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November 24th, 2014
In honor of Thanksgiving and to thank you for being such a wonderful community I have something very special for you.
The Clipso Pressure Cooker by T-fal
The T-fal Clipso is a 6.3 QT. stainless steel pressure cooker. Not only is the exterior a beautiful, shinny stainless steel, but so is the interior. None of that non-stick toxic stuff.
This was my first time using a pressure cooker. I’ve always wanted to try, but never had the opportunity. Thanks to the kind folks at T-fal I was able to give it a go.
My overall experience: it was very simple to use and produced a delicious meal.
I’m not generally an instruction manual reader. I tent to learn by trial and error, but decided for this pressure cooker adventure that I would actually sit down and read through the manual since I had no idea what I was doing. Featuring a unique one-hand system, the T-fal Clipso can be opened and closed using only one hand.
My kids picked a recipe from the recipe booklet that was included. They chose Italian Sausage & Chicken.
We had all the ingredients ready to go after a lot of slicing and dicing.
Surprisingly I didn’t get teary chopping the onions.
We were finally ready to put everything inside the pressure cooker and seal it up.
After reading through the instruction booklet it was very simple to use. The only surprise was the loud noise it makes when the pressure is released. The steam release valve controls steam release for added safety.
The final product was amazing. Everything was incredibly tender and juicy. The 13 minutes this dish spent in the pressure cooker made it taste like it had been simmering for hours.
I have to come clean here and confess that I didn’t taste it. I don’t eat chicken. My family did the tasting and gave me the feedback. The cleanup was a breeze. It can actually go into the dishwasher. After all that stir frying the pan looks as good as new. The only negative comment from one of my sons was that there were too many tomatoes. Easy fix! Here’s the recipe in case you’re interested.
Where to Buy:
Pressure Cooker Italian Sausage & Chicken
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 Italian link sausages pricked with fork
- 3½ lbs chicken, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp crushed hot red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown evenly. Remove and slice sausage into thin pieces.
- Add chicken and brown in batches. Remove
- Add onion, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until soft.
- Add the vinegar and stir up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, sausages and the remaining ingredients.
- Close the pressure cooker. As soon as steam starts to release, lower the heat. Cook 13 minutes.
- Release pressure. Open the cooker. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
The T-fal Clipso is available in Macy’s retailers and Macys.com for $99.99. For more information please visit T-fal.
The Zabada Kitchen Handy has two sides – a “Grease” side for removing grease from ovens, rangehoods and cooking appliances and a “Grime” side, with light scouring patches, for removing food residues and light grease with no chemicals, just water.
I’ve been testing this handy wipe for about a week and I love it. It’s simple to use- just add a little water and scrub the surface that needs cleaning. This innovative fiber wipe is incredibly durable and does the job. The best part-it’s machine washable and should last from 2-3 years. We ditched paper towels a few years ago and have been using resuables, but the Zabada feels much more substantial than the other store-bought microfiber clothes I’ve been using.
Where to Buy:
The Zabada Kitchen Handy is available for $30.00 HERE.
**Zabada will be running a “Thanksgiving Sale” with 20% off all Kitchen products (including the Kitchen Handy) from November 26th – December 5th.**
Pressure Cooker and Zabada Giveaway!
Now for the good stuff! The kind folks at T-fal and Zabada have joined forces to offer one Groovy Green Livin reader their very own pressure cooker and Zabada Ktichen Handy. How cool is that?! By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules. Unfortunately this is only open to my US readers. Good luck!
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Disclosure: I was sent a T-fal Pressure Cooker and Zabada Kitchen Handy for review. All opinions are, of course, my own.
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April 14th, 2014
Putting toxic chemicals under your arms stinks! That’s why MightyNest, a long time sponsor of this site and an internet retailer of high quality and safe products for our homes and families, asked me to put the natural deodorant, Primal Pit Paste, to the test.
Find out why you should choose a natural deodorant, then take the pledge to join me. Your pits will thank you, AND you could win a Happy Pit Pack from MightyNest (valued at over $100.00)!
MightyNest, Your School and an Earth Day Challenge
Before we jump into why natural deodorants are so important I wanted to make sure you were familiar with the MightyNest for Schools program. If your school does any fundraising (wrapping paper, chocolate, magazines-sound familiar?) you’ll want to hear about this. MightyNest started an easy to use fundraising tool for schools. MightyNest for Schools is an internet shopping fundraiser. It’s simple- parents shop at their convenience for healthy everyday items and 15% of their purchase goes back to the school.
With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, MightyNest is helping parents and schools through their Earth Day Challenge to pledge to make healthy changes that benefit their family and the planet. Until April 28th, we can all earn impact points by pledging to make simple changes (like making the switch to natural deodorant in the pledge below!). The school earning the most points will win a $1000 grand prize and other top schools will share $3000 in additional prizing.
