Monday, October 25, 2010

Ecostore USA Review!

While working in my garden one day...
I came upon Ecostore USA!

They graciously let me select two products to try, so I decided on the Rose and Cardamon Bodywash and the Laundry Liquid - 32 fl. oz. 

Just arrived!
I have been sporadically using the Rose & Cardamon Bodywash over the last two-and-a-half-weeks when I shower, and have enjoyed using it!  I like to try different bodywashes.

 This one is natural and healthy for your skin because it is plant based!  It's great to know that this does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, artificial dyes, preservatives, or perfumes.  Instead, Ecostore USA uses sweet-smelling, certified organic essential oils!  The bodywash is a clear liquid with a pleasant smell.  I also like the fact that the bottle is narrow and uniquely shaped, making a nice fit on the shower ledge where I keep it.

The laundry liquid thoroughly cleans, and with a fresh, springtime-like scent.  Don't be reluctant to try this because it's natural and maybe you're afraid it won't clean your clothing all the way.
Believe me, it works just like the "normal brands".  We've been using this ever since it came in, and enjoy our nice clean clothes:)

ecostore NZ was founded more than 15 years ago by Melanie and Malcolm Rands from their home in an eco village in New Zealand.
All of the families that lived in the farm based eco village shared a commitment to organic growing and healthy living, making this an ideal environment in which a young, environmentally conscious business could thrive. Each household in the village was responsible for their own waste water, which quickly highlighted the problems caused by using regular supermarket cleaning products that relied heavily on cheap, petroleum-based, synthetic ingredients.
Faced with the challenge of protecting the pristine rural waterways of the eco village, Malcolm Rands began to research and seek expert help from scientists to develop household cleaning products using plant-based ingredients that would biodegrade safely and quickly. Achieving his goal, he eliminated the need to use toxic chemicals, leaving the eco villages water pure. His goal was more than accomplished as the product line of this home-based business began to grow, and an exciting future began to unfold.
The original customer base of ecostore NZ was comprised of mostly ‘Greenies’ and organic gardeners. However, it was not long before testimonials from other parents (many of whom were unaware of the benefits of eco-friendly products) began to pour in with wonderful news of their children's allergies and eczema clearing up. Many noted that any respiratory issues were healing, and many lingering chronic conditions were disappearing.
By simply changing to the genuinely clean and green ecostore products, people were experiencing surprising and unexpected improvements in their health. As the notion of using products with “No Nasty Chemicals™” gained popular appeal, ecostore quickly outgrew its location in the Rand’s basement and the business moved to a storefront in Auckland, New Zealand.
Doing good by nature
The team at ecoSTORE USA loves making a difference in people’s lives. ecoSTORE USA does not compromise on performance, so customers can be assured of the efficacy of the products - they truly work. We offer more than 100 products, each one meeting the most stringent environmental and sustainability standards. The guiding principle of every formulation is and will always be that the end product must not only be good for the user, but good for the planet.
Gentle on your budget
ecoSTORE USA knows that it can be expensive to buy natural or organic products, but we've found a way around this by safely super-concentrating each formulation. This means that a little really does go a long, long way. The result is saving money by significantly cutting down on cost per use.
Today and in the future – ecoSTORE USA
ecostore NZ now has its own research and development facility and factory. Addressing individual health issues are at the forefront of eco-friendly product development. Seventeen years after beginning as a home-grown business, ecostore NZ is a well known brand in over 600 retail outlets throughout New Zealand; our products are also exported to Australia and the United Kingdom.
True to their logo "No Nasty Chemicals", Ecostore USA strives to bring the best, safe, all-natural products to you!  Be sure to find them on Facebook and take their quiz, follow on Twitter, read their blog, and sign up for their newsletter! 

Disclaimer:  I received free products for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  Italicized words are from the Ecostore USA website.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Upcoming $35 CSN Stores Giveaway!!!!

Make sure to keep an eye out for my upcoming $35 CSN giveaway!  CSN is a great place to find all kinds of unique and everyday items!  Have you been on the lookout for some new nightstands for your children's bedrooms?  CSN has some lovely ones to check out!  What a nice gift for the holidays!  Whatever your need, be sure to find it at CSN Stores!!

How cute!

Friday, October 22, 2010

HairZing Review & Giveaway- 5 Winners!!

Having a bad hairday?:)  HairZing is a really unique company to find beautiful double comb hair accessories! 

Our combs are unique and essentially work “backwards” so forget everything you’ve ever been taught about wearing hair combs.  They kindly sent me two medium hairzings (along with a press kit)- one in royal blue and the other in amber. 

Me wearing my hairzing
These are so pretty!  I had never seen these before.   HairZings work very well with the curved combs that slide right into your hair, making a comfortable fit; they also are designed to keep from gettting tangled in your hair.  I like how it is stylish, yet comfortable.  I don't like to wear things that are really tight or binding (thus, a future headache:). 

