Jane Iredale Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation – Review

My cousin Dawn is my go-to girl when it comes to beauty products. She is the one who introduced me to Jane Iredale. She actually bought me my first product from this line for my birthday a couple years ago. Now, 90% of my cosmetics are Jane Iredale. I love this line! Thanks, Dawn!!!

I’ve never been a big make-up person. I prefer a natural look – if only I had perfect skin and didn’t have to wear make-up – not gonna happen! So thankfully, I found the next best thing. This is what their website says about the Purepressed powder, “Trust our pressed mineral foundation to look like your skin, only better.” They got that right! It looks so natural and feels weightless, like you have nothing on your face. And it does a great job of evening out your skin tone. It’s awesome! On top of all that, it protects your skin from sun damage with a SPF of 20.

Jane Iredale products use minerals that form a protective barrier but allow the skin to breathe. The minerals don’t block pores and act as anti-inflammatories and anti-microbials. For these reasons this line is recommended by many dermatologists. It is not only make-up; it’s skincare.

Check the Jane Iredale website for more information. You can buy directly from their site or Amazon but in order to match your skin, it’s probably best to find a retailer.

Skin Deep rates this product a 2 (scale of 0-10, 0 being the best). Good Guide rates this product a 7 (scale of 0-10, 10 being the best).

Ella’s Kitchen Baby Food and Cookies – Review

Please note: The nutritional values for the Ella’s Kitchen Spinach, Apples + Rutabagas puree as stated in my original post are inaccurate. A couple readers brought this labeling error to my attention. I have since then contacted Ella’s Kitchen to clarify why the labels indicated such over-inflated nutritional values. I’ve copied and pasted their response at the end of this post, as well as what the corrected nutritional values now state. In my opinion, their rationale is a bit convoluted, to say the least, but I’ll let you decipher the reason for yourselves. Thank you to those who brought this issue to my attention!

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The plethora of baby food options out there is overwhelming. Unless you plan to make your own (which is certainly a good idea), you can easily spend a half hour just in the purees alone before even getting to the puffs, melts, cookies and biscuits. To help weed out some of the options, I first make sure it is organic and that the packaging is BPA free. Some of my favorite brands to stick with are Plum Organics, Earth’s Best, HappyBaby, and most recently, Ella’s Kitchen (all of which can be found at Target!).

I really like the purees that have fruit and veggie combos. As previously noted, my son doesn’t care too much for green beans or peas. The Ella’s Kitchen purees have great mixes like spinach, apples + rutabagas, which he surprisingly loves! And the best part…this particular one has 100% daily value for Vitamin A, 70% for calcium and 120% for iron! The purees contain no added water, preservatives or thickeners, no “E numbers” or genetically modified ingredients, no gluten, wheat, dairy or lactose or anything artificial. Just as if you were to have made it at home yourself! Another great fruit/veggie combo he enjoys is sweet potato, pumpkin, apples + blueberries…mmmm!

I’ve also tried Ella’s Kitchen Yum Yummy Apple + Ginger Cookies. They only contain eight organic ingredients, none of which include added sugar (only naturally occurring sugar from the apple puree). They’re individually wrapped, keeping them fresh and making them perfect for on-the-go. I do still cut them up into little squares because my son has a tendency to bite big chunks when given the opportunity, but it’s a good next step from puffs and melts. Ella’s Kitchen also carries Yum Yummy Milk and Vanilla Cookies, but since my son has a milk allergy (we think), I’ve not given these to him.

The next product I plan to try is Ella’s Kitchen Nibbly Fingers. These seem like another wholesome, finger-friendly food my son will enjoy. 🙂

Revised nutritional values for Ella’s Kitchen Spinach, Apples and Rutabagas puree are below

Old Label New Label

Iron = 120% Iron = 4%

Vitamin A = 100% Vitamin A = 50%

Calcium = 70% Calcium = 4%

Vitamin C = 15% Vitamin C = 0%

Protein = 9% Protein = 6%

Calories = 30 Calories = 45

Total Fat = 0 g Total Fat = 0 g

Sodium = 20 mg Sodium = 75 mg

Total Carbohydrates = 9 g Total Carbohydrates = 10 g

Dietary Fiber = 2 g Dietary Fiber = 2 g

Sugars = 7 g Sugars = 6 g

Protein = 1 g Protein = 1 g

Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – Review

Oh my, not only does Justin’s make some of the best organic peanut butter and almond butter…his peanut butter cups are awesome!! His nut butter line is fairly extensive with honey and chocolate flavored butters, too. There is even a Chocolate Hazelnut Blend which I cannot wait to try. I would imagine that Nutella lovers might convert over!

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are vegan, thus dairy free and a “special treat” we all love. They do also have Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

They have no hydrogenated oils and the ingredient list is so short compared to the peanut butter cup we all grew up on. The ingredients are Organic Dark Chocolate, Organic Peanuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Organic Vanilla Flavor and Sea Salt.

Now if they just made some fun seasonal peanut butter cups…like the Easter Egg! Even in the simple cup, these dark chocolate peanut butter cups would definitely be an option to consider, if you put something sweet into your children’s Easter baskets! I try to stay away from the traditional candy in my son’s Easter basket. I usually put maybe a pair of pajamas or something educational in his. If anyone has other great finds for a healthier Easter basket, please share! 🙂

Thieves Dentarome Ultra Toothpaste – Review

Aside from deodorant and shampoo, I think toothpaste is the next hardest cosmetic to find a natural alternative for! I was talking to my chiropractor about it, and she said I had to try Thieves Dentarome Ultra Toothpaste by Young Living. She’s tried a lot of natural products over the years, and she loves this toothpaste. She actually brought me a tube to try!!

If you haven’t heard of Young Living essential oils, they are some of the highest quality essential oils you can buy. I’ve come across them in one way or another several times since I started ‘greening up’. 🙂 Not only do they make therapeutic-grade essential oils, but they have personal care products (like the toothpaste!) and cleaning products as well.

Off the bat, one thing I really like about this toothpaste is that all the ingredients are on the back. I have several other ‘natural’ toothpastes, but most packaging states what’s not in them rather than what is. I’m all about full disclosure of ingredients. That being said, this toothpaste is also free of fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, sugar, synthetic chemicals, and colors.

The flavor is really fresh. Although it is made with several different Young Living oils, the one that stands out the most to me is clove. It’s also got eucalyptus and peppermint, among others.

One thing that took a few times getting used to is that this toothpaste doesn’t really foam at all while you’re brushing!! The sodium lauryl sulfate is usually responsible for foaming action, so seeing as the Thieves doesn’t have this chemical, this isn’t surprising. It just took a little mental adjustment. 🙂 My teeth feel really clean after using the Thieves toothpaste.

If you’re still looking for a high-quality natural toothpaste, you might want to give this a try! You can also visit the Young Living site for the toothpaste and to see what other products they offer as well.

Young Living Essential Oils – Review

I really want to title this post “How Young Living Essential Oils Have Changed My Life,” but I’m trying to make our post titles consistent for purposes of our Product Reviews page! 🙂

I was introduced to Young Living essential oils a little while ago, and I can honestly say they have changed the way I take care of my family. Rather than feeling anxious at yet another illness or injury, now I just pull out my stash of oils knowing that they work for us! I don’t have to use chemical-laden over the counter medicines or creams anymore. I can take care of my family with these amazing oils straight from nature!

Young Living oils are therapeutic, or medicinal, grade oils. These are NOT oils from your local pharmacy or even the health food store. Young Living has been around over 20 years and oversees the entire process from Seed to Seal, so their quality is second to none. This process assures that the oils have therapeutic properties, they don’t just smell good. 🙂

My only regret with these oils is that I didn’t try them sooner. I could do post after post about all the ways that Young Living oils have helped our family, so instead of taking over our Girls Just Want to Go Green blog, I actually started another new blog all about the oils. 🙂

As much as I wish I could tell you all the successes we have had with the oils, regulations limit what I can say about them unfortunately. But these oils have truly changed our lives!! I would highly encourage you to learn more about them, it is so empowering to be able to care for your family naturally!

One Last Thing…

Young Living is a network marketing company, which I know can be a huge turnoff to people… trust me, it hindered me from wanting to even try the oils at the beginning. The first bottle I just bought, I did not ‘sign up’ or anything like that. But once I start seeing results from them, the whole network-marketing-thing was a total non-issue for me. I wanted these oils, and I didn’t care how I had to get them! 🙂

Teeccino – Review

We never used to drink coffee until one day my husband decided to start! Sadly, he has a bit of a Starbuck’s addiction. He even asked for a Keurig for his birthday last year so he could easily make coffee at home. It was not a new habit I was thrilled about.

Anyways, one day I saw a lady talking about Teeccino, a caffeine-free, “herbal coffee.” She said she had a 4-cup-a-day coffee addiction and switched over to Teeccino, and how after a little time she actually preferred the Teeccino. I thought we would give it a try!

In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “Tee-CHEE-noh,” and they advertise themselves as “America’s #1 Coffee Alternative.” It’s non-acidic and caffeine free, so some people even give it to their kids as a hot chocolate alternative! I’m guessing if your kids have ever had hot chocolate, they will still prefer the hot chocolate. 🙂

You make it just like coffee in your coffeemaker. In my Keurig, I can use the individual ‘My K-cup’ and make it that way, which is really nice when you just want to make one cup. The aroma of this is really good!! It is very flavorful, but I definitely wouldn’t say it tastes like coffee. I don’t like to drink it black because there is a little ‘tang’ that gets you at the end.

The first flavor we tried was Hazelnut, and with a little cream/creamer, it was really pretty good. The next flavor we tried was Mocha, and I actually prefer this to the Hazelnut. Like coffee, I don’t think the actual flavors really come through (so I don’t taste either the Hazelnut or the Mocha), but the Mocha flavor to me doesn’t have quite as much ‘tang’ at the end as the Hazelnut. I think it’s a little more mild. I actually really like the Mocha. Especially with a little cream/creamer. 🙂

The main ingredients are roasted organic carob, organic barley, organic chicory, dates, and almonds, and then each flavor has it’s own set of additional ingredients. It’s actually shocking how much this looks like ground coffee out of the bag. Also, it looks like dark roasted coffee once made.

Both varieties I’ve tried have been the ‘Mediterranean’ style that is sweetened with figs and dates, but Teeccino also makes a Mayan style – they say “pure flavor that is preferred by those who enjoy the bitter profile of unsweetened coffee.” I may try this one next, because I’m thinking the ‘tangy’ aftertaste is due to the dates and figs. I’ll have to update this if I try a Mayan version! They actually have many different varieties – check out their website!

I almost ordered this off Amazon, but then I found out that they carry it at my local Whole Foods. Next time I’m there, I’m going to check out what other varieties they have!

Oh yes, I almost forgot… my husband actually likes this, too! I don’t think he’d switch over 100% to this from coffee, but mostly because they don’t make it in K-cups for the Keurig, and the My K-cup is a bit of a pain to wash out. If I make it for him and he doesn’t have his heart set on a cup of actual coffee, he will swap out the coffee for the Teeccino.

Edited to Add: If you are gluten-sensitive or intolerant, please note that this product contains barley.

Tarte lights, camera, lashes!™ Mascara – Review

Recently, it was time to look for a new mascara. My current one was almost out and I wanted to find one that avoided some of the heavy chemicals that are in many of the brands. Tarte was mentioned to me and I thought I would check it out. I usually go with the mascara that does the most for my lashes and their lights, camera, lashes!™ sounded perfect! Tarte describes it as, “a push-up bra for your lashes™ a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning). Love it! This is exactly what I needed for my thin lashes.

This mascara is formulated without mineral oil, paraben, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and synthetic fragrance. So not only does it not contain these harmful ingredients, but it really makes your lashes look so much longer and have lots of volume. I even had a little space on one side where a few lashes had pulled out with my old eyelash curler and with this mascara you cannot see the space at all! As an added bonus, it comes off fairly easy with just hot water and my face soap.

This picture is from the company website, honestly this is how drastic I think it makes my eyelashes look!

Skin Deep rated this product a 4 (scale of 0-10, 0 is the best). This was last updated in October 2009 and it was given this score based on containing parabens and other harmful ingredients. I believe it has been reformulated since then as my packaging and their website, clearly state it does not contain all the above chemicals listed. I would have to assume it is the same thing with Good Guide, though there is less details provided for their review.

Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser – Review

Here are the things I’m looking for in a facial cleanser – paraben-free, pthalate-free, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate-free, petro-chemical-free, removes all my makeup, doesn’t dry my skin, and is reasonably priced. Why is this so hard to find?!?!

I’d been wanting to try the Yes To Carrots line, so I read some reviews on their cleansers. People seem to like the Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser, so I gave it a whirl. I picked it up at Ulta because I knew I could return it if I didn’t like it. 🙂 It was under $8.

Wah, wah, wah. 🙁 The word ‘Cream’ in the title should have tipped me off. Because it is creamy, it didn’t fully wash off. It left a layer on my skin, which I guess might be fine if you weren’t trying to wash your makeup off. It had a nice fragrance, but for something more natural, you wouldn’t think a face wash would be fragranced. Also, this burned my eyes! Even in the morning when I wasn’t washing off eye makeup! I do have sensitive eyes, but over the years I have used plenty of face washes that I haven’t had an issue with.

So this was a total bummer. I was really hoping it would work, because it didn’t have the chemicals and it was reasonably priced. But it didn’t remove my makeup completely and it burned my eyes. Thankfully Ulta took it back just fine.

Yes To Carrots also has a product called Makeup Removing Cleanser that would have been my first choice, but I couldn’t find it in stores. If I do run across it, though, I may give it a shot! Still holding out hope for this product line!

Shark S3601 Professional Steam Mop – Review

At one point I had the luxury of having someone help me clean my house once a month! She did an amazing job and would steam all my floors with a steamer that is no longer manufactured. I resorted for many years to washing my floors by hand. Once my son was born I really wanted them to be not just clean but also safe for him to be on. I found some really good green products to use, but still was searching for a good steam mop. I finally found a great steam mop! The Shark S3601 Professional Steam Mop.

This mop is so wonderful! It has three settings on it for Dust, Mop or Scrub. Really it just gives your more steam as you move through the settings. It does an amazing job! Using this mop has taken me from an hour long cleaning project to literally 10 minutes. I cannot say enough about the steam power and performance of this mop. I used it on my hardwood floors and tiled floors and it does an amazing job on both of them. The cleaning pad is easy to clean, you just throw it in the washing machine. Talk about a “green” mop!

The very best part is there are no harsh chemicals for your family to be exposed to on a weekly basis. You know your little ones are safe crawling around and playing on the floor. All it takes is distilled water! This was a real life saver while I was pregnant with my second child and even after when I was recovering from my c-section. It is so light weight I was able to use it just 3 weeks post surgery.

I purchased mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond and of course used the 20% off coupon. 🙂

Bertolli Organic Pasta Sauce – Review

For quite a while I was making my own homemade pasta sauce. I will have to post the recipe one day, because it was delicious. 🙂 However, I save spaghetti for nights when I need to make dinner quick, and my homemade pasta sauce was definitely not a Dinner’s-Ready-In-15-Minutes meal.

There are lots of organic pasta sauce choices at the grocery store, but some are pretty expensive! I was excited to see this Bertolli Organic Pasta Sauce on the shelf, because not only is it made with just a handful of organic ingredients, but it is priced so reasonably!! I can get this at Target, and when I went this week, it just had another price cut down to $1.99! (Previously it was $2.50!)

Although it’s not as good as homemade (I mean, what can touch homemade sauce?!), this sauce is still really good. It comes in two varieties, Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic and Traditional Tomato & Basil. I do wish it came in more varieties, but I will definitely keep purchasing this sauce for those Dinners-In-A-Pinch!
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