24
Jul

BlackFish – An Important Documentary About the Captivity of Killer Whales

by Tiffany in Social Good

Killer_whale

My intro to this movie came via Bill Maher last week. He interviewed former Sea World trainer John Hargrove about a new movie he is featured in called Blackfish. It touches upon a hugely important subject….the danger to humans when we capture what we cannot control and also how abusive it is to even keep such animals in captivity.

Now I realize you may love Sea World. I do too. I haven’t taken my kids there in over 10 years though (despite making trips to Disney and Universal) because I just cannot support what they do. Killer whales (as well as many other species) are kept in spaces way to small for them. This is ABUSE. As the former trainer pointed out, they think that keeping a killer whale in a 20×20 tank that is pitch black is causing psychosis and it is no wonder that whales are turning on their trainers. He also pointed out that Sea World and other corporations like it are making money hand over fist and all that money goes to making rich people richer OR improving areas of the park not related to the animals such as roller coasters and food stands. Making conditions better for the animals is not even in the budget.

IMO if any such places even exist they should be not for profit and all money should go towards improving the natural habitats of all marine animals and those currently in captivity. Isn’t it the height of arrogance to take these creatures from their homes, abuse them, and make them sing for their dinner?? Using and abusing these beautiful creatures should not be tolerated by the public…let alone openly endorsed by us, by taking our families there.

I encourage everyone to catch this film when it hits theaters in your area (check here for listings). Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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8
Feb

Perfume for Babies????

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

child with perfume bottles

I was completely shocked to read yesterday that a company actually plans to make perfumes for babies. WTH??? Babies already have such a sweet and unique smell. Why on earth would you want to cover up that deliciousness with an artificial scent that comes from a bottle? Why would you want your child to smell like the noxious perfume isle of a department store?

Well, I guess this is a case of “to each their own right”? Well, no it shouldn’t be in this case because perfumes are notorious for their nasty chemical ingredients and a company has no business IMO marketing something like this to be used on babies and small children. Perfumes have toxic chemicals that mimic hormones and chemicals that can cause allergic reactions (asthma, wheezing, headaches, and dermatitis). They are not a good idea for adults let alone developing children.

This is why Dolce and Gabbana (who plans to sell baby perfume soon) needs to be told that US parents won’t allow this tomfoolery. Their idea stinks! Please sign this petition from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and send them a message loud and clear. Our babies will be exposed to numerous toxins all around them, we don’t need to add to that chemical burden with silly perfumes.

Friday, February 8th, 2013

7 Comments

15
Oct

My Week With the Mazda 3i

by Tiffany in Green Cars

I had the pleasure of rolling out in yet anther green(er) car this week. Unlike the last, which was all electric, the Mazda 3i is a greener choice because it has great fuel economy. This of course makes it a great option for anyone who wants to feel better about their time spent behind the wheel. That would be me…how about you?

As I have mentioned before, I am researching cars so that I know what I will want to get when my 13 year Oldsmobile sedan kicks the bucket. I love the idea of electric but that has its own set of limitations, not to mention the fact that most within our price range are only four passenger. The first big bonus for this fuel efficient car is that it has room for my family of five. We were a bit cozier than we are in our current car but my current car also is lucky to get 22 mpg. It would be a good trade IMO.

So what IS the fuel economy on this car?? Well, it varies a little by model but generally up to 40 highway mpg/28 city. I drove it for a week in the city with one outing that included a fair amount of highway miles. All in all I drove about 450 miles in this baby and my average mpg was 35.2. I found this to be awesome since so much of my driving was/is done in the city with tons of lights and stopping. I personally don’t have much reason to get on the highway on a regular basis. Everywhere I need to drive is relatively close. So 35.2 mpg for city driving rocked. I drove about 440 miles on one tank of gas and refilling only cost be about $60. I am sold!! We spent way more on gas than that right now, way more.

The data on your fuel economy is right on the dash monitor.

The price is also right in my opinion. You can get a Mazda 3i from $16,700 to $24,350. I saw greener cars at the NAIAS marketed as family cars for upwards of $60K so this price is phenomenal in my book. I appreciated the fact that it was an automatic but amazingly enough you can also drive it in manual. I had never seen a feature like this before. Just put it in D for regular drive or M for manual drive.

Other features that I liked included the navigation screen:

It is nice to not have to use my phone. Especially since my 12 year old goes bizerk if he sees me messing with my phone while driving…something about Myth Busters proving that you are more incapacitated being on a phone than if you are drunk. Anyway I loved seeing a map while driving. On more than one occasion I got to thinking surely I passed the street I need to turn on but no, one glance shows me that it is still ahead, cool. My kiddos also liked seeing the bullseye on our house.

I liked that I could plug in my iPod shuffle and listen to my own tunes while driving and the sound system is pretty darn good. It has a 265-watt Bose® Centerpoint® Surround Sound System with AudioPilot®, AM/FM stereo, in-dash CD/MP3-compatible player and 10 speakers. My son would also appreciate that it has a Bluetooth hands free phone capability as well.

I love the appearance as well. It is a sleek, good looking car. The dash is well designed, the screen display is the perfect size, and the lighting (inside and out) is awesome. I loved driving it at night. ;) And while I would have preferred the rockin Indigo Blue color they have available, I also liked the Dolphin Grey we got.

The power sliding-glass moonroof was awesome as were the side mirrors. There are some pretty big blind spots towards the back of the car that would make changing lanes a challenge but the side mirrors actually detect other cars for you. If another car is too close and you should not merge or change lanes you will see a picture of a red car light up in the mirror and it will also ding if you don’t appear to be heeding this warning.

My fave feature had to to be the heated seats though. It was downright frigid going to the gym in the mornings but the seats heated very fast and kept me toasty warm. My mother was a big fan of this also. I think she is ready to trade in her car for something with heated seats now. ;)

The seat heating dials are right above the gear shift.

So what didn’t I like? Well, I don’t have many drawbacks to write about but there were a couple small issues.

I didn’t like the blind spots, despite the safety mirrors. But then again I didn’t like using the rear view camera on the last car I drove and I was terrified of the automated parallel parking in another car.  I suppose these things grow on you as you get used to them.

I would have preferred a better integration with my iPod than just the use of an auxiliary jack. I like seeing my songs displayed on navigation screen and using the car to change songs, rather than the device…it just awkward to have to grab the device and use it while driving.

I also would have liked the ability to start the car remotely from inside my house so that it could be toasty and warm before getting in. None of these issues/complaints would prevent me from purchasing though. I would in fact still highly recommend the Mazda 3i and it is on a  short list of cars I will choosing from myself when the time comes to buy new.

To find a dealer near you and find the best deal visit below. This automated database will make short work of it:

Disclosure: I borrowed a Mazda 3i  for the purposes of this review. Sadly I had to give it back…

Monday, October 15th, 2012

6 Comments

19
Jul

Savvy Rest Pillow Review & Giveaway

by Tiffany in Natural Product Reviews

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.

Helpful Links: Savvy Rest on Facebook  | Savvy Rest on Google+  |  Savvy Rest on Pinterest

I have a giveaway for US readers. If you would like to win a standard size, shredded latex pillow then fill out the Rafflecopter form below. A winner will be selected at random. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free pillow to review for this post but my opinions as always are my own.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

50 Comments

17
Apr

Earth Day Conscious Box

by Tiffany in Tidbits

Okay, it has been a couple months since I reviewed the Conscious Box. Sadly, I was not in love with their Valentines Box and it prevented me from purchasing the following month. Don’t get me wrong, the non-toxic, earth friendly romance “enhancement” products were awesome. I have been … enjoying them.

But all of the edible products in it were inedible for my family. The oats we can’t eat because we are grain free. I can forgive that because they had NutCase Crunch in one of their earlier boxes and I love that stuff. That’s cool. But two products had soy in it and I am not down with that, at all. I don’t think any food touting itself as healthy should have soy. I was disappointed.

The April “Earth Day” box has made me swoon again though. I love getting to try all the goodies!

First up is Oogie’s Original Kettle Corn – Goodness gracious this stuff is good! Yes I know I am paleo and shouldn’t have it but screw that. If you send me Kettle Corn I am going to eat it! I hail from Marion, Ohio, home of The Popcorn Festival. I simply must eat Kettle Corn on occasion. This is non GMO corn BTW that scores them some bonus points.

SeedBallz – Another product to absolutely adore. The package came with 3 seed bombs or balls with wildflower or herb seeds in them. They are hand rolled in the US by adults with developmental disabilities. You just stick them 1/3 in the ground in full sun and keep them watered until they bloom. Love! Can’t wait to try them and will do a follow up on what grows.

GLOB Berry Blue Paint – We have been using these plant based paints for years and love them. We can always use more, always.

Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner – Oh Parsley Plus, where have you been all my life??? I love the fresh earthy smell of this cleaner and I love it’s cleaning ability too. I will definitely buy more of this.

Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid – So far so good. I usually use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint but this was a nice change of pace. I am thinking I am happy with what I have though.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive – I will be reviewing some Juice Beauty stuff in depth soon but I like this little product. I am not usually much for “beauty” stuff but I will hit the big 3-5 this summer so I have been thinking about aging more. Nuff said I think.

Sparklehearts Rainbow Soft Conditioner - Great ingredients plus no petroleum, parabens, or phthalates. This also worked well on my daughter’s long hair.

ColourFusion Lip Glaze from Natural Joy Beauty – This came in a teeny tiny sample box but after applying it once I immediately decided this was good stuff. First off I noticed how subdued and non clownish the color was. I have a serious lipstick aversion because I think I look ridiculous in it but I did not mind this glaze at all. Secondly I noticed that it doesn’t have that horrible lipstick taste or smell. Score! The whole store is full of natural cosmetics and I think I need to stock up before BlogHer.

Himalayan Crystal Salt – Have been a big fan of this stuff for years though we never purchased it from here.

Raw Chocolate from Cloud 9 Raw Chocolate – Good stuff, but not my fave. Any Conscious Box with chocolate gets gold stars though.

Banana Bar with Milk Chocolate – More chocolate! I was not a fan of this because of the banana. My bananas have to be green and barely sweet, unless they are disguised in a smoothie. I gave this to my 11 year son and he loved it.

Climb On Intensive Skin Repair – This is a healing salve or balm so we will definitely get to use it around here. Last week I bloodied my knuckles all up flipping tractor tires at my CrossFit box. Could have used it then for sure!

Lavender Bare Body Organic Soap – Smells divine and lathers well. I just wish the sample size were bigger. Those folks are such a tease!

GenerationMe laundry detergent – I haven’t tried this yet but I love that there are so many smaller companies representing in this box this month.

Lastly the box had a bunch of coupons and this Worry Doll from My Groovy Planet which looks to be monthly box deal where you get monthly delivery of theme-based, fun, educational surprise packages—or kits, for your child to learn and get excited about anything and everything fair trade, recycling, conservation, volunteering and the planet. We have some worry dolls already so this one will have friends. For those who do not know, they are very small and colorful dolls traditionally made in Guatemala. A person (usually a child) who cannot sleep due to worrying can express their worries to a doll and place it under their pillow before going to sleep. The dolls supposedly carry the worries for you. ;)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

3 Comments