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Soapwalla Kitchen – a Tried and True Green Products Review & Interview


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Love love love Soapwalla!  Rachel Winard, company owner and beauty product chef kindly sent us free samples of the following products:  Deodorant Cream, Almond Luxe Body Polish and Eucalyptus Organic Soap Bar so we put them to the test, and here’s what we think.

Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream is fantastic. Do you know how hard it is to find an organic deodorant that really works, and isn’t prohibitively expensive? Well, this one fits the bill. It feels and smells great, and so will you! Since it’s handmade and filled with organic ingredients, of course it’s going to cost more than any of the mass-produced, conventional brands filled with not-so-body friendly ingredients. I just ordered some and can’t wait to receive it. A little is all you need…(2 oz, $10).

The Almond Body Polish is also highly concentrated, so you can use it sparingly. The sweet scent of organic almond oil is powerful and refreshing each time you open the jar. There’s a hint of cardamom and organic raw sugar in the mix…free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh, synthetic ingredients. Exfoliating is one of the keys to keeping skin fresh and smooth; I thoroughly enjoyed treating my body to this delicious concoction; (8 oz, $35).

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Like the entire Soapwalla line, the Eucalyptus Organic Soap Bar is vegan, and long-lasting. This bar actually feels sleek and clean, the texture is amazing, and it leaves no soapy residue. The Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic qualities, while the Shea butter penetrates skin and moisturizes.  You’ll feel like a brand new clean machine. And hey, another perk — soap bars are more planet friendly than liquid soap; (4 oz, $7.50)

rachel.jpgSoapwalla is created in the kitchen of Brooklyn-based, Rachel Winard (at right) …when she’s neither at the sink nor post office, she can be found performing original violin compositions around New York City, maintaining a daily ashtanga yoga practice or hanging upside down on a trapeze!

The story behind Soapwalla Kitchen is unique so I asked owner Rachel Winard to share a little bit with us…

AC:  Rachel, how are your products an expression of your lifestyle?
Soapwalla was born directly from my lifestyle choices, specifically my intention to treat lupus (an inflammatory autoimmune illness) with natural, homeopathic remedies. I also firmly believe that we must treat our skin with the same kind of respect and diligence that we do our other systems. If we wouldn’t put something in our bodies, we shouldn’t be putting it *on* our bodies either.

AC:  What’s the greatest challenge in running your business?
Time management! Because I am a one-woman business, I’m the chef, IT person, administrator, publicist, bookkeeper, and shipper. As a result, there are always six thousand things vying for my attention. I’m working on carving out small spaces of time that are just mine.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the swellhouse prefab: a perfect fit


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Sometimes the shape of the building lot dictates the shape of a home. This cool looking site-built home, designed by California-based Office of Mobile Design, is a manifestation of OMD’s SwellHouse design. The prefab’s construction features a modular grid of exposed steel columns and beams that create 3,130 sf of graciously open live-work space.

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swellhouse2.jpgThe SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) system of prefabricated wall and roof panels provides this hacienda with modular structural stability, plus thermal and acoustic insulation. The SIP panels were assembled remotely, trucked to the site, and set in place manually.

This home is separated into two buildings – the main house, and a garage with a second floor recording studio. The two structures frame a courtyard. Two existing mature palm trees, and the small lot’s setbacks determined the placement of the structures.

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Ceilings are high and the steel ‘I’ beams are exposed on the interior. The home’s rectangular shape and framing allow for plenty of sliding glass. A radiant tube heat system warms the concrete floor at the first floor.

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Women Entrepreneur Interviews AltCon’s Maureen O’Connor


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moAC.JPGHey, our founder and publisher, Maureen O’Connor had the pleasure of being interviewed by Women Entrepreneur’s sustainability maven, Kimberly B. Keilbach.

Who knew M was a closet hippie?

more @ Eco Blogger Puts New Spin on Buying Green.

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Natural Sweeteners – Raw Honey and Agave Nectar Benefits


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Despite how good it tastes when you add a spoonful of sugar or artificial sweetener to a cup of coffee or tea, there are negative health effects. Lucky for you and your sweet tooth, there are healthy (and sweeter) alternatives to add some sweetness to your life. Both Raw Honey and Agave provide sweetness and great taste.

Raw Honey Benefits

  • Honey is much sweeter than table sugar, as well as healthier
  • Provides an energy boost (without a sugar crash)
  • Known to aid in relieving sore throats
  • Honey is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and kills bacteria – put it on chapped lips or cuts and burns
  • Can aid in relieving diarrhea
  • Has natural calming properties (pair it with chamomile tea)
  • Antioxidant (who doesn’t love antioxidants?)
  • Also known to help curb high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes
  • Credits: WHFoods, Bee Pollen Buzz, Global Healing Center

Agave Nectar Benefits

  • Lower glycemic index than other sweeteners
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Boosts immune system
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  • Sweeter than sugar (by approximately 3 times)
  • Vegan
  • Naturally anti-bacterial (similar to raw honey)
  • Credits: All About Agave, She Knows

Try making limeade with raw honey or agave!

  • 1 cup lime juice (organic and locally grown)
  • 5 cups water
  • ¼ cup raw honey or agave (or to taste to preferred sweetness)
  • let chill and serve over ice!
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tuesday’s green news roundup


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photo credit: reuters

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