The winner of the Kombucha Kit from GetKombucha has been selected at random. It is Deena from Colorado!! For everyone else use the coupon code naturemoms25 for a $25 virtual gift card, valid through April 15th on a purchase of $150+ on anything in the site, excluding cases of bottled kombucha tea (bottled extracts are def included!)
As an even greater incentive, if you purchase within 24 hours of this announcement, in additional to the $25 off, Dave will also include a free gift. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/PbDLG5
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of eCards from American Greetings. All opinions are 100% mine.
It is a big part of our culture to give cards for special occasions…birthdays, holidays, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, illness, the list goes on. Even when we give gifts it is customary to give a card as well. I have always resisted the urge to buy cards because I think it is wasteful. The cards are beautiful and often funny (I like the humorous ones) and they provide us with something witty to say when we don’t have the words. But most likely they will just end up in the trash…or they will saved in some dark box along with other cards that have been relegated to the greeting card grave yard until they too are trashed when the recipient decides they no longer need to hang onto cards from years ago.
Greeting cards are also really pricey and you have to go to the store to buy them. For me that means a special trip usually because who remembers these details when they are already at the store? Not me. Any alternative that does not require me to drop $6 on a single greeting card (even if it sings), a special trip to the store, or sending paper waste out into the yonder is alright by me. Luckily there are more and more options out there.
American Greetings has new singing greetings and video eCards that you can send. They can be sent via email, mobile, or Facebook. You pay a small monthly ($3.99) or annual fee ($19.99) and then you can send unlimited eCards. You can also try the service via a free seven day trial. Learn more.
I love the “Just Because” video eCards. I need to send one to my mom just to let her know I have been thinking of her a lot lately. Love this ladybug one! My grandmother used to have those exact same chairs. :)
Who do you want to send a video e-Card too??
Make your American Greetings eCard now
Two weeks ago I shared my first foray brewing Kombucha with a GetKombucha Continuous Brew Kit. For two weeks our Kombucha has been brewing and yesterday we finished it off by bottling it and also flavoring it. Flavoring is entirely optional…the Kombucha tastes incredible on its own, but we like to jazz up some of our batches to create new flavors. Then we drink it throughout the day instead falling back on things like soda or sugary juice. We also take it with us in school and work lunches for a tasty, healthy drink on the go.
Our process is pretty simple. We allow our Kombucha to ferment for about 14-16 days usually, giving it a taste around day ten to see where we are at. When it is brewed to our liking we bottle it in glass jars that used to contain store bought Kombucha. They are the perfect size and we love reusing items when we can instead of tossing them in the recycling bin. We have about 4-5 dozen bottles because we typically brew 2-3 gallons a week . This provides a steady supply of Kombucha for the whole family.
Once the Kombucha is done and we know we will be bottling it we decide if we will flavor it and how. We also add chia seeds most of the time…extra flavor, extra filling, and we love the texture. First we brew up some flavored tea (peach this time around) and we put the chia seeds in it to plump and soak up the tea.
If we put them directly in the bottles we find that they clump together so a pre-soaking works better and they will absorb the flavor of the tea. You can also add juice to this mixture as well for extra flavoring. We added some tart organic cherry juice to ours and it complimented the peach tea very nicely. We like to experiment with a variety of flavored teas and organic juices.
Once the chia seeds have soaked for a bit we use a funnel to put them in our glass bottles. The gloopy, globby mixture settles down at the bottom.
Then it is time for the Kombucha and thanks to this new brew kit we can pour it directly from the spigot. This makes it much easier for us! Fill each bottle, seal them, and put them in the fridge for drinking throughout the week. The photo below is just some of the jars we bottled. A few them just had the peach tea chia seeds and others had the added cherry juice, hence the variation in colors. All were delicious!
Before we even started the bottling process though we brewed some more tea for another batch. Last week we made a gallon in our new kit but this week we filled it up (2 gallons). The scoby is now happily swimming around in a fresh batch of tea and fermenting away until we begin the bottling process again, in two weeks or so. The batch from this week provided us with a baby scoby as well. I typically save them for making extra batches as needed or I sell them locally for $5 a piece. I also compost them along with the loose tea or tea bags (depending on what we used). This is pretty much a waste free process.
For more ideas on how to flavor your tea visit GetKombucha. They talk about flavoring with ginger, lavender, rosehips, and other adventurous options.
On to the giveaway!!! One of my readers will be fortunate enough to win the exact same Kombucha kit! You will get the porcelain brewer with spigot, a handcrafted wood stand, cover, loose tea, muslin bags, scoby, and instructions. To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below. There are numerous ways to gain entries. Good luck! US Residents only.
Thank you to Get Kombucha for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of the Green Moms Network, and the content and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Giveaway time!!! I try to keep giveaways to a minimum here. Perhaps it is because I am uber picky about the types of products I endorse. The beauty of this giveaway though is that the winner gets to choose what they need and want because it is a gift card. Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop because they have great prices and virtually anything under the sun I could need or want. I buy books, I buy food, I buy supplements, I buy….lots of stuff.
