Annie Chun’s Potstickers and Mini Wontons – Review

In my quest for quick and tasty lunches, I have recently come across Annie Chun’s Potstickers and Mini Wontons in the frozen food section of Super Target. I’ve also seen this brand at Whole Foods. I just LOVE the Organic Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers and Chicken & Garlic Mini Wontons (pictured below).

Like all Annie Chun’s products, they are made with all natural ingredients, and their chicken is raised without antibiotics. They’re fully cooked so all you have to do is heat them up! You can pan fry, microwave or add them to chicken broth for a soup. I choose to pan fry them in butter and add some veggies, ususally broccoli, edamame or sugar snap peas…oh my goodness they are SO delicious and easy!

Crispy on the outside and oh so flavorful on the inside. One package may be two meals for some people, but I have no problem eating the whole bag myself. 🙂 I’m a big eater. There are also pork and vegetarian versions of the mini wontons and potstickers. Annie Chun’s also makes other packaged Asian cuisines such as noodles, soups, rice and sauces. Maybe someday I’ll get brave and try to put together an Asian dish with another one of Annie Chun’s products, but for now, I highly recommend giving the potstickers or wontons a try – you won’t be disappointed!
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Canus Goat’s Milk Soap – Review

I wanted to share with you this new bar soap I love for the shower, because it SMELLS SO GOOD!
It is the Canus Goat’s Milk Soap with Orchid Oil. I LOVE how it smells!

It leaves your skin feeling soft and clean and slightly scented with orchid oil. If there is one thing that I miss from switching over to more natural products, it is usually the scent. Well this is not lacking here!!

It is too ‘flowery’ for my hubby, so he says. 🙂 But I love it! In the health food store it is pricey ($4.50 or so per bar), but if you buy it from Vitacost.com or LuckyVitamin.com, you can get a 3-pack for $6-$7! (at the time of this post)

Is there a natural bar soap that you love?

Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter – Review

Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is the best butter we’ve ever had!

My original goal was to find butter made from raw, grass-fed cow’s milk (cream) so I purchased some from my co-op and from a couple of different local farms. They were delicious, however, they were difficult to spread and didn’t last very long. From my experience, raw butter lasts about a week in the refrigerator.

So, I decided to concede on pasteurization and try to find butter made from pasteurized, but still grass-fed, cow’s milk (cream). My brother introduced me to Kerrygold. It is sold nationally and can be found in most grocery stores (usually in the imported dairy section by the deli). Check the website to find a store near you.

It is delicious!! And it is super easy to spread. The flavor far surpasses any butter I’ve tried thus far. Real food just tastes so much better than its refined counterpart and this is a great example. The grass-fed cows are from Ireland (how cool!) and the butter is simply cream and salt. It’s that simple. And it’s that good!

The Original Brat Hans Chicken Meatballs – Review

I’ve been searching for quite a while for some ready-made meatballs that don’t include a bunch of garbage (nitrates, MSG, other strange ingredients). I finally found The Original Brat Hans Chicken Meatballs at Whole Foods.

The chicken is antibiotic-free, and there are no nitrates, nitrites, or MSG. They are made out of real ingredients (chicken, chicken broth, salt, extra virgin olive oil, etc.), which I so appreciate!

These meatballs are pretty good. I’ve tried the Spinach, Fontina, & Roasted Garlic and the Pesto Parmesan varieties. I probably prefer the Pesto Parmesan variety a little better. The only reservations I have about these meatballs is that 1) I think they are a little too salty and 2) sometimes I feel like the texture can be a little grainy. But honestly, looking at the ingredients on every other meatball I’ve ever picked up… until I have time to make my own meatballs, I can live with those 2 things! I just keep these frozen for nights when I need a quick dinner. I add the meatballs to a jar of organic pasta sauce simmering on the stove, meanwhile cooking some noodles… I add frozen broccoli to the noodles during the last 3 minutes of cook time, and we have a quick spaghetti dinner!

Alterna Bamboo Style Freestyle Flexible Control Gel – Review

I have been on the hunt to replace my existing hair products and ran across this brand, Alterna, at a local beauty supply store. I decided to just try their hair gel first and sadly I have to report I really did not like this particular product at all. The instant I put it into my wet hair, it was super sticky. I was a little nervous from that point on. So as I went through my normal blow drying, it is almost hard to run my fingers through it. Then I got out my flat brush hoping this would help and now it just looks and feels dry. So as the day has gone on, my hair is dry and tangled to the touch. I should say I do have moderately thick hair.

The Bamboo line is made with certified organic and natural ingredients, but unfortunately this gel does not work like a gel should work. It says for all hair types, but not thinking so!I am not going to give up on this line that easy though. I want to still try their shampoo and condition and I also purchased a straightening balm out of their Hemp line. Hoping to have better luck next time, but would have loved to use all the same product line from shampooing to finish!

Thousand Hills Cattle Company 100% Grass Fed Beef – Review

I’ve been buying Laura’s Lean Beef for a while now, but I’ve recently switched to Thousand Hills Cattle Company beef because it is 100% grass fed…and boy is it delicious!

I’ve heard that grass fed beef can sometimes taste “farm-ish”…if that’s a word! But I haven’t experienced that at all with this ground beef. Even my husband, who I am convinced is the pickiest person I know, likes it. It is so moist and tender. The cows are never given any hormones, antibiotics or grain. They sell 85% lean/15% fat as well as 92% lean/8% fat varieties at Target.

Additionally, I’ve recently purchased their hot dogs, which I LOVE! Now I don’t have to feel guilty about eating a good ‘ol hot dog anymore. Their hot dogs contain no MSG, fillers, preservatives or gluten. They also don’t contain any nitrates (only naturally occuring ones found in celery juice and sea salt). The only ingredients found in these links of heaven are beef, water, sea salt, natural spice, cane sugar, mustard, paprika, celery juice and lactic acid starter culture.

These hot dogs have become my new favorite lunch item. I wrap them in a warmed Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla shell with some spinach and add a little ketchup and mustard. I know…sounds strange…but they are sooo good!

Boscia B.B. Cream – Review

I was introduced to Boscia by Shannon, so when I’m looking for new products, I always check their product line to see if they might have what I’m looking for.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about the dangers of chemical sunscreens, even in mainstream magazines (I’m not reading Granola Mom over here!! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what I read!). EWG has a whole section about choosing a safe sunscreen. In a nutshell, they say that most all sunscreens here in the US contain either nanoparticles or chemicals that get into our bloodstream and disrupt hormones, among other things. They strongly caution parents to not use sunscreens with oxybenzone (a popular chemical sunscreen) on their children (or themselves!). Based on research, the EWG currently recommends mineral sunscreens with either titanium dioxide or zinc (not in spray form or powder form). They say a sunscreen with avobenzone is the next best choice.

All that being said, I decided it was time to find a safer everyday sunscreen for myself!! I couldn’t find a moisturizer I liked with the recommended sunscreens, but then I saw the new Boscia B.B. Cream with SPF 27, and the sunscreen was titanium dioxide. So I thought I would try it!

According to my beauty mags, B.B. Creams have been popular in Europe and are just making their way to the US. They are basically multi-purpose products, and several companies here in the US have recently come out with them. ‘B.B.’ either stands for ‘Beauty Balm’ or ‘Blemish Balm’, depending on the company.

The Boscia B.B. Cream has a mineral sunscreen, contains skincare ingredients, and provides sheer coverage – all in one product. I am loving it! I’ve decided to use it as my sunscreen this summer.

When you squirt it out of the tube, it looks like sheer foundation. The consistency is definitely different, even kind of weird at first, and you definitely have to work it into your skin so it is even. (If you’ve ever used Jane Iredale Dream Tint, the consistency is very similar.) Because it comes in one universal shade, blending is KEY! But I love how once you blend the Boscia B.B. Cream in, it just meshes with your skin! It makes your skin appear really evenly-toned.

I basically use the B.B. Cream as a sheer foundation and sunscreen, so I dust my Jane Iredale pressed powder on afterwards. This is the best combo I’ve found in a long time for my skin.

I do think that the one ‘universal’ shade is a tad bit dark for me, so I just have to make sure I’m blending really well at the edges. But I am really loving this product and am really glad I found it! Check out Boscia’s website if you want to see what else they offer!

(Currently this product is not in EWG’s Skin Deep Database, but it rates an 8 for Health – 10 being the best – on GoodGuide!)

Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask – Review

After I fell in love with Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser, I decided to try the Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask. (Again, I bought it from Sephora so I could return it if I wasn’t fully satisfied. Love that!!) As a reminder, Boscia is a preservative-free, botanically-based skincare line. Now let me say, putting on this mask brought me back to high school because I’m pretty sure that was the last time I put on a mask. But I loved it!

This particular mask is a clay mask that absorbs impurities and controls oil. I don’t use it regularly, as suggested. I typically use it before a special occasion, like a wedding or night-out, because it does a great job of controlling oil. If I put it on in the morning, leave it on for the suggested 5 minutes, rinse it off, and then put on my make-up, I notice a huge difference in my skin. It’s less oily all day and my make-up stays on better. That said, if you have dry skin, this probably isn’t the mask for you. There are other Boscia masks. Check the website to learn more.

I have another use for this mask. When I feel a pimple developing, I put a dab of this mask on just that area and leave it on over night. It’s amazing how well this clears up the area – over night!

Another great Boscia product I will be buying again!

Skin Deep rated this product a 1 (scale of 0-10, 0 is the best). Now this is crazy. Good Guide is on the opposite end giving this a 2 (scale of 0-10, 10 is the best) because it contains silica. So do more research if you are concerned about silica.

Aveda Comforting Tea Bags – Review

My neighbor Crystal introduced me to this tea a couple years ago. For several months we were addicted to it. I’m talking more than one cup a day addicted. Finally spring came and the warmer weather cured our addiction. But every fall and winter, I’m back to craving this tea.

Aveda Comforting Tea is 100% organic and has no caffeine, sugar, or added flavors. It combines licorice root and peppermint and the result is pure bliss. You will be amazed that there is no added sugar or flavors because it’s sweet. Not super sweet but sweet enough to wonder how it tastes so sweet without sugar or honey.

The aroma is amazing. It smells as good as it tastes. And it just makes you feel relaxed. I love looking forward to a cup of this tea after the kids have gone to bed.

The downside is that it’s expensive. It’s $15 for a box of 20 tea bags. But….check out the reviews on the Aveda website. Everyone loves it!!

Juice Plus+® – Review

On my bio page, I mention how we take Juice Plus+® . We have had inquiries for more information, so I thought it might be worth putting together a review. As we all know and are learning, there are toxins in our environment at every turn. They are in our food, soil and most consumer products. Our bodies need all the fruits and veggies we can give it to detoxify and heal. We LOVE Juice Plus+® ! It has been one of the many changes my family has made over the last few years. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables and also take Juice Plus+® on a daily basis.

When we first met with our pediatric specialist, she introduced us to a more natural approach to healing the body. We had just come off the winter of my son having chronic ear infections and continuous rounds of antibiotics. I really was hoping to get his immune system functioning and help him more than I had been with previous methods. Juice Plus+® was the cornerstone of her recommendations. As I began to research Juice Plus+® , I found this whole food nutrition, is the healthiest fruits, vegetables and grains, juiced and dried at low temperatures, removing the water and most of the sugar, salt and bulk (it is also gluten free). These nutritious juice powders are then put into capsules and chewables. Juice Plus+® has over 28 published studies proving the benefits in preventing disease and improving your health. Our whole family began to take them immediately!

So after being on Juice Plus+ for almost 2 years, here are the details of ‘Our Story’. My son is almost never sick. I would not have ever imagined being able to say this! I mean kids get sick a lot, right? We have been able to fight off common colds, stomach bugs and who knows what else. If we do start to get run down, we double up on Juice Plus+® and run in for a quick chiropractic adjustment and within 24-48 hours, have fought it off. For a mom who saw how sick her son was from daycare and just the stresses on his system from the dairy allergy, vaccines, etc. this was and is INVALUABLE! My son was in daycare part-time up until 8 months ago, even in daycare he was not coming home sick. His immune system was working amazingly well! So not only do we rarely get sick, but once I found out I was pregnant, I did not have to take a prenatal vitamin (full of synthetic ingredients). I took one extra capsule of orchard, garden and vineyard blend. I survived a winter being pregnant and it might be worth noting, NO flu shot, and was not sick once. We do also take a fish oil, vitamin D3 and probiotics. In addition to taking our vineyard, garden and orchard blend everyday, we try our best to limit processed foods and eat a clean, real food diet.

Juice Plus+® is the next best thing to fruits and vegetables. It helps bridge the gap, as we say, from what is recommended daily and what we actually eat. Let’s face it we are all, super busy, all the time. I know for me with an older toddler some meals he eats all his veggies and other meals not so much, it is just hit or miss. What he does not eat at a meal we will usually save for a snack later, but you just never know.

Did you know the current daily recommendation is 7 to 13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables? It can be done but most of us will fall short. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables can maximize the physical and intellectual development of our children as they grow through the school-age years. They also increase our energy levels. They help our bodies simply function more efficiently. I like to think of Juice Plus+® as our insurance policy to reach this daily goal.

Juice Plus+® is supported by leading health professionals. The experts range from pediatricians such as the Dr. Sears’, dieticians, oncologists and even dermatologists. Unlike traditional vitamin supplements, Juice Plus+® contains ONLY naturally occurring phytonutrients from the fruits and vegetables themselves. Juice Plus+® also contains NO dyes, no excito-toxins such as aspartame/ sucralose, and no hidden chemical additives. It is the most researched brand name nutritional product in the world. Numerous clinical studies have proven that Juice Plus+®

Delivers key antioxidants and phytonutrients that are easily absorbed by the body
Reduces oxidative stress
Reduces key biomarkers of systemic inflammation
Supports a healthy immune system
Helps protect DNA from oxidative damage
Supports cardiovascular wellness
Supports healthy skin and gums

Do you or your children get sick all the time? Or do you worry that they barely seem to eat anything at all and when they do they ask for sugar or processed snack foods? Do you feel tired and run down? If you can relate and answer yes, to any of these questions, then Juice Plus+® would be extremely beneficial to you and your family!

In addition to my immediate family, most of my extended family also takes Juice Plus+®. I have shared it with those that I care about the most and am happy to be able to share it with you!

If you have questions about Juice Plus+® or want to place an order with assistance, email april at girlsjustwanttogogreen dot com or use the Contact Us page. You can also go directly to the Juice Plus+ Store for pricing or ordering information.