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Archive for Product Review

February 24th, 2015

Stonyfield YoBaby Turns Sweet 16!

YoBaby yogurt turns 16 this year (that's old enough to drive!)  Groovy Green Livin

I remember feeding that first bite of solid food to each of my boys. That scrunched up face and tongue that didn’t quite know what to do or how to chew. It was adorable and photo and video worthy. I’m sure those of you who have seen a child take their first bite of food can remember that very same moment.

YoBaby yogurt was always an easy option during those early years. Grabbing a few yogurt containers or tubes and throwing them in the diaper bag with an ice pack was part of the routine. They would reappear just before a meltdown on the playground or while dragging my poor third child to multiple sporting events. In retrospect he really was a trooper.

Happy Birthday YoBaby Groovy Green LivinMany times a spoon didn’t make it into the diaper bag, but that yogurt was still handed out in sheer desperation to any child who was about to lose it. It was truly a lifesaver. By the time we made it home on most days it looked as though we’d been through a war zone. But the kids were well fed and happy. That’s what truly matters, isn’t it?

Choosing organic foods was high on the priority list when my kids were little and still remains at the top of the list today. In a nutshell, products with an organic certification are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. There’s more good news when it comes to organic foods: USDA certified products cannot intentionally contain GMOs.

I’ve been working closely with one of my favorite brands, Stonyfield, for many years. I was a loyal Stonyfield customer long before our partnership began. It’s sort of an organic match, wouldn’t you say?

Happy 16th Birthday YoBaby!

I’m always up for celebrating a birthday. This year YoBaby yogurt is turning 16. It’s been a true pleasure watching this brand that I care so much about grow, mature and continue to serve up more and more organic products. It never ceases to amaze me when I find a Stonyfield product in a remote shop on the side of the road. Take a peek at my Instagram feed to check out a few of my Stonyfield sightings. Stonyfield is making quality organic products accessible to everyone and that’s something truly commendable.

Happy Sweet 16 YoBaby. My own babies aren’t quite old enough to drive, but soon enough they’ll be joining your ranks!

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

Disclaimer: I work in partnership with Stonyfield as a YoGetter Captain and blogger and I am compensated for my work . The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I
support and think you, my readers, will like. 

photo credit: Baby Feeds Himself via photopin (license)

January 26th, 2015

3 Small Kitchen Appliances I Can’t Live Without

Small Kitchen Appliances Groovy Green Livin

I always love taking a sneak peek into someone else’s home. I’ve shared with you what’s under my kitchen sink and some of my favorite safe shampoos and lotions. My friend Lindsay has also shared some behind the scenes glimpses into her home with a look at what’s under her sink and what’s in her pantry.

Today it’s time to take a little peek into my kitchen, which you can see in its entirety in my interview with ABC World News.

There are 3 small kitchen appliances that I use every day and I can’t live without them!

I spent a lot of time researching and seeking out the safest brand before buying each one. They are not inexpensive, but so worth the investment. Feel free to piggy back off my research and treat yourself to one of each. You deserve it!

There are affiliate links below. See * for full disclosure.

VitaClay Organic Multi-Cooker/Rice Cooker
3 Small Kitchen Appliances I Can't Live Without Groovy Green Livin

I’ve had multiple rice cookers over the years and hands down I like the VitaClay Organic Multi-Cooker/Rice Cookerthe best. The interior pot is ceramic rather than stainless steel and doesn’t contain aluminum, lead or any non-stick chemicals. It works like a charm every time I make rice or any grain. I’ve even used it for oatmeal.

There are multiple settings: for white rice (Quinoa), Brown rice (Wholegrain, or Wild rice), Sweet rice (Sushi, Sticky), Reheat, Stew (Roast or Steam or Beans, or less liquid cooking), Soup (Broth or more liquid based cooking) and Yogurt(yes, you can make your own yogurt).

