Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, HopsalotSnacks

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of HopsalotSnacks, the Herban Lifestyle August 2014 Artist of the Month.

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Hop hop hop! I’m Miss Dolley Hopsalot, a kooky house rabbit from Arlington, Virginia.
Hopsalot Snacks started with a hungry tummy. My human had been making delicious crunchy snacks for me for many years when I suggested she share them with her human friends who also have bunnies! These yummy snacks are hand made with timothy hay and organic fruits and veggies and baked to crunchy perfection for a long lasting treat.
 
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Our Quilted Floppin’ Pads allow your hopper to flop comfortably in an enclosure on the living room carpet. Made of cotton/cotton blend fabric and backed with heavy felt, these quilts have several layers of batting for ultimate floppability.
 
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We also make special treats for dogs using left over grains from beer and organic whisky production. These (alcohol free) snacks are special edition treats and are for sale only when grains are available to us. Woof!
 
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Recently we began to make fun catnip toys for our feline friends in fun shapes. Your cat will love playing with squishy cat faces, RatTony rats, and slithery snakes!
 
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All of our snacks and toys are hand made with lots of care.
Check out our Etsy store for new products all the time.

 

In Celebration of National Water Quality Month

pondThe following post is by Herban Lifestyle interns, Maggie Mascarenhas and Chelsie Lawrence.

August is National Water Quality Month, so we will be dedicating the next few weeks to posting tips on easy ways to conserve and protect our most precious element!  We also thought it would be fun to share with you some of the ways that we at Herban Lifestyle strive to do our part to save water.

Our Products
Herban Lifestyle products are free of chemