fold top cards and a 20% online discount code which introduced me to eInvite.com. The site offers a great line of personalized stationery. You will find baby related stationary, like shower invitations and birth announcements, all customizable and all made in the USA. Visit http://www.einvite.com for more info.

AROMAFLAGE Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent ~ Now that I’m back on the East Coast for the end of Summer and its humidity, I will definitely be putting this to use to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. It is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and other toxic chemicals. The cedar wood, vanilla, citrus and Vitamin E combination even make it smell good, unlike most natural insect repellents. I received a travel size sample worth $3.75.

The Natural Suburban Spices and Teas ~ I received a sample of “Summer Herb Garden Savory Spice”, as well as “Need a Little Sunshine in my Day Tea.” While I have not used either yet, I love that they are handcrafted, all-organic blends. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Yogavive Apple Chips ~ Last, but certainly not least (considering I opened these first!), I received a regular bag of chocolate flavored apple chips. Not sure if it was the chocolate or the Yoga that caught my attention first. Regardless, this healthy snack is made with USDA certified organic Fuji apples and are 100% fat free…tasty too! A bag sells for $4.49.

There you have it…another box of great finds, thanks to Ecocentric Mom. If you are thinking of signing up for a subscription box service, I highly recommend you give them a try. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

For more information and to subscribe visit the Ecocentric Mom website.

DIY Summer Spruce-Up

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As my vacation comes to an end, I already feel the anxiety of getting back to a dusty home and the back-to-school craze.  I’ve been a student and a teacher practically my whole life, making September a  month of new beginnings for me. Now with a school aged child the end of Summer and beginning of Fall continues to be my New Year and Spring Cleaning rolled into one.  I like to call it time for my “Summer Spruce-Up.”

Last Fall I began experimenting with several different homemade cleaner recipes. After much trial and error I found that all you really need is water, baking soda, vinegar and your favorite essential oil for scent. So as you clean out those rooms and closets to prepare for a new school year and scrub those floors after a Summer of trekking in pool water and mud, consider making your own eco-friendly household cleaners. This step-by-step easy guide to making your own cleaners from www.brightnest.com will help save you money and protect your family and the environment from toxins and chemicals found in conventional cleaning brands.

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Smart Irrigation Month

I’ve been visiting family here in my home state of CA this past month and temperatures have been very high! The idea of slip and slides and running through sprinklers have not been more appealing since childhood. Yet, just taking a few extra minutes in the shower makes me feel guilty. You see, on every major freeway you’ll find the lit up signs announcing the severe drought taking place here. It compelled me to look into the major causes and also share ways we can all pitch in and conserve water.

This isn’t just a problem in CA. Surprisingly, I learned that in the US  we have one of the highest averages of water use per person. Not surprising, I also learned that July is the peak month for water use. Through a campaign started in 2005 by the Irrigation Association it is now also considered Smart Irrigation Month. To learn more about how you can be involved and help support this cause visit their website: www.smartirrigationmonth.org.  You can also visit the EPA website and learn about the WaterSense program and products.

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WaterSense's Save Water Summer Infographic

Playmaker Nutrition Giveaway!

PicsArt_1405463522246In my May/June Ecocentric Mom boxes review, I mentioned how excited I was to receive 2 full size bottles of Playmaker Nutrition. This line of dietary supplements is designed for active kids and teens and is endorsed by some very famous athletes. Finding the right vitamin for my active 7 year old daughter has been one of my biggest battles in the past few years. We’ve gone from the teddy bear gummies to chewables to trying to get her to swallow capsules. The problem is, many supplements out on the market are full of sugar, preservatives and other fillers. Thanks to Playmaker Nutrition, we have finally found something we both like! She loves the taste of both the Playmaker Nutrition (Sugar-free!) Multi-Vitamin, as well as the Calcium-Vitamin D. I love that their products are made with all natural colors and flavors and are free of preservatives, corn syrup and added sugars. Playmaker Nutrition is also free of gelatin, gluten, milk, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts and animal derivatives.  While we may do our best to eat balanced, healthy meals, it is always a good idea to supplement with vitamins to ensure our active children are getting all the nutrition they need. At only $13.99 per bottle, Playmaker Nutrition is also a great value! You can find Playmaker Nutrition products in their webstore or nationwide at The Vitamin Shoppe, Sprouts, Whole Foods (SoCal, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii) and Kroger’s chain of stores.

Wait…it gets better!

I am happy to announce the opportunity for my readers to win a free 3 pack of Playmaker Nutrition Products! Just click the link below to enter the Raffle and you can win a full size bottle of the Sugar-Free Multivitamin, the Calcium-Vitamin D, and the Immunity Vitamin C. That’s over a $42 value!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Raffle ends on Tuesday, June 29th 2014 at 11:59 pm (est). One winner will be randomly selected and all entries will be verified. Winner must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the United States. Please provide a valid email so you may be easily contacted within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen. Good Luck! 

 

For more info on Playmaker Nutrition visit their Website

or

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube

The Benefits of Yoga

As a yoga instructor, I often get asked what the best type of practice is and if yoga really “works.” With such a variety of styles and levels, it can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. While people look to yoga for different reasons, some for flexibility, others for weightloss, and some just to de-stress, it’s no secret that the physical and mental benefits are abundant. Recently, the Huffington Post published the infographic below “How Yoga Transforms Your Body”. It does a great job of breaking down the many immediate and long-term benefits of Yoga. It’s no wonder why it continues to be the number one form of exercise for all ages, with many adopting it as a lifestyle. Yoga has been around for many years and continues to grow in popularity, showing no sign of slowing down.

This article originally appeared on the GreenDeals Go Green Blog.

Plastic-Free with PackSack

A few weeks ago I shared an infographic and my thoughts on the use of plastic bags. (To read: Click Here.) So when I learned about PackSack, I knew I had to check out and share. The PackSack is a reusable, eco-friendly bag that is great for anything from grocery shopping to day outings. The company just started up in San Diego, CA and is making big moves to encourage the ban of plastic bags that too often end up in our oceans.

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I love my PackSack. It is made of durable material and holds a lot…up to 45 lbs! The best part is that it rolls up and scrunches into a convenient little pouch that you can fit into your pocket. You can easily store a few in your glove compartment, which sure beats remembering to bring along big totes or paper bags. They even have their own draw string, making it so easy to carry around and store….

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The PackSack line comes in a variety of colors and is very inexpensive.  You can order them online or find a retailer near you by visiting their website: www.thePackSack.com. They make being green so easy and fun….I highly recommend them!

You can also get more info by checking out the PackSack YouTube channel, following them on Twitter, their Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

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