The prize for this giveaway is an Amazon gift card for a whopping $450!! Just think about what $450 would buy. You could opt to buy lots of little things…
A book or two… I would recommend some great gardening reads since spring is coming.
You could also buy some of the supplements you have been wanting to try. Grab some grassfed gelatin and some fermented cod liver oil and butter oil capsules.
Maybe those brand spanking new heritage Ball jars…in green. You know you want them…..er I mean NEED them.
The option is also there is get one or two BIG things.
How about a lawn mower with a rechargeable battery so you can stop spraying your lawn and garden with gasoline fumes?
Or a KitchenAid Mixer? Can’t go wrong there!
How to Enter for Your Chance to Win:
1. Subscribe to the NatureMoms weekly newsletter highlighting the latest posts and health tips from me. (Sign up below)
2. Leave a comment letting me know what you would you would buy with this gift card…
3. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to confirm these entries and unlock more chances to win.
***For more ways to win, be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway!***
Our Small Hours
Weed ‘em and Reap
LA Healthy Living
The Healthy Honeys
Yuppie Farm Girl
a Rafflecopter giveaway
A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Friday, April 1st. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone!
It has been said that diamonds are one of the biggest marketing scams in history and I would have to agree. It is a modern tradition that men are supposed to present a woman with a diamond when they pop the question. The bigger the diamond, the more love there must be. Personally I am not sure why women have even allowed such a thing to become tradition (in this age of feminism) as it smacks of being “purchased” or bribed.
Even worse is the fact that the practice of buying a diamond was all instigated by a clever marketing campaign in the 1930s by De Beers, a diamond jeweler. A clever campaign turned into societal expectation and yet most people seem content to keep the scam going. Why??? Why have we allowed ourselves to be psychologically conditioned by companies out to take our money. As a society we have been tricked into coveting sparkling pieces of carbon and that trickery is long running, almost a century. Perhaps it is time to put an end to all the nonsense.
It isn’t just the fact that we have been duped that should get your ire up. There is also the fact that the diamond industry is pretty terrible. Diamonds are way overpriced and they lose their value after sale. The mining process is dirty, nasty, environmentally destructive, and it infringes upon the rights and lives of others. Slave labor is often used to bring diamonds to us…many times child slave labor and they are used to fund civil wars and conflicts in which many people die. The diamond trade has also be linked to arms deals and the sex slave trade. The term blood diamond does seem to be a fitting moniker and it is the last thing that should be seen as a traditional symbol of love.
The use of a diamond in an engagement is nothing but a sign that you have been brainwashed by a corrupt corporate entity. Couple that with the atrocities that occur in order to bring diamonds to a jeweler near you, and everyone should be asking…
Why in the blue blazes are we still buying diamonds???
But it is not that cut and dry right? Well, I think it should be but awhile back I brought this topic up with some friends and some of them were not too keen on discussing why a diamond might be “wrong”. I heard comments about it being traditional (even though it’s actually not), how it is romantic, and how it may be the one and only nice jewelry piece they may own. Some also said it would be humiliating to tell others about their engagement without the rock. People would look at their hand and wonder why they were marrying a loser who couldn’t buy them a ring. It seems that many women may not be ready to let go of the diamonds.
That got me thinking what a couple might do to honor each other and the lives they want to to build together OTHER than spending money on diamonds. I like ideas that include something for both parties instead of just the woman. Guys are getting the shaft. They have to buy a shiny bauble to show their devotion for us but what do we do for them?? Show up?
I have a few ideas below…
6 months of premarital counseling – Nothing says romance like therapy right??? Okay, maybe not. It does however, make good sense. So many people today get married without any real clue who their partner is. OR they overlook things thinking “that can be changed”. Well instead of spending money on marriage counselors after the marriage is broken, spend the money up front and really learn about your partner before you exchange vows.
A pre-scheduled vacation – Pay for a grand vacation and schedule it for your first anniversary. I think any woman with good sense would rather have the promise of two weeks at a bed and breakfast in Italy or Greece instead of a diamond ring. Plan something fantastic together and put that money to some use in creating memories.
A down payment on a home – The money that you would have spent on a diamond can be saved and set aside as a down payment on a home together or if you are ready you can use it immediately for that purpose.
A round the world airfare ticket for two – This is another spin on the vacation idea. If the two of you love to travel you can’t go wrong here.
A big ticket item – A big something that both of you would enjoy and use…a used car, a piano, a four poster bed, new furniture, etc.
A year of date nights – Either get creative and pre-plan/pre-pay or simply set the money aside for this purpose. For a year after marriage you can have a grand date night or date weekend, once a month. Check into a local B&B or hotel, get the his and hers massage package, eat at restaurant you have always wanted to try, and splurge.
An alternative ring idea – Use the money on two wedding rings that are sustainable, ethical, and affordable (skip the engagement ring). You can buy simple wedding bands that are made from recycled precious metals or you can buy used. There are also rings made of wood. I absolutely love the way they look, just take a gander at this Etsy store. Amazing!
Where do you weigh in on this? Ready to buck tradition and let love be enough or do you NEED the diamond?