It takes a little getting used to, but HairZings make such gorgeous hairstyles.  So far, I've really only worn my hair in a "Pollyanna" or "half- up/ half- down" style, but other styles include the French Twist, Butterfly Peacock Twist, Double Ponytail, and many more!

HairZings can be worn for casual and laid-back settings or "fancy" events such as a concert or wedding, etc.  I have worn mine to church, a piano lesson, and also just around the house.  What a creative invention with so many choices!!

About Us

Our company reflects the dedication and passion we have about life, laughter, and creativity. We create innovative products to help women live their lives to the utmost. We pair this with a deep desire to consciously act in a socially responsible manner.  This means we always strive to build our business in a manner which contributes to the personal growth of all the folks involved. We think long and hard about our choices for raw materials, manufacturing processes and marketing methods.  It is our goal to make the best choices for the planet and those who work with us to bring you HairZings. Sometimes our choices, although better in the long run, are more expensive in the short term. However, if we are going to create products "by women, for women," we want to make certain the women producing our products also benefit, therefore we also strive to build supply chains which have a fair and equitable labor system in which everyone is rewarded for their efforts and able to better control their own lives. (Tribal based work, beading collectives, Human Rights organizations).

It is our absolute passion to ensure a portion of our profit is given away to charities which benefit women and children in the USA and around the globe.
We are constantly looking for better options to do everything. If you have a recommendation on how we can improve, please let us hear from you.
Environment
We recognize the importance of linking our raw materials processing with our vision of a strong and healthy planet. We believe we can offer you a high quality, smashingly gorgeous product without sacrificing the planet we share. With each design we take steps to source as many renewable and recyclable materials as possible. This means substituting bamboo beads (replenishable) for wooden beads, and glass beads for plastic whenever possible. We live in an imperfect world, and sometimes we cannot find as environmentally friendly materials as we would like…..but we keep looking. We welcome your suggestions on new raw materials and/or processes which can further improve our conservation efforts.
Our Products
We strive to offer innovative, high quality products that help you style your hair with as little hassle and as much comfort as possible. Don't we all have more important things to do with our lives than fuss with our hair? There are children to raise, mountains to climb, and corporate takeovers beckoning...

HairZing is offering five of my readers their own HairZing "wardrobe", consisting of a Medium Beaded, a Large or Skinny Large Classic, and a Casual Zinger!  What a deal:-)

Mandatory Entry:
What is your ALL TIME FAVORITE hair accessory that you cannot find any

more? Why did you love wearing it?  Post 1 comment.
Extra Entries!

1 Entry: Tweet this giveaway. You may do this once a day. Post one comment for your daily tweet.
2 Entries:  Become (or be) a public follower of Garden of Giveaways.  (2 comments)
3 Entries: Blog about this giveaway, with a link to your post. (3 comments)

This giveaway ends Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. It is only open to U.S. residents. Please leave a valid email address in EACH comment, so I will be able to contact the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or a different winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received free products for this review. All thoughts are my own. Italicized words are from the HairZing website.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winners, Winners, Winners!

Hi everybody!

I'd like to announce the winners -from using Random.org- of the Zevia Natural Diet Soda, Earthbound Farm Cookbooks, and Amy Adele giveaways!

Zevia:  #2 ~ M and M
Earthbound Farm Cookbooks (4 Winners): Royal Dixie, Julie,  Erica, and Liz.
Amy Adele: #17 ~ Amy

Thanks so much for entering and have a great day:)

Lauren~

Cowgirl Chocolates Review!

Howdy!

I apologize for the delay in gettin' this review up- we have had computer problems lately:(  I'd like to introduce Cowgirl Chocolates to y'all!

Head Cowgirl Marilyn Lysohir founded Cowgirl Chocolates in 1997. Her two favorite things in the world are art (she has a notable career as a ceramic sculptor) and chocolate. In fact her first job was working in a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. Marilyn mingled some favorite memories with some new ideas to create an American original, Cowgirl Chocolates...chocolates with a spicy cowgirl kick. She was the pioneer, one of the first companies to offer spicy chocolates in the world.


Cowgirl Chocolates has won a total of 19 product awards and 2 packaging awards and is located in Moscow, Idaho USA. It has also been featured on the Food Network on “Unwrapped” and “Extreme Cuisine” and on CNBC “On the Money”. They have also been written up in the New York Times, InStyle, the Toronto Star among others.

The Original Cowgirl - May Lillie
Born a physician's daughter in Philadelphia in the late 1800's, May Manning left society life in Philadelphia at age 14 to marry Major Gordon "Pawnee Bill" Lillie.

