Wednesday, April 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY: In which I review Lime Daisy

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. Thanks for entering!

My friend, Aileen, moved away to Australia. *sob* I can't feel too sorry though as she's happily married with two beautiful children in Australia. Plus she's incredibly talented and creative.

She started a handmade company called LimeDaisy Design a few years ago. Specialising in Mum-friendly products, she sent me a couple of her bamboo breast pads called Daisy Pads and, friend, let me tell you: if you are a breastfeeding mama or know one, you need to GET THESE.

And you may because I'm giving away TWO sets of Daisy Pads!

Here's a quick intro from Aileen:

Hi, I'm Aileen a Stay at Home Mum of two little ones.  I love to sew and create.  LimeDaisy Design was born many years ago and has developed over the years.  The main focus of LimeDaisy Design is now Daisy Pads - Bamboo Breast Pads.  I started making them with my second child as I could not find anything that was capable of keeping up with the milk I was supplying.  So after a little research into the best materials to use, I started making Daisy Pads with a bamboo core.  They are super absorbent and super soft on your skin.  What makes them unique is the fantastic range of fabric covers that they come in.  You no longer have to limit yourself to just white pads from the chemist!  Try them, you will fall in love with them and never go back to disposables again!


I can't bring myself to use disposables.  I have tried every kind of breast pad out there and have half-heartedly settled on a basic cotton brand and it seems that they always leak through or suffocate the area.

But when I received Aileen's breast pads, I was converted. These are amazing - soft, absorbent, large enough for us large breasted women and, of course, handmade.  The bamboo core makes all the difference in the world.

Plus they're pretty darn cute.

Daisy Pads Breast Pads
  • Bamboo inner absorbent core
  • Waterproof yet small amount of breathability layer to keep you dry
  • Super soft wicking layer to keep you from feeling wet against your skin
  • approximately 11cm diameter
Bamboo has amazing aborbent qualities, said to be anti-bacterial and loves to be washed.� Pads will reach a maximum absorbency.�

Aileen has graciously provided two sets of Daisy Pads for a reader here. (The designs are Hibiscus Pink, pictured above, and the Dr. Seuss style.)

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post.

That's it (I'm not too into making things complicated these days.) I'll draw a winner using

Contest closes: 1 June 2011
Shipping: USA or Canadian addresses only please.

Thanks, Aileen! As one of her customers says, LimeDaisy boobs are happy boobs. Ha!

** Disclosure: I received two sets of Daisy Pads for review purposes as well as two sets for giveaway. I am paying for shipping to the winner and no monetary compensation was exchanged. Also, Aileen rocks.

In which I review quite a few bath and body products

I recently received a box full of bath and body products which, as you know, is a great day at the post office.

I was thrilled with all of them and wanted to quickly highlight them for you.

Burt's Bees products are a favourite in our house. They are one of the best known names for earth-friendly, natural personal care products. 

Burt’s Bees® Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion
Key Ingredients Include:
Cocoa Butter - Triglycerides of fatty acids made from the beans of the cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao). Cocoa butter is a superb emollient that softens and protects chapped skin, relieves irritation and diminishes signs of wrinkling and stretch marks. It is also helpful as a binder or thickener in natural cosmetic formulas where chemical thickeners are not used. It has a sweet chocolate smell.

􏰀 For sensitive skin 􏰀 Clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours 􏰀 Hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin 􏰀 Dermatologist tested 􏰀 Absorbs quickly 􏰀 Non-greasy formula


I love companies with guiding principles that I can support. Diane Lai, a new collection of products for sensitive skin are lead by these Guiding Principles
1. Deliver WOW Through Service 
2. Source Organic and Fair Trade Ingredients 
3. Build A Positive Working Environment 
4. Do More With Less 
5. Be Passionate 
6. Be Humble 
7. Be Socially Responsible

Suggested products: 
Rejuvenate is the ideal daily moisturizing lotion to maintain soft and healthy skin. Rejuvenate is a lipid replenishing body lotion to smooth, protect and restore the skins natural barriers to reduce dryness, irritation, and scratching.

Soothe is the ideal all natural cream to help comfort skin irritations. Soothe uses natural oils and anti-itch remedies to prevent further scratching and inflammation. Other irritations that you can use Soothe on are insect bites and mild sunburn.

No Parabens, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Artificial Fragrance, Artificial Colorants, Retinols, Zero Sulfates, Petro Chemicals, Oxybenzone and, of course, Made In Canada

Because of its commitment to creating a line of products made with plant-based, biodegradable ingredients, a number of Green Works® products have earned the Natural Products Association certification. A product with the NPA certification means that at least 95 percent of its ingredients are natural, and that the product has also been certified to be:
  • safe
  • responsible 
  • sustainable
Green Works® is proud to have four products with the NPA certification seal: Green Works® Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner, Green Works ® Naturally Derived Glass & Surface Cleaner, Green Works® Naturally Derived Bathroom Cleaner, Green Works® Naturally Derived Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Green Works® Naturally Derived Laundry Detergent with more products slated for certification later in the year.

Green Works® surfactants are made from renewable resources (think corn and coconut)—meeting the sustainability criteria of the NPA Standard. Green Works® surfactants—which are ingredients that help make a product foam up and remove dirt—are derived from corn, coconut and other renewable resources. They work great on tough stains and dirt,  but have the added bonus of being  made from a renewable resource.

Green Works® solvents are made from corn. The ethanol solvent used in Green Works® products comes from a popular summer vegetable: corn. This naturally derived solvent helps both in cleaning and to help bind together the cleaner.

The fantastic fragrances in Green Works® products are thanks to essential oils—remember “natural” and “sustainable” are both criteria for the NPA Standard. Essential oils, such as lemon and lavender, are a renewable resource and also perform double duty by helping both to clean and give Green Works® products a fresh, natural scent.

Green Works®  buffers are all naturally derived, too—and are not suspected to risk human health or the environment, meeting the “safe” criteria of the NPA Standard. Green Works® buffers, which help keep the pH of a product stable for optimal cleaning, are all derived naturally. Some that are commonly used in Green Works® products include boric acid (a weak acid that is found in most fruits and plants) and potassium carbonate (a water-soluble white salt).

Last but not least, Green Works® products have not been tested on animals during the formula development process, meeting the responsible criteria of the NPA Standard. 

NIP + FAB, the clinically tested range for the face and body delivers 11 targeted treatments from eye brightening and skin plumping to cellulite and nipple smoothing, and is crammed with breakthrough natural and technologically advanced skin smoothing, boosting and firming ingredients.  
Available at Shoppers' Drug Mart.

First Certified Organic Gluten-Free Personal Care Products
The Green Beaver Company, a Canadian manufacturer of natural personal care, introduces the first certified organic, gluten-free products. Lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash are the first products to be produced as part of their gluten free line.

People with celiac disease are intolerant to gluten protein found in wheat, rye, barley and various types of grains. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in people of all ages from infancy onward. The disease can lead to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, intestinal cancer and other illnesses. It is estimated that 1 in 133 Canadians are affected by celiac disease.

Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in personal care products such as lip balms, lotions, shampoos as well as in some medicines and vitamins. Although the gluten protein is too large to be absorbed through the skin, many people with celiac disease use gluten-free personal care products to avoid accidental ingestion. Others use gluten-free products due to topical reactions such as extreme itching or rashes. Cross contamination from hand to mouth is one way of ingesting gluten from personal care products.

**Disclosure: I received a product from each company to sample in order to provide this review.

In which I review "Coco & Tini"

I was recently introduced to Coco & Tini and - I am in love.

As someone with sensitive skin myself (read: I break out in psoriasis whenever I'm stressed or using a lotion with a perfume in it), I've always been a bit wary with what I put on the tinies' skin. I've tried almost every kind of "natural' or sensitive skin product out there. Either they weren't as effective or they smelled weird or they simply were a green-wash.