It seems to cook the rice very quickly. My favorite feature is the “delay start”. I can program the rice cooker to turn on at a set time. Once the rice finishes cooking it automatically keeps it warm.

My only challenge with this rice cooker is that the lid is sometimes difficult to take off when the pot is hot.


All-Clad 6.5-Quart Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert
3 Small Kitchen Appliances I Can't Live Without Groovy Green Livin
The All-Clad 6.5-Quart Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert is the best of the best.

If you’re anything like me and driving your kids around just before dinner time, this slow cooker is for you. It has a 26-hour programmable timer, which allows you to time dinner perfectly. It’s also quite large so we can prepare a meal and have lots of leftovers. I love that it turns to the warm setting once the cooking’s complete. The ceramic insert is very easy to clean.

PRICE: $179.95

The SodaStream Crystal


3 Small Kitchen Appliances I Can't Live Without Groovy Green Livin

We love our SodaStream . There are quite a few versions out there, but we chose the SodaStream Chrystal since it uses a reusable glass carafe. Personally I’m not a fan of carbonated water (I don’t like the bubbles), but the rest of my family can’t get enough. Since this love of sparkling water has turned into a bit of an addiction I decided to do a little homework to make sure that consuming a lot of the bubbly stuff wasn’t impacting our health.

The bottom line: carbonated water is basically harmless. It’s just water and bubbles. An added bonus: by using a SodaStream you’re creating a positive impact on the environment by not using all the plastic bottles and cans generated from the store bought version.

PRICE: $179.99

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


*Disclaimer: I’ve included Amazon affiliate links for each of these items.  I will earn a small commission off of anything you buy through these links. Thank you for your support this site. All opinions are 100% my own, as always!

November 7th, 2014

Domicil Journey Handbag: Upcycling Discarded Leather into Something New

Groovy Green Livin Domicil Recycled Tote

Bring on the upcycling!

As bloggers, we tend to get a lot of pitches for product reviews. Some of them are fantastic-personalized and truly a great match for our readers – and others not so much. I try to be selective and find brands that you would enjoy hearing about.

Every once in a while an interesting brand reaches out and it’s just hard to say no. Domicil is one of those brands.

After receiving an email from Domicil I spent some time perusing their site. Although their site is a bit challenging to navigate, it turns out they are a European furniture shop with gorgeous furniture. I pretty much want every piece of their furniture. Everything is straight lines, beautiful, neutral colors and simple.

Domicil opened their first retail shop in Shanghai. Based in Shanghai’s cultural and artistic centre of Red Town, the new multi-story building features galleries that showcase rich, intimate and warm installations on themes of furniture, life, art and culture. Now they sell their products in retail space mainly in California with a sprinkling in Arizona and Alaska.

Upcycling at it’s best

The brand is now offering something new- a deviation from the fine furniture brand they’ve created.

New for the holiday season is an example of how Domicil is committed to reducing waste. A beautifully handcrafted handbag made by upcycling pieces of the leather hides not used in their furniture production is launching this year for the holidays.

The “Journey” handbag makes a thoughtful gift for the fashionista and environmentalist. It will retail for approx. $175, and available in a wide range of colors.

I was sent a Journey handbag in red for review. It’s truly gorgeous. The bag is quite large so I can fit everything and more inside. In addition to being a gorgeous handbag it could also be used as a diaper bag for someone who wants a trendy, eco-fashion look. The bag I received is bright red. I think I was expecting more of a maroon color, but this is true red and really eye catching.

Groovy Green Livin Upcycling Red Bag

If you want your very own Domicil Journey bag this holiday season you’re going to have to do a bit a research and find a Domicil retailer near you by searching HERE. If you live in the US and outside of  Arizona and Alaska chances are you’ll have to have the bag shipped your way. If you’re in Canada there are also a few options.

What color would you choose?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

 Disclosure: I received a Journey handbag from Domicil for review. All opinions are my own. 