My Week With Natural Deodorant: Primal Pit Paste
We are a culture obsessed with smelling pretty. Take a stroll down the deodorant aisle at any supermarket and the options are endless.
Did you know that it only takes 26 seconds for a body care product to enter our bloodstream? Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants could not only contain controversial aluminum, their ingredient list is long and filled with other suspicious chemicals that I don’t want on or in my body. That is reason enough for me to stop using conventional deodorants. Fortunately there are safer alternatives…….
Thanks to MightyNest I was sent a few samples of the natural deodorant from Primal Pit Paste to try out for a week.
Before using it I checked out the ingredient list: organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, essential oils. Almost good enough to eat!
My workouts happen on most days so I was excited to really put Primal Pit Paste to the test this week. From spinning to running-I was incredibly active. The thyme and lemongrass scent wasn’t overpowering, and did it’s job. The deodorant was so easy to apply. The full sized version comes in a stick and it rolls right on under your arm pits.
My favorite scent was the orange creamsicle that happens to be earmarked for kids. It was bit challenging to apply the deodorant from the smaller, sample sized container since I had to use my finger. The stick was much easier. There’s also an unscented version and a lavender scent.
I’ve tried quite a few natural deodorants and I’m excited to add another one to my recommended list.
Take the Pledge and Enter to Win!
One lucky Groovy Green Livin reader is going to win a Happy Pit Kit valued at over $100 from the folks at MightyNest! The prize pack includes a sample pack of deodorants (in various scents), Lifefactory glass water bottle, Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil, a set of 3 Go Toob reusables travel tubes, Preserve razor and extra replacement cartridges, Planet Wise wet/dry cosmetics bag, and Dr. Bronner’s organic shave gel.
Now you know — there’s a natural deodorant that not only works, it’s also completely safe for your body. So, pledge to green your pits and you could win a Happy Pit Kit from MightyNest. You’ll also have a chance to help your school celebrate Earth Day and win up to $1000 in the MightyNest for Schools Earth Day Challenge!
Disclosure: Thanks to MightyNest for supplying me with samples of the natural deodorant to test. This post is brought to you by MightyNest. All opinions are my very own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.
August 8th, 2013
I’ve been working with the folks over at MightyNest for quite some time because they walk the walk and talk the talk. They stand behind their pledge “to keep your family safe“. I’ve written about their products and shared their valuable information on my Facebook page and in my Twitter feed. You’ll even find a MightyNest banner off to the far right on this site. They’ve been longtime sponsors of Groovy Green Livin.
This year MightNest was one of my sponsors for my trip to BlogHer in Chicago. I had a chance to meet the lovely Annie from MightyNest in real life, which always makes such a difference.
Reusable Lunch Products for Tweens and Teens
As back to school approaches I’m finding that it’s harder and harder to find reusable gear that my three boys (ages 9, 11 and 12) will actually use. Many of the products out there are fantastic, but they’re not going to cut it for teens and tweens. Dragons, princesses and rocket ships are no longer cool to carry to school.
MightyNest to the rescue!
Their online store has a whole slew of products that any tween or teen would love. Check out these reusable products that will be making their way into my boys lunch boxes this school year.
If you’ve been following along here you know that vinyl lunchboxes aren’t safe and should be avoided. Check out this double decker lunch bag that is PVC, BPA and Phthalate-free. This clever design has two compartments, the top for easy access and the bottom for bigger items. The lunch bag does come with a BPA free plastic container meant for food storage. I’m choosing not to use the plastic container – I do my best to make sure plastic doesn’t come in contact with food (even BPA free plastic). We have the orange lunch bag and it rocks! Since there’s only one bag and three boys, they’re going to have to arm wrestle for the right to use it.
This water bottle is the perfect size for any lunch box. This water bottle not only keeps things cold, but keeps them hot too. It’s stainless steel and comes in a variety of great colors.
I’ve been using these ice packs for years and absolutely love them. They are BPA, lead and phthalate free. Each pack comes with a cover made from 100% RECYCLED BPA-Free Plastic Bottles. These ice packs don’t sweat so your lunch won’t get wet and soggy.
Snack Taxi reusable bags have been part of our reusable arsenal for a long time. Their bags are made from quality cotton and lined with nylon. All bags are BPA, PVC, Lead and Phthalate Free. The best feature-you can throw them right in the washing machine. The reusable bag I received from MightyNest actually has soccer balls on it. A perfect fit for my two of my boys. No question, there will be a fight over this reusable bag too!