So I was thrilled to find out that local Vancouver company, Coco & Tini. Their line of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and bubble bath is fantastic.

  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate-Free
  • Newborn and Baby Friendly
  • No Artificial Fragrance
  • No Artificial Preservatives
  • Tear-free Formula
  • No Parabens
  • Gentle Cleansing Properties
  • Nut-Free Ingredients
  • No Animal Testing

Full disclosure though: I love it not only because it's natural and pure or even because it's gentle on sensitive skin but because it smells so darn good and look! Owls!

I'd love to send some business their way. Check them out or order here.

Natural. Pure. Simple. Clean.
We believe in embracing the purity of nature in our everyday lives. It just makes good sense.
All our ingredients are obtained from European and North American sources.
Our products are dermatologist-tested and contain mild, natural ingredients that are effective yet gentle on babies’ and kids’ sensitive skin.

Disclosure: I received samples of their shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and body wash for the purpose of review.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In which I feature "Economy of Love"

Title: Economy of Love: Creating a Community of Love
By: Shane Claiborne / Relational Tithe
(Book and DVD)


From the Publisher:

America thrives on a simple message-that what we currently have is not enough. Not big enough, not nice enough, not fast or hip enough.
The American Dream is based on wanting more. But does God’s dream for the world look like the American Dream?
In this five-week study, unpack what the patterns of God’s kingdom look like compared to the patterns of our world. What is the value of enough, and how do we become more like the God who is close to the poor, the hungry, the meek, and the merciful?
Economy of Love will challenge individuals to join in community, journeying together as they begin to considera new standard of living-a personal economic threshold oriented not around the size of a monthly paycheck, but around the value of enough.

In which I feature "Discovering the God Imagination"

Book: Discovering the God Imagination: Reconstructing a Whole New Christianity
By: Jonathan Brink


From the Publisher:
Can you do something to make God stop loving you?
In this sweeping new interpretation of the narrative of Christianity, Jonathan Brink explores the remarkable dissonance between our historical understanding of Gospel and what the story in Scripture actually reveals.  It offers a compelling possibility for those looking to reconstruct their faith in a whole new way.
Discovering The God Imagination examines the details of the Garden of Eden, in light of our emerging understanding of cognitive development, to suggest a profoundly simple but provocative assessment of the problem God is solving at the cross. The author argues that the story locates the root problem very differently than we’ve previously assumed. By locating the problem correctly, it allows us to unravel the mystery of suffering, justice, and reconciliation, and actually redeem the Gospel story.
The book also explores the God imagination, an original understanding of what it means to be human from God’s perspective. By reading the story through the God’s original lens, we can begin to dis-cover our own dignity, identity, and purpose.
It suggests life is really about wrestling with and answering a single root question, symbolized in the Tree of Knowledge? Can we do something to lose the love of God? The root problem literally blinds us from seeing reality, which then drives us into a “search for validation.”
Finally, it informs our understanding of the cross, which is God saying, “This is how far I will go to show you that you can’t change reality.” It suggests the Way of love espoused by Jesus is actually a return to reality, to God’s original, objective structure for being human.

In which I review Bonhoeffer

Well, that sounds rather pretentious, doesn't it?

No, I am not reviewing the life's work of one of the greatest and most inspiring Christians of the 20th century. 

I am however reviewing the recent biography, "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, A Righteous Gentile vs. The Third Reich" by Eric Metaxa of the man.

From the Publisher:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler. A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double-agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Fuhrer, and was hanged in Flossenberg concentration camp at age 39. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the 20th century. 
Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

I first read Bonhoeffer through his works "Life Together" and "The Cost of Discipleship" in adulthood. But since my faith background didn't include much Bonhoeffer, I remained relatively (and sadly) ignorant of his life and legacy.  This historical biography is amazingly readable and inspiring. His understanding of Jesus, the Gospel and discipleship (vs. conversion) has deep roots in his background, his family and his own journey. And then the unfolding of his commitment to others manifested in his defiance of Nazi Germany is nothing short of inspiring and brilliant.