A couple weeks ago I discovered the eBook Bundle of the Week much to my delight. It is essentially a new bundle of high quality ebooks for one super low price ($7.40), usually less than the price of one book individually. I scooped up some ebooks about blogging and productivity a couple weeks ago and almost got last week’s bundle about home organization but I already owned three of them! They are usually books I have already had my eye on but this week’s bundle is full of new-to-me stuff and I am super excited about it.
It is perfect for valentine’s month and also for my personal goals. If you recall it is one my NewYear’s resolutions to make my husband/marriage a priority. Having some ebooks on the topic of marriage and relationships to read in bed each evening will be helpful for me no doubt. Having lots of ebooks to read also makes it less likely I will spend my evenings watching mindless television. For that reason, I am loving the ebook bundle of the week concept.
This week you get: 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, A Simple Marriage, Stripped Down, Entangled, and The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky.
A couple of these seemed at first to be a little religiously oriented which isn’t my thing but the information is still good. Everyone wants their marriage to rock right? If you want some love and relationship reading this month, these are sure to please. Enjoy!
I think I may have enough comparative data now to say that natural latex pillows are my fave, greener pillow option. I have tried feather pillows, organic cotton pillows, and even buckwheat pillows but latex has to be my favorite. For about four months now I have been sleeping on a latex pillow and we just added another two. The most recent additions are all-natural talalay latex pillows from Plushbeds. It is amazing how different the pillows are.
Unlike my original latex pillow, which is shredded latex, these are molded. This makes them a bit more “poofy” and perfect for people who like fluffy pillows. They also stay cooler IMO than regular pillows which is good for me because we have a memory foam mattress and they can get rather warm because they fit your body so snuggly but if my head is cool I don’t notice it as much. They also wick moisture away which is good if you tend to sweat.
I often steal both of the pillows for evening TV watching. Yes, I watch TV in my bedroom. My 6 year old is sleeping on one of them at night though. They did both have a rubbery smell when we got them but after running our air purifier throughout the night for a couple weeks, I no longer notice any smells.
- Derived from sustainably-harvested botanical latex
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Sleeps cool and keeps moisture out
- Extremely resilient and elastic
- Includes cotton cover with zipper system
They sell for $79, $89, or $99 each (Standard, Queen, and King Sizes). Not bad! They are really high quality and heavy… not something you will find at a cheapy big box store. They are also a great alternative for making dream time a little healthier and planet friendly.
Many thanks to Plush Beds for providing some pillows for me to review!
School starts back up in just a couple weeks. This means that bed times need to come back down to a reasonable hour… aka no more Lego building until 1:00 in the morning. You hear that dear daughter????
It also means that I am getting antsy about sending my youngest to Kindergarten. I want the transition to be as easy as possible and that is a tall order for a child who doesn’t do well with change. He will be leaving his previous school (preschool) and going to the same school as his older sister. He will be riding the bus and will be expected to find his way to his classroom each day. He will also be in a classroom with “typical” children and I am petrified that his autism will make him the odd one out. We have been down that road already with our oldest and it is no fun. I am seriously tempted to go to his school the first day and grab someone by the shirt collar and demand they do right by this child since they so royally messed the job up last time. Sigh…
Anyway, to get him ready for school I have been doing some schoolish activities with him so that we can discuss what is coming. One of those activities has been a daily painting time. Since he loves to paint he is more receptive to all this talk about a new school. We have been using, and thoroughly enjoying, Earth Paint.
When I go to a craft store to buy paint I usually stick with ones that I know are safe bets, like Tempura. I just don’t know what is inside some of the other paints and I don’t want to risk bringing something toxic into the house. And yet even the “safe” paints are big fats failures on the sustainability front. This is why I have deferred to ordering plant based paints online. We have a brand that we have used for years and have been quite happy with it. Even so I was equally happy to try Earth Paint and give it a thorough test run.
What I like most about Earth Paint: The colors are rich and true to nature. They are not glossy, overly bright colors that scream “came from a bottle.” The red is not the screaming red you would see on finger nail polish but rather the darker, deeper red you would find in berries. It just bothers me to see paintings of trees where the green used to do the leaves looks like it is a shade away from neon. These are the real colors of nature because they actually come from nature.
The kit you see in the photos is comprised of organic, eco-friendly paint made from natural earth pigments (pure clay). The naturally colored clay is collected from the ground, dried, crushed and sifted into pure pigment. When you mix a bit of water with the six powdered colors you get a super creamy paint that is similar to tempera. Or you can thin it out with even more water to create watercolor like effects. We found it super easy to mix and use. Mixing was half the fun in fact.
You can use it on paper of course but also things like wood, rocks, fabric, etc. The other plant based paints we have used could not boast this because their paints were/are significantly thinner and more like watercolors. We may end painting some rocks and sticks again this week, using Earth Paints. That was lots of fun but the techno colors of that project bothered me. These natural colors would look gorgeous I think.
This Made in the USA kit contains:
- Six colors of hand-crafted earth paints – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown (makes 120 oz. of paint when mixed!)
- Six biodegradable mixing cups (bio-plastic)
- An Earth Paints booklet with mixing instructions, nature-based art activities, information about the use of earth paints in ancient times, and more
*All reusable packaging that is 100% Post Consumer Recycled and biodegradable
Our family was grateful to stumble upon what is likely our new favorite natural paint. We give Earth Paints an A++. The oil paint kit is next on our list of products we need to try…a Christmas gift perhaps?
Many thanks to Earth Paint for sending us the kit to review!