Another great product from Kids Konserve. I really like this stainless steel container (it does have a plastic lid) for snacks and other lunch foods. Remember-don’t place the plastic lid in the dishwasher. Wash all plastic by hand. Best feature: it doesn’t leak!
Lunchbots have been a staple reusable lunch container in our house for a few years. The bright colored lids and the variety of stainless steel sizes make them a great choice for our lunch box. My only complaint-the lids don’t seal so there’s a risk of leakage. I use these container for dry snacks and other food items that won’t leak. Since these containers have a divider our favorite snack to pack is cheese on one side and crackers on the other.
Now for the MightyNest GIVEAWAY!
The kind folks over at MightyNest have graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a set of reusable lunch gear (one of each item listed above valued at $93.00!). The Giveaway will close at 10 am on CST on August 13, 2013. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules. Thanks to MightyNest and good luck to all of you!
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My friend Kathy from SafeMama.com is also having a MightyNest Giveaway! Head on over to her site to increase your chance of winning some fantastic lunchbox reusables!
Disclosure: Thank you to MightyNest for sending my kids samples of the lunch gear reviewed in this post. I didn’t receive any compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this post are my very own.
April 2nd, 2013
I’m a big fan of Patagonia and have reviewed their products many times over the years like HERE, HERE and HERE. The company is about as groovy green as they come. Patagonia has an incredible mission statement that sums up the eco-philosophies of the company:“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
There is a great Patagonia initiative underway -with each pair of Patagonia shoes sold through PlanetShoes.com through April 4, 2013 Patagonia will donate $10 to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife fund is an international organization working to save the planet through conservation, research and restoration of the environment.
By 2020 WWF will conserve 15 of the world’s most ecologically important regions by working in partnership with others to:
- Protect and restore species and their habitats
- Strengthen local communities’ ability to conserve the natural resources they depend upon
- Transform markets and policies to reduce the impact of the production and consumption of commodities
- Ensure that the value of nature is reflected in decisions made by individuals, communities, governments and businesses
- Mobilize hundreds of millions of people to support conservation
Patagonia through PlanetShoes.com will donate $10 to WWF for every pair of shoes sold through April 4, 2013.
Patagonia Bandha Criss-Cross Sandal
I was very excited when PlanetShoes.com asked me to review a pair of Patagonia sandals The timing was perfect since spring has almost sprung and I’m ready to put away my winter boots and break out the summer kicks.
I’m really looking forward to wearing them once the weather warms up in Boston.
PlanetShoes.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a $100 gift certificate to be redeemed for a pair of Patagonia shoes at Patagonia.com. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
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Elephant Flying Squad photo credit: © WWF-Indonesia/Mast Irham
Chihuahua Wetland photo credit: Edward Parker/WWF-Canon
March 28th, 2013
I recently hosted a One Bag March Madness party. The goal was to invite friends over for a dinner party, use as many reusable products as possible and try to reduce our waste so that only one bag of trash went into the garbage at the end of the night. For those of you who entertain, you know that this isn’t an easy task. Many times when entertaining takes place eco-friendly habits fall by the wayside and disposable, single-use products come out in full force.
Through our efforts to compost, recycle and use reusable products rather than single-use items we did it. Only one small bag of trash ended up in the garbage can.
Now it’s your turn! One Groovy Green Livin reader will receive a One Bag Party Kit VALUED AT $500 to help you pull off your own One Bag event and send just ‘One Bag’ of waste to the landfill, with the rest being diverted to recycling and compost. Give it a try at your next event, and learn how to waste less every day. It’s the small changes that can make a big difference.
Now for the good stuff! Here’s what’s included in the One Bag Party Kit (value $500):
- $300 Whole Foods Gift Card
- 12 Reusable napkins
- 1 Simple Human compost pail for under the sink (look HERE for photo)
- 1 Box compostable Glad bags
- 1 Reusable stainless steel cupcake pan from Essential Safe Products
- 10 Stainless steel reusable water bottles to be used as party favors for guests
By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules. Good luck! You can also enter for a chance to win $10,000 toward your own personal One Bag party through March 31, 2013 HERE.
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Disclosure: I did receive compensation in exchange for having a one bag party and sharing my experience. I also received a complementary One Bag Party Kit. The content and opinions are 100% my own and always will be. Promise.
Stock Photo © Sandralise #3245792
November 8th, 2012
Today in New England
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. From November 5 – 19th Patagonia is generously donating $10 to NOFA for each and every pair of Patagonia footwear sold on PlanetShoes.com.
What is NOFA/Mass?
NOFA/Mass is a community of farmers, gardeners, landscapers and consumers working to educate members and the public about the benefits of organic farming. They are concerned about the dangers posed by pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. NOFA offers The Organic Food Guide , which is an online resource to locate certified organic and sustainably grown food and products throughout Massachusetts. It also includes restaurants, grocery stores and specialty shops that sell organic food, beverages and products.