October 27th, 2014

5 Yoga and Workout Clothing Brands With a Sustainable Twist

Groovy Green Livin Workout Yoga Clothing

Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thank you!

I’m a creature of habit. Once I find a brand of yoga and workout clothing that fits well it’s hard to make a switch. For many years I was a devoted fan of  Lululemon. After the company made a quite a few bad choices in my opinion and wound up in a PR nightmare I, along with many others, made a conscious decision to expand my horizons and seek out other brands for my daily workout gear.

After much searching and wearing I have a few of my new favorite yoga and workout clothing brands to share with you.

Albion Fit Yoga and Workout Clothing

Groovy Green Livin yoga workoutAlbion is a local, family-owned company hailing from the Albion Basin at the top of Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. They’re committed to the environment and their community by recycling plant waste and by using earth friendly materials in their products. They also follow fair labor practices with all of our employees and business partners and are proud of their sustainable work environment.

I had a chance to try out the Go Long Leggings in black. They also come in pumpkin, turquoise, coral and cobalt. The Go Long Leggings have a spandex feel and sit just below the waist. They are a snug fit throughout the leg. They’re extremely comfortable for a workout and also look great tucked inside a boot with a long sweater.


prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit. It’s also a fabulous clothing line. I’ve loved pRana clothing in general for quite some time. I started out wearing their yoga-wear way back when I took my first yoga class.

Scott Kerslake, prAna CEO, says,

From the very beginning when our company was founded, we have attempted to make yoga and climbing clothes in a way that does as little harm as possible to the environment. 

prAna’s long list of sustainable initiatives is impressive. This is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of style, but knowing that they truly care about our health, the environment and our planet makes wearing the clothing that much more appealing.

I have quite a few workout tops from pRana. My favorite is the prAna Vienna Top in Black Deco . Most of the pRana tops I’ve worn are a very loose fit. My only complaint is they’re not overly supportive. The designs are attractive, unique and flattering for most body types.


Yogiiza is based in Miami Beach, Florida and all of their clothing is made outside the US using non-GMO, organic cotton.  The company uses non-toxic dyes that meet the Global Organic Textile Standards and uses recycled packaging. They also subscribe to fair trade practices.

I’m loving these YOGiiZA Men’s Organic Yoga Pants and this YOGiiZA Women’s Organic Racerback Tank.


Soybu is a sustainable yoga and workout wear brand which is available at many major retailers. Soybu’s price point makes it an attractive option for many.

Check out Soybu Women’s Killer Caboose Performance Pant and Soybu Women’s Allegro Capri. For workout tops I’m loving the Soybu Women’s Goddess Tank Top


I’m a big fan of  Patagonia. I have talked about how wonderful Patagonia is HERE and HERE. They really are a fantastic brand with so many green initiatives in place.

These Patagonia Women’s Serenity Leggings  are super comfy and a great fit. This Patagonia Overhead Sports Bra is extremely supportive.

What’s your favorite sustainable yoga and/or workout brand?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclosure: The kind folks at prAna  and Albion Fit sent me workout wear to test out. All opinions are my very own. There are a few afflilate links in this post. Any purchases made will help support this blog. Thanks!

September 12th, 2014

Air Purifier Review: Alen BreatheSmart FIT50

Groovy Green Livin Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 HEPA Air Purifier

With winter almost knocking on our door I can’t help but think about how all the windows and doors in my home will soon be sealed tightly to keep the cool air out and the warm air in. Along with the cool temps and sealed up homes comes a big concern: indoor air pollution.

We generally think of air pollution as an outdoor problem, but our indoor air can be polluted too. Indoor air pollution can come from many different sources including tobacco products, oil, gas, coal and wood, building materials, couches, carpets, cleaning products and more.

How you can improve your indoor air quality: BreatheSmart FIT50

If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your indoor air quality, try adding a few indoor house plants.

Another easy way to remove contaminants from the air is to use an air purifier.  I’ve tried several air purifiers over the years and have never found one that made much of a difference- until now.

I was sent a BreatheSmart FIT50 made by the Alen Corporation for review. When the box showed up I was a bit surprised by the size of the unit (it’s W16.75″ x H22.25″ x D10″), but once it was out of the box its sleek look won me over.

Groovy Green Livin Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 HEPA Air Purifier

The BreatheSmart FIT50 HEPA Air Purifier just launched over the summer and I’m pretty impressed with what it has to offer.

  • Covers up to 800 sq. ft. on high
  • Is extremely quite when running
  • Has 4 fan speeds and an timer that can be set
  • A filter change indicator light-no more trying to remember when you need to change the filter!
  • A HEPA filter that captures dust, allergens and other pollutants

This air purifier has two features that really make it stand out from other air purifiers I’ve tried out. One of my favorite features is the ability to change the look of the front panel-there are several color designer panels to choose from.

Our entire family agreed that the coolest feature is the colored light around the power button.

Groovy Green Livin Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 HEPA Air Purifier

There are three different light colors and each has a meaning:

  • Blue: Low quantity of airborne particles detected
  • Yellow: Moderate quantity of airborne particles detected
  • Red: Significant quantity of airborne particles detected

When we first began using the air purifier the light was consistently red. I tried moving the unit around to different rooms in the house and all came up red!

After using the BreatheSmart FIT50 for a few weeks I’ve noticed a big difference in the air quality. The light has switched from red to yellow. Phew! This time of year my fall allergies kick in big time and I’m not sneezing as much as in past years.

Bottom Line on the BreatheSmart FIT50 Air Purifier

Overall I really like this air purifier. It’s a bit larger than units I’ve used in the past, but it’s extremely quiet when running. The air quality in the house seems to have improved-there is less sneezing and the indicator light changed color, indicating less airborne particles. The true test is yet to come once our house is closed up for winter. The air purifier is on the pricier side, coming in at $499.00.

Do you use an air purifier?

Disclosure: I did receive an Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 for review. I was neither paid for your review, nor am I employed by Alen Corporation. All opinions are my own.

May 29th, 2014

10 Shocking Facts About Sugar From the Movie ‘Fed Up’

Groovy Green Livin Fed Up

I just finished watching the movie Fed Up with my 13 year old.

It was eye-opening on many levels. As the credits were rolling I sat on the couch next to my son feeling angry, upset and fed up. But I also felt grateful that I was able to watch this incredible documentary with my son.

Take a peek at the preview:

Thanks to Fed Up there have been fantastic discussions in our home about the food we eat, obesity and the complexities of sugar. We now read food labels together at the market, scanning for forms of hidden sugar.

In a nutshell this film shows us how everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong.

The movie, produced by Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and Regina Scully, sets out to change the way we eat forever.

If we don’t change something soon then we are left with the fact that over 90% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades. One in three kids are expected to have diabetes by mid-century. This is the first generation of children that are expected to lead shorter lives than their parents.

In 2010 flip cameras were sent out to a group of 6 kids so they could record candidly their struggles with obesity and food. The film follows these children and documents their uphill battle with the “diet and exercise” model for losing weight.

This is a heartbreaking tale of how easy it is for kids to become addicted to the wrong kind of foods at an early age.

If you thought you understood sugar before, Fed Up has new information that will forever change the way we think about sugar and food in general. 

  1.  80% of the 600,00 items sold in grocery stores have added sugar.
  2. From 1977 to 2000 it’s estimated that Americans have doubled their intake of sugar.
  3. A typical 20 ounce bottle of soda contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar from High Fructose Corn Syrup.
  4. In a recent study, 43 cocaine addicted laboratory rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar water over a 15 day period. 40 out of 43 chose sugar.
  5. Low fat products AREN’T necessarily a healthier option and DON’T have less sugar.
  6. A calorie isn’t a calorie. For example a calorie from a candy bar is very different from a calorie in a piece of fruit or a vegetable.
  7. Sugar is sugar. It can be disguised in may ways on a food label, but it’s all sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere: cane sugar, beet sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, glucose. There are over 50 names for sugar.
  8. Right now food labels list the amount of sugar in products in grams. This is basically useless since it’s very hard for us to visualize in grams. We need to fight to switch the measurement to teaspoons.
  9. In 1980 there were no cases of Type 2 Diabetes diagnosed (ages 8-19). In 2010 57,638 (ages 8-19) cases were diagnosed.  Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your chance of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
  10. Since 1995 the government has paid over 8 billion dollars in subsidies for corn based sweeteners including High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Crystalline Fructose which are added to our foods and beverages. Between 1970 and 1990 the consumption of HFCS increased by 1000%.

Our food system is a disaster and it isn’t going to fix itself. The problems we face are real and serious and we need to do something NOW. There’s no question that we all need to work together to save our kids. To save ourselves.

I’m angry. I’m Fed Up.

Go and see the movie, start cooking more home cooked meals, and join forces to help stop this epidemic.

The Fed Up Challenge

On May 12, the #FedUpMovie team went sugar free for 10 days. They used this action  as a first step in fighting the biggest public health crisis of our time. It’s not too late to take the pledge. Want to join in and go sugar free for 10 days? Check it out HERE.

If you’ve seen the movie I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Need more convincing to see this flick? Check out Mindful Momma’s Top Ten Reasons to See the Movie ‘Fed Up’ and Mommy Niri’s interview with Katie Couric, Laurie David, Stephanie Soechtig and Dr. Mark Hyman.

May 19th, 2014

Help a Sister Out With a Free Sample Softcup

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

Softcup and I are friends again.

A while back I introduced you to the reusable Softcup. Let me be clear-we were never not friends, but I took a break.

What is Softcup? Bye bye tampons and pads

Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

There are two Softcup options:

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

I tried SoftCup a few times over the past few years and actually liked it.

But then I became lazy and went back to my trusty organic tampons.

Well, I’m back again Softcup and this time I think I’m here to stay.

Time to “green” your period

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 and 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box, tampon or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

My Softcup experience 

When I was asked to try out Softcup again I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. My box of organic tampons was working just fine and I wasn’t sure I wanted to change it up again. But then I thought about all that waste……

Picking up right where I left off I still have a bit of a Softcup learning curve to work through. I’ve been using Softcup for the past month and I’m still not perfect at placement (I’m at best awkward), but I’m certainly more comfortable. It’s not easy, but I know from past experience that practice will payoff.

One of my favorite Softcup features is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours during any activity. I’m pretty active and there are times when I’m out and about for hours at a time. Finding a spot to change a tampon is always challenging. Here are a few more reasons to steer clear of conventional tampons:

  • Conventional tampons are chlorine-bleached and made with synthetic fibers.
  • Conventional tampons may contain residues of dioxin, as well as chemicals to aid in absorbency. Think about where you are placing those toxins.
  • One of the biggest risks is tampon-induced Toxic-Shock Syndrome (TSS) which is a rare, and potentially fatal, disease.  These risks arise from the synthetic fibers that make tampons and the chemicals used to bleach them.

Send a Free Softcup to a Friend: Help a Sister Out Campaign

If you’re interested in trying out your own Softcup I have good news! On Tuesday May 20th at 1pm EST, Softcup will be hosting a Sampler event which will run until Tuesday June 3rd at 1 pm EST or until supplies run out.

During this time 15,000 free Softcup samples will be sent out!

It’s simple: 

Anytime between May 20th at 1 pm EST and June 3rd at 1 pm EST click HERE to Help a Sister Out by sending a free sample of a reusable Softcup (provided supplies don’t run out)! 


Have you tried Softcup or a reusable menstrual cup? Tell me about it! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by The Sampler App to write this post.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Softcup sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

photo credit: Lieven SOETE via photopin cc

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

Lori on ABC World News

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