A couple weeks ago I wrote about The Winter Blues or more specifically Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and what to do if you suffer during the winter months. One of the things I mentioned that I was doing to combat SAD on my part was to fill the air with negative ions. Quite simply negative ions create positive vibes. Columbia University has done extensive research on these invisible molecules that you typically find near waterfalls, mountains, and beaches. Just think about how the image of those three things effect you. I just think about breathing in the air around a waterfall and I get happy. These places tend to make us euphoric. But why? The studies have lead researchers to believe that negative ions produce biochemical reactions in our blood stream that increases levels of serotonin. A boost in serotonin helps alleviate depression, stress, and it gives us a boost of energy during the day.
So it goes to follow that if you use a negative-ion generator in your home you can benefit from the negative ions and the biochemical reaction they will create inside your body. Negative-ion generators also usually (from what I have seen) tend to be coupled with air purifiers. The air is cleaned of pollutants and allergens and it gets dosed with the happy molecules. I have been using air purifiers to do just that in my own home for well over a month now and have been VERY happy with the results.
I have two of the Permatech Ionizing Air Cleaners by Bionaire. With those we use Aer1 Ready Air Purifiers that get rid of germs and allergens. We have cleaner indoor air, it smells nice and clean in the house, allergens and germs are being filtered out, and optionally you can use the negative ion generator to fill the air with mood boosting negative ions. Typically I let the machine downstairs run for most of the day with the ion generator running for 3 to 4 hours in the morning. In the late evening I turn on the unit upstairs and we all breathe in fresh air while we sleep. They are slim units so we don’t worry about space. They have a washable pre-filter, which helps maximize filtration by the HEPA-Type filter, a filter service reminder, speed options, and a remote control. I can remember that I forgot to turn it on or off while I am sitting at my desk and just click the remote control to take care of that. Time to turn off the ionizer? Done in one click.
I think I have already seen a big improvement in my mood since using them but how to do verify something like that? Especially when you are also doing a variety of other things to combat moodiness as well. I can only say that I think they help. I KNOW they help with making the air cleaner and fresher though. We recently took a fake Christmas tree off the hands of some family members and it had been stored in their really musty basement. When we set it up at our house it stank to high heaven and made the whole house smell like rank basement. My first instinct was to break out the “birthday cake” soy candle and that worked only as long as it was lit, to mask the smell. Then I remembered (DUH!) that I could turn on the air purifier. Within 24 hours the smell was gone and I haven’t noticed it since. It was silly of me to forget because when we first moved to Ohio we were living in a 150 year old house and it smelled really old. My parents brought a similar but bigger air purifier into the house and within a few days all we smelled was clean air (no scent at all).
All in all, we are pleased as punch to have these purifiers. I had high expectations, hoping it would be a mood booster AND clean the air but it works on all counts, I am pleased to say. When we finally get a dog (my daughter is allergic) we will see just how well they filter out allergens too.
Disclosure: I received a free air purifier from Bionaire and Aer1 Filters (click for a filter coupon), plus several free filters to review, all words and opinions are mine of course. Many thanks to them for their generosity!
You don’t have to be a vegan or a vegetarian to be concerned about the ethics of wearing animals. While many feel comfortable eating animals they may feel a bit less inclined to want to wear them around on their feet or on their handbag… especially when there are alternatives. The animal industry has an abysmal record when it comes to cruelty. And since the animals can’t speak out about the matter ethical vegans have taken the lead in speaking for them. It is really thanks to their outspoken voices that we have so many cruelty-free options on the market today. I am not vegan and have no desire to be so but I do appreciate the availability of animal free shoes and clothing.
Choosing vegan does not mean you have to sacrifice style and comfort. As a matter of fact, vegan shoes are out there, in the same style as the latest trend in leather fashion. Dozens of vegan shoe brands are now sprouting all over, catering to the needs of those who do not want to wear shoes with faces.
They are made of plant-based materials like hemp, and some synthetic fibers. Most of the time, these shoes also consist of recycled materials such as used rubber tires, making them not only animal-friendly but earth-friendly as well. They come in different styles, too; thus making any pair of feet fashionable.
Since vegan shoes are often made of biodegradable materials and not animal-based products, wearing vegan shoes is one way to minimize our environmental footprint. What’s more, vegan footwear is really durable and longer lasting compared to its non-vegan counterparts. To give you some idea what brands of shoes hold vegan choices, here is a list.
Converse – it has a wide array of vegan shoes that are mainly made of deconstructed hemp. Converse vegan shoes are tagged with a marked hemp on he heel for the world to know that they are cruelty-free shoes.
Jambu – A reviewed a pair of these a couple weeks ago. Their water diva vegan shoes are comfortable, stylish, and cruelty free. They also use some recycled materials.
Merrell – is known for its sports and hiking shoes and I have been eyeballing these for quite awhile. If only they made their barefoot shoes (the glove) vegan because those are the ones I want. Merrell does offer some vegan shoes though that are ideal for hiking and any form of exercise. Its vegan footwear also features a pumping system that keeps water out. I love their Encore Breeze clogs.
New Balance – offers vegan shoes especially made for runners. These shoes are made with New Balance’s trademark sole-support system and also equipped with shock-absorption technology.
Okabashi Flip-Flops – Their awesome shoes (I have a pair) are made of recycled materials and no animal products.
LifeStride – offers a wide range of 100% animal-free shoes for women. Fashionable choices include high-heels, flats, sandals and boots.
The price tag can seem high on vegan shoes but they really last. If you have resolved to try and wear less animal made clothing then these vegan shoes will get you off to a great start.