Patagonia boots review and a gift certificate for you
I was very excited when PlanetShoes.com asked me to review a pair of Patagonia winter boots. The timing was perfect since we just had our first Nor’easter (a whopping 2 inches of snow) and winter boots are suddenly a necessity.
I’ve been wearing these Patagonia Lugano Lace High Waterproof boots for the past few days since it’s starting to feel like winter and my feet are always cold. The boots are very easy to slip on for a quick trip to the mailbox or bus stop. I love that my feet are very warm and dry -both are much needed during the cold and wet winters in the Northeast.
I decided to try a new color since most of my boots are black. The boots are Forge Gray, which I must say is pretty stylin’. The gray is really more of a blue/gray than a true gray. They also come in Espresso, which is a chocolate brown.
I was hoping that the boots would go up a bit higher on my leg. These really hit mid-calf and I was looking for over the calf, but they work. They are perfect with a pair of leggings, skinny jeans or even a skirt.
PlanetShoes.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a $150 gift certificate to be redeemed for a pair of Patagonia shoes at Patagonia.com. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
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Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Patagonia Lugano Lace High Waterproof boots for review from PlanetShoes.com. The opinions expressed in this review are my very own.
November 1st, 2012
My natural hair color is dark brown with a few reddish highlights. It’s always been dark brown except for one summer during college when I was a camp counselor and over did it with Sun-In. That summer I came back to college with very orange hair which at the time I really liked, but in retrospect realize that it was a bad mistake. Thankfully over time my natural hair color grew back.
Over the past few years I’ve struggled with a few gray hairs that are incredibly persistent. I know that gray hair is coming for all of us and there’s no stopping mother nature. As a green living advocate, like many of you, I pay close attention to the chemicals that go in and on my body. As much as I want to keep my dark hair, my intuition is screaming “toxic chemicals”.
So I tried henna. It was messy and smelly, but it worked. After a few months of using henna my stubborn grays decided not to cooperate and my natural gray and brown hair color reappeared after a very short 1-2 weeks after a henna treatment. There was no way I could reapply henna every 1-2 weeks so it was time for another option. Gray isn’t an option yet.
Tints of Nature
For weeks I stood and starred at the many hair color options in the aisle at Whole Foods. I was searching for a safer option than all of those chemical filled conventional hair colors in a box. Tints of Nature was on the shelf and I did a little leg work to see what this product was all about.
What I like about Tints of Nature
- Tints of Nature makes a permanent hair color that doesn’t have most of those toxic chemicals found in other hair colors, such as ammonia, resorcinol and parabens.
- Tints of Nature permanent hair colors use the most natural ingredients possible and only use synthetic raw materials a when there is no natural alternative.
- There are no animal byproducts so Tints of Nature is perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
- While the colors do contain PPDs (paraphenylenendiamines), they use the lowest amounts possible to be able to cover grey hair; on average PPDs comprise 0.42% of the product, including a true black.
What I don’t like about Tints of Nature
I’m most concerned about the PPDs (paraphenylenendiamines) in Tints of Nature permanent color. PPDs can cause severe health issues ranging from allergic reactions to cancer. The reason they’re used in hair dye is they allow the color to penetrate the hair shaft (as opposed to henna, which interacts with one’s natural pigment on the outside of the shaft). The bottom line is if you’re using a permanent hair dye it probably has PPDs in it.
Using Tints of Nature
I’ve been using Tints of Nature hair color for a few months and I really like the color of my hair and the ease of applying the mixture. It also has been lasting for about 4-5 weeks. When applying I’ve learned to be very careful not to get the product on any counters, floors or sinks-or they too will be dyed black!
To apply the solution your hair needs to be washed and wet. The box contains gloves to spread the mixture starting from the roots down. I leave it on my head for about 30 minutes with the provided cap. The final steps are rinsing, shampooing and conditioning in the shower with their products-all contained in the box. It’s not as messy as henna and a much simpler process.
Great news: Tints of Nature now has a semi-permanent dye without PPD’s
Tints of Nature just launched an ammonia-free, organic semi-permanent hair color line that is completely free of PPDs and PTDs (Paraphenylenediamines and Paratoluenediamines – pigment). A semi-permanent color does not penetrate the hair shaft; it simply coats the hair to provide shiny, temporary color to hair, without damage or risk.
The kind folks at Tints of Nature have agreed to give one Groovy Green Livin reader 6 boxes of Tints of Nature permanent colour. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
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Disclosure: I was sent six boxes of Tints of Nature for review. The opinions expressed in this review are my very own.
photo credit: OwlLens via photopin cc