Ecocentric Mom is a monthly product subscription service. I have reviewed a handful of these services on this blog and have always really liked the concept. It makes me feel like I am getting presents when every month something is delivered to my door with surprise goodies. Even though you are paying for it, it is still tons of fun. This particular box is designed to provide you with an array of earth friendly goodies for mom each month.
I got a box from Ecocentric Mom to review this month…their first month in service. Let’s dig in shall we?
Orgain Creamy Chocolate Fudge Nutritional Shake – This is a really interesting product. It is part protein shake and part veggie/fruit smoothie. It is designed to be a meal replacement shake or just a nutritional booster. I think it will make an awesome post workout refresher after CrossFit today. It has 24 vitamins and minerals and real fruits and veggies, all organic. The only thing I don’t care for is the fact that it is sweetened with brown rice syrup. As a paleo I probably will not continue buying.
Tree Hugger Bubble Gum – My kids rarely get gum (see why here) so they were all over the two bags of gum in this box. It is naturally colored gumballs, gluten free, cane sugar, nut free, dairy free, kosher, and made with a sustainable chicle gum base. I had some myself and adored the cinnamon. Yum!
Laura Brooke Cosmetiques Guava Lip Glaze – Made with organic, natural ingredients. I will testing this out at BlogHer next week but so far I like it.
Naturally It’s Clean Floor Cleaner – I love the orange scent of this. I typically just use vinegar/water or maybe some Dr. Bronner’s so it is nice to use something new. Made with water, plant based enzymes, coconut oil surfactants, essential orange oil, and natural orange color.
Green Body Green Planet Shampoo and Conditioner – I got four little bottles. Two are the Energy blend (body and fullness) and two are the Revitalizing (cleanse and nourish) blend. Their formulas consist of 13 organic plant extracts and oils meant to nourish the hair and scalp. They are also sulphate free! I plan to take these to New York next week (BlogHer) and will replace the hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles with these.
Lastly the box came with a 100% natural cotton sport pack, coupons, and a brochure highlighting the products and giving out online coupon codes for many of them for anywhere from 10% to 40% off online purchase.
You can join Ecocentric Mom here for as little as $17 a month and free shipping.
About the same time I got my new bed I also got a new pillow. Hurray! Before getting to test drive the Savvy Rest Shredded Latex Pillow you see above I was using some organic cotton pillows that frankly were not that comfortable. In fact I was using two of them at once because they tended to get flatter and flatter with each passing day. I ended up passing my pillows on to my daughter, along with my old bed actually. While neither is that great IMO they are better than what she currently had. Why is it that kids pillows always end up stained and gross even if you have rules about food in the bedroom???
Anyway, Savvy Rest sells lots of organic and natural bedding products including natural mattresses. When my pillow arrived it came over stuffed so I had to remove quite a bit of the shredded latex filling. I ended up bagging it and it will hang out in my closet until I figure out a way to reuse it. It is super soft Dunlop and natural Talalay latex rubber that is shredded into tiny pieces. I am am not big on the big blocks of latex that make up contoured pillows so this seemed like the perfect compromise. The cover is organic cotton.
I have been using it for a few weeks now and I quite like it. Being able to add/remove the filling allows you to customize it to your preferred comfort level. If you like a firm pillow no problem. If you like a soft pillow that is no problem either just remove the fill as needed. I find that I needed to remove quite a bit since I have a memory foam mattress that I tend to sink into. I imagine I could make another pillow with what I have left over. ;) Plus the cover is removeable so that it can be washed if it gets dirty.
A company called The Conscious Box recently contacted me and asked if they could send me one of their “boxes”. I had never heard of the company before but I was familiar with what they were offering. I have seen it in one other place and fell in love with the concept. For whatever reason I never ordered though. Instead I would just see a link or a mention somewhere and think to myself that “gee I need to order of one of those” and then promptly forget. Thanks to this inventive company I finally got my goodie box! It is just as fun and exiting as I suspected it would be.
The idea is that you buy a monthly subscription and get a box filled with mystery goodies delivered to your door each month. You have no idea what will be in the box only that it will be a mish mesh of green and ethical goodies. Each month you get pure and natural products from organic food to vegan beauty supplies. The companies behind the products are all ethical and purpose driven businesses and the hope is that you will discover and fall in love with some wonderful new products and companies. You get to support companies that are working to make a happier, healthier planet, and a healthier you with natural and safe products. There is a card in the box with tips for ways to reuse the cardboard box your goodies came in. LOVED the idea to use it as a window box and plant flowers in it or use it as a picture frame! Attached to the box is a card with the monthly theme. For November it was gratitude, which is an easy sell when you open such a yummy box. The little quotes about gratitude were awesome at any rate.
I think the reason I love this concept so much is because I love surprises. Getting a surprise box every month is so much fun and I get to try stuff I might not otherwise have tried. Almost every single thing in the box was new to me. Woot! This is what came inside my November box:
A Mary’s Gone Crackers Double Chocolate Cookie – Yum! Dark, rich chocolate and by a company that makes several crackers that I love. I had no idea they made cookies though. Guess I haven’t been to Whole Foods in awhile. The only issue I had is that it has soy in it. As you may know… soy and I are not on good terms.
Funky Monkey Dried Pink Pineapple – Another yum. Major yum. They are vegan, raw, and gluten free. My kids descended on these like vultures and begged that we keep buying. These would be perfect for school lunches IMO.
Living Nutz Bodacious Banana Bread Walnuts – We are not newbies to Living Nutz. They are fracking awesome in our estimation. We had never had the Banana Bread Walnuts though. Yummo! They do in fact taste just like banana bread. You can buy them at Raw Food World.
Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch – What can you say about juice boxes really? My 5 year old drank it up and claimed to liked it, LOL. They are organic, contain half the calories and sugar of most children’s drinks, and have no high fructose corn syrup.
CocoaWell Pills- These I had never seen before. Apparently they give you a dose of cocoa without the calories and fat you would get from eating chocolate. The cocoa is infused with green tea and acacia catechu – nature’s richest sources of pure plant flavanols. Fair trade!
Glee Gum – We got mint and lemon-lime. Glee Gum is a natural gum alternative, with no preservatives, artificial flavorings, or colorings. It is also the only gum on the market which contains chicle in its gum base. It is not 100% plastic free gum but it comes much closer than other gum products. My 11 year old son liked the mint flavor and my 7 year old daughter HATED the lemon-lime for the record.
Pharmacopia Organic Verbena Body Lotion and Body Wash – These two smell divine, that’s for sure. Since we don’t buy products like these they seemed like a super luxurious shower treat. Formulated with certified organic ingredients and an aromatherapy blend of essential oils.
100% Pure Nourishing Cream – We got Vanilla Bean and Green Apple. – Haven’t tried them personally since I am not big on lotion and I don’t have a need for it really but I suspect I will enjoy them sometime this winter.
Loved the experience of getting this box and I will definitely have to become a subscriber!
I discovered Abe’s Market sometime last year when I came across a cardboard dollhouse with furniture that I knew my 7 year old daughter would just love. It ended up being a birthday present and my daughter still plays with it quite often. Even though it is made of cardboard it is still going strong.
This store is part Etsy and part Whole Foods with a mix of posh and sustainable toys as well as some handcrafted stuff. But they also have a little Amazon, Groupon and Home Shopping Network thrown in their to to make a really well rounded online store. Abe’s Market is about combining the best things that Grandpa Abe represented – health and wellness, mom and pop, reliability, trust, honesty, community and personal connection between business owners and customers. They also have great prices IMO. I recall that dollhouse being a real steal.
Well, the folks at Abe’s Market are celebrating their new “In the Know” video series by offering my readers a kickin coupon deal. The idea behind the series is to help consumers find out where the the products they are buying come from and the story behind them. This valuable background goes beyond what can be found on a label. Who makes the product? What’s in it? Where is it made? How? I recall watching their video about the dollhouse when I purchased it. I already thought it was an amazing idea but it looks like they are taking that idea even farther and adding educational videos on all sorts of other topics. This one below talks about shopping for natural, organic, eco friendly toys.
With Christmas coming up I thought a $10 off coupon might come in handy. Enjoy!
Visitthe store and use the special one-time only discount code “ENB-dk49hy” at checkout for $10 off a $30 purchase or more. Also visit @AbesMarket on Twitter and Facebook.
We have owned several cardboard toys from mini treehouses and castles to spaceships to actual child size play houses. I like cardboard because it is recyclable or compostable and durable enough for kids to fully enjoy it before it needs to be tossed. You can also paint them all sorts of groovy colors and customize the way they they look.
These days my kiddos are playing with a cardboard ice cream truck courtesy of Build a Dream Playhouses. They graciously offered to send us one on the house and I knew my kids would get a kick out the truck as opposed to their other (but equally fun) cardboard toys.
It came in a fairly large but skinny box and my kids loved playing with that too. I had my husband put it together cause that’s how I roll. It took about 10 minutes I would say. We noticed right away that the truck comes out of the box plain so that it can be an ice cream truck like we have OR an ambulance… it came with a few extra pieces for that, if you want to go that direction. That is why they call it The Imagine Wagon as opposed to the Ice Cream Truck.. pretty clever I think. This giant truck sat on our kitchen table for about a week while I painted in spurts.. with the kids helping of course. I picked the yellow and teal color scheme for the truck and my daughter chose the ice cream flavors.
We used water based acrylic paints and it dried very fast. It was also pretty easy to paint since we had it up on a table. The most time consuming part was painting the ice creams on the side of the truck.. the sno cone, ice cream cone, ice cream sandwich, and the popsicle. They had to drawn by hand but it was easy enough after I printed some vector images off the computer and then traced them onto the truck. Then I painted over where I traced and voila. I think they came out very well. My oldest son claimed that I was a big fat liar for claiming I was not artistic. Ha! I would not go so far as that but it was a nice if not slightly insulting compliment. They still need to paint the inside dash with markers and it will be all finished.
After it was all painted it hung out in the garage for far too long as we waited for a non rainy day to play with it. But that sunny day finally came!
They LOVE it! But I knew they would. I also figured it would draw other kids and boy did it. At least half a dozen other kids made their way over to play with it in just a few minutes. It was a big hit. They all took turns pretending to order their favorite items.
My only criticism is that the big Popsicles on top come off really easy when it moves or the wind blows. The sides can cave in a bit when kids move around it from inside, like they are driving. The design in those two ares could be a tad sturdier. Stickers would nice for parents that don’t want to hand paint the ice creams but in the end I am glad I had to paint them. It was a lot of fun.
There are many other options other than the ice cream truck too. My kids woulds also dig their lemonade stand, their play kitchen, and their space rocket. In fact we may need to buy that space rocket or Cosmic Cruiser as they call it, soon. I see a lot of open ended “pretend” play with these toys, which is the best kind. I also love that they were designed by a Cleveland Dad, very cool. These playhouse definitely get an enthusiastic thumbs up from us!