It all came about when in 1883 Gordon Lillie was assigned by the Indian Commissioner to take charge of the Pawnees who had been hired to appear in The Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show. The show was a sell-out success all across the country with its cowboys, Indians, trick riders, marksmen, wild steers, buffalo, and stagecoach pursuit. When the show hit Philadelphia, love hit Gordon Lillie in the form of a city bred, Smith College girl named May Manning. At the end of the show season, Gordon returned to the cattle ranch he now owned in Medicine Lodge Kansas, while he and May kept a steady flow of letters going between them...”

“The next season Gordon/Pawnee Bill took his Pawnee Indians back on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West tour and when the show hit Philadelphia again, he proposed to May. Against her socially prominent mother’s wishes, May agreed to be his bride...”

Major Lillie took her to Kansas where the Pawnees taught her to ride and shoot. In time, the Lillies created Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show and May Lillie toured with the show, billed as "Miss May Lillie, Champion Lady Horse-back Shot of the World." A year later their six week old son died and complications prevented May from having any more children. From that day on, she threw herself into learning how to ride, rope, and shoot like a real cowgirl. Riding side saddle on a running horse, she became a sensational marksman...when Pawnee Bill’s Wild West show hit the road in the spring of 1888. It starred May Lillie, Trapper Tom, brother Al Lillie, Indians from five different tribes, 165 people, 165 animals, and Pawnee Bill himself...”

“In 1908 Pawnee Bill unexpectedly bought out the James Bailey interest in the Buffalo Bill Wild West. From that point on May Lillie refused to ever appear with ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East,” as it was now called. She felt it was a huge mistake to take such a gamble when their own show was doing so well by itself...”

“However between oil, banking, and real estate, Pawnee Bill and May were secure for the rest of their lives. Their ranch became a gathering spot for famous people from around the world and Pawnee Bill now became active in many civic and charitable organizations. He and May finally found time for a child and adopted a baby boy in 1916. However Billie was killed in an accident on the ranch when he was only nine years old.

By 1930 Lillie had pioneered the construction nearby of Old Town, and an Indian trading post in an effort to retain some of the flavor of the old west and Gordon W. Lillie alias "Pawnee Bill" and his wife May had one of the biggest buffalo ranches in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Pawnee Bill and May Lillie celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at a special celebration in their honor in Taos, New Mexico, in August of 1936. Two weeks later May was fatally injured in an auto accident while Pawnee Bill was driving home from Tulsa and she died September 14 of that year. Major Gordon W. Lillie/Pawnee Bill lived another active but peaceful six years on the ranch until his death on Feb. 3, 1942 at age 82.

Cowgirl Chocolates kindly sent me their Cowgirl 1/4 pound Gift Box for a review.  It came in a small, lovely red box, complete with a black ribbon, western style button, and gift tag as you can see below.  Wow...this IS chocolate with a kick!!  Inside there were 9 truffles; this was mix of mild and spicy ones.  The flavors include Spicy Double Dark, Spicy Hazelnut Milk, Spicy Raspberry Dark, Spicy Cappuccino, Mild Double Dark, Mild Milk Chocolate, Mild Raspberry Lemonade, and Mild Ivory Orange.  I tried almost all of them (my family tried some), and I have to conclude that my favorite truffle was the Mild Milk Chocolate.  I love milk chocolate the best!

Beautifully wrapped!

For all you who are Tabasco-sauce fans, Cowgirl Chocolates is the right chocolate company for you!
Or if you are tired of eating your regular candybar, try Cowgirl Chocolates! They have many, many items to choose from such as... Lemonade White Chocolate bars, Chipotle Caramels, Slow Roasted Peanut Butter Brittle, and even coasters and t-shirts! Just in time for the upcoming holidays!
Cowgirl Chocolates is truly chocolate...with a kick.
Disclaimer: I received free product for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  Italicized words arom the Cowgirl Chocolates website.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stonyfield Review & Giveaway!!

Ever been to Greece??  I haven't, but Stonyfield generously gave me the chance to sample a taste of Greece by sending me free coupons for their Organic Oikos Greek Yogurt!  I chose to go with the Blueberry Oikos Yogurt.  At first, I was a little hesistant to try it, but this morning I ate some for breakfast.  It was very good!  The texture was thicker and creamier than regular yogurt.  The Oikos Yogurt I tried, came in a 4 oz. 4 pack.  Oikos flavors include blueberry, honey, plain, caramel, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.  These are just the right size for great snacks to pack along for a picnic, school lunch , and for little children!!

My brother trying some Oikos yogurt:)

Delicious!


There once was a little farming school

We started on a farm in Wilton, New Hampshire in 1983. We began as a farming school that taught sustainable agricultural practices. Our goals were to help family farms survive and to help protect the environment.

Samuel Kaymen, one of the country’s early authorities on organic and bio-dynamic agriculture, was our school’s founder and chairman. Gary Hirshberg, our current president and CE-Yo, was an environmental activist, windmill-maker, author, and noted entrepreneur when he joined Samuel on the farm.

At first, we sold yogurt only to fund our school. We had a leaky barn and just a few Jersey cows, but also a great recipe for scrumptious yogurt. Samuel and Gary did most of the work back then. They milked the cows, made the yogurt, made sales calls, and even delivered the yogurt.

And the school became a yogurt company
As our business grew, we realized a successful yogurt company could make a bigger difference for family farms and the environment than our school could, so we decided to run with yogurt. In 1988, we moved 30 miles east of Wilton to our custom-designed Yogurt Works in Londonderry, NH, where we remain to this day.

Now our organic ingredient purchases help to support hundreds of family farms and keep over 130,000 acres agricultural acres free of toxic pesticides and other chemicals commonly used on nonorganic farms and known to contaminate soil, drinking water, air, and food.

Our pure, delicious organic yogurts, smoothies, soy yogurts, ice cream, and milk are sold in supermarkets, natural food stores and colleges across the country.

 As you can see, Stonyfield offers many healthy organic dairy products, that you and your family can enjoy.  (Available at Wal-Mart, Meijer, etc.)

One of my readers will receive some free coupons for Stonyfield's Organic Oikos Yogurt!!                                        
Mandatory Entry:
Go to Stonyfield, and tell me a product you’d like and become (or be) a public follower of Garden of Giveaways!
Post one comment. (Be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment, or your entry will not be counted!)

Extra Entries!
1 Entry: Tweet this giveaway. You may do this once a day. Post one comment for your daily tweet.

 3 Entries: Blog about this giveaway, with a link to your post. (3 comments)

This giveaway ends Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. It is only open to U.S. residents. Please leave a valid email address in EACH comment, so I will be able to contact the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or a different winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received free products for this review. All thoughts are my own.  Italicized words are from the Stonyfield website.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Be Sure to Enter My Current Giveaways

Zevia Natural Diet Soda (Ends 10/12)
4 Earthbound Farm Cookbooks (Extended to 10/15)
Amy Adele Notecards & Stationery (Extended to 10/15)

Check back soon for more great giveaways!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jess' Bee Natural Review!

Since it's getting colder out, everybody is starting to get out the chapstick again. But...don't you think using the same brand is getting on the boring side?:-) Jess' Bee Natural to the rescue!!:) I was sent the Peppermint and Tangerine flavored lipbalm as well as the Happy Feet Peppermint Lotion. They have a great scent!


The Peppermint Lotion contains organic raw shea butter, sweet almond oil, peppermint essential and Vitamin E. Even though the scent is peppermint, when I used it, it reminded me of blackberry pie for some reason:)  It has a fluffy & creamy texture and is easy to apply.
This is great for people who have dry heels. My mom has been using this too, and she really liked that it contained all natural ingredients and it made her skin soft! 

It comes in a 3 oz. tin, but will last a long time! This is best to apply at nighttime, or if you are wearing socks- as you don't want it to get on the carpet:)

The lipbalm contains sweet almond oil, beeswax, soybean oil, shea butter, Vitamin E, and most flavors contain essential oils. The tangerine flavor works very well also! I like to keep a tube of lipbalm, along with some lotion on my headboard so I can use it before bedtime. I gave my mom the peppermint flavor (yeah, I know- I "spoil" her...lol:-).



Here is Jess' story:
I stumbled into this business by accident. Several years ago, I found a basic lip balm recipe and started mixing various batches in my kitchen. I shared it with friends and was pleasantly surprised when they started asking for more! It was a hit! I saw the business potential and, with a small loan from my family, started Jess' Bee Natural in 1998.
I designed my label and display case and found wholesalers to supply the raw materials. Before long my product was in local stores.
Being in the skin care business keeps you cognizant of the fact that everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body and blood stream. With this in mind, all of our ingredients are pure and natural and they are chosen for their healing and moisturizing properties. Our products are produced in small batches and are hand poured to ensure their quality.

Jess' Bee Natural Mission:
Our mission is to operate an earth-conscious business that provides the highest quality all-natural skin care products at affordable prices.
Not only do we make a natural product, we run our business the same way. Every single sheet of paper we use--from invoices to marketing material--is post-consumer recycled.
We live naturally and our products reflect our ideals. We believe through awareness and conservation, we all can make a difference in the world and our environment. With the help of our business, we hope to share this ideal with our customers and continue affecting the earth in a positive way as a “Beauty Conscience” company.

Any of Jess' Bee Natural products would be a special gift for a friend tucked in a cute little basket or to make it easier, Jess' Bee Natural offers gift sets! No more worrying about chemicals in your body products!

Disclaimer:  I received free product for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  Italicized words from Jess' Bee Natural.