Wednesday, June 9, 2010

EcoMom has stuff for EcoDads too! (Review and Giveaway!)

***Giveaway closed***
Winner: Jamaise

Remember a while back, I got to try some great products from the great folks with eco-friendly baby products - EcoMom? My poor husband seems to get left out of these things too often, so when EcoMom offered him the opportunity to try out the Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Oil, he was all over it.

By all over it, I actually mean the reaction was - I get to try something? Cool! Then, when he saw the teeny, tiny bottle of shaving oil he was a little mystified. This tiny bottle does up to 100 shaves? Will oil really work better than the usual shaving foam? How will my skin react?

The first time he used it, the results were wonderful. He alternates between an electric shaver for work days, and a blade on weekends or for when he wants a closer shave. So the blade shaves usually take a little longer but are more thorough. He tested out the shaving oil on a weekend and we were both really amazed at just how smooth his skin was after using it. It has a very slightly herbal scent and left his skin so soft. What he was most impressed by is that it doesn't leave him with little red marks and bumps like he sometimes gets from shaving. And he's been having less problems with ingrown hairs as well. It's just a clean, perfect shave. The oil has soothing ingredients like aloe and cucumber, so perhaps that's why - or maybe it's something to do with the way the blade goes across the skin more easily. We're not sure. But it's good.

Hard to believe such a small bottle has so many shaves in it, but only 5-7 drops are needed for each shave!

There are mostly recognizable ingredients in this product (it contains Sunflower Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Avocado Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Cucumber Extract, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Kukui Nut Oil, Tangerine and Grapefruit Peel Oil and Menthol, along with the three I'm about to discuss), but there are a few ingredients that don't really scream out 'all natural'. They are:
  • Laureth-4. This functions as a surfactant (lowers the surface tension of liquids which makes them easier to spread) and emulsfying agent (it makes the other ingredients form a homogenous liquid). It has been linked to irritation of the skin, but my husband did not experience this at all, and I couldn't find any real information about that problem. The Cosmetics Safety Database ranks it as 3/10 (10 being the highest risk).
  • Cyclopentasiloxane. This is a silicone product that is used to improve the feel and 'slide' of products. It has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, endocrine system disruption, and tends to bioaccumulate (builds up in the environment). However, the Cosmetics Safety Database ranks it as 2-3/10 which is still very low. I am guessing the links to problems are at large doses.
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E). This is used as a preservative in cosmetics, but it has the benefit of possibly protecting the skin against wrinkles and tumour formation caused by UVB rays! Cool. At high doses, though, it has been linked to tumour formation in animals. The Cosmetics Safety Database ranks it as 2/10 or very low.
Overall given the low risk ranking of these ingredients and the minute quantities in the product, I'm not overly worried about them. I do like to know what's in the products our family uses!

My husband (and I) have been really impressed with the good shaves he's had using this. You can find it - as well as lots of other great eco-friendly products for dads, mums, and babies at EcoMom! They have added a TON of new products to their website since my last review. I have been consistently impressed with the products they carry.

One other thing they offer which is great for families that want to save some money while making a healthy difference in their home, lives and environment, is the EcoPass. For $99 you get a year of free shipping with no minimum order (regularly, orders of $75+ get free shipping), as well as a 15% discount on all your purchases. And, right now you get a free $50 gift card when you buy the EcoPass! That could really add up to big savings. Check out the site for details!

Discount alert!

EcoMom has offered my readers a discount code as well! Simply use the code SBBL220 to get 15% off your first order. This code expires July 30, 2010.

And now, one of my lucky readers can win some eco-friendly shopping fun at EcoMom with a $20 gift certificate! Awesome (I'm jealous!). Remember, they have loads of products for women, men (Father's Day, anyone??), household products, and baby items as well!

The giveaway: A $20 gift certificate to EcoMom!

How to enter: Head over to EcoMom and let me know one thing that catches your eye, OR one thing that you learned there. Make sure I've got a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Extra entries (please leave an extra comment for each):
  • Become a fan of the EcoMom Facebook page (please comment with your first name & last initial for verification)
  • Sign up for the EcoMom newsletter
  • Follow @ecomomCEO on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Tweet about this giveaway for ONE entry, this is not a daily! You can use this if you like:
#Win a $20 gift certificate @EcoMomCEO at Emily's Latest! Eco-friendly mum, dad & baby! @emilyisland US/CAN 6/24
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog– 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please leave a link to your blog)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post and to EcoMom – 2 entries, leave 2 comments and please include a link to your post
I will be verifying comments so please actually do the things you say you do ☺

Please be sure to include your email address if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends June 24th at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed! Prize will be shipped by the sponsor.

We did receive a product for review from EcoMom, but our opinions are our own and honest. We were not paid to write this review. Thank you to EcoMom for the opportunity and sponsoring a giveaway!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shed progress, happy mail and my million dollar idea

Once again, we spent the entire weekend working on the shed. Who knew a roof this small would take the two of us two days? We got the fascia, drip line, shingles and soffits done. Now 'all' that remains is the siding and the doors. Oh, and lattice at the bottom. And to get those side gardens planted. And maybe, if I'm really feeling it, some pretty curtains for the shed windows.
It may not look like much but we are proud of our work so far. Bear in mind, we've never done this before and are learning as we go. Don't worry - the black walls are just covered in tarpaper. The siding will be a colour called 'Clay' - kind of neutral beige that matches our house siding. It will look nicer once that is on, and I can plant the gardens once we stop stomping around as we're building.

Yesterday I had a happy mail day - I got an awesome package from Jessica over at Dairy Free Betty, full of Newfie treats. Who wouldn't want to see this in their mailbox???That's right, it's a big sparkly green package! Check out what was inside!Homemade jam-jams, Cheetos (yarm!), a Newfie house magnet, Pineapple Crush (I've never seen that flavour before!), Screech tea and Bakeapple tea, and some very cool and funky glittens (yes, I made that up - I don't know what they're called - they're like mittens AND like gloves!). Lucky me!!! If you haven't read any of Jessica's blog, you really should check it out. I love her enthusiasm for life (and food!). She's just a really fun, sweet person and it comes through on her blog.

So here is my million dollar idea. A fruitstaurant. Yes! More than just a juice bar or smoothie stand - a full out restaurant. Breakfast: some fresh fruit salad, an apple cinnamon muffin and some berry muesli! Maybe some currant scones with fresh raspberry jam! Or stop in for lunch - watermelon soup, slightly salty dried fruit chips and cherry pie! Wouldn't it be awesome to go through a drive-through mid-afternoon and pick up a banana for hubby, a blueberry-mango smoothie for you, a couple cups of chopped pineapple, apple slices or grapes for the kids? There could be a bakery aspect; I'm thinking things like plum upside-down cake, take-home baked apples (prebaked or pre-peeled and stuffed to bake at home), peach cobbler... and a preserves section for jams and jellies, sauces and fruit pickles.

Think it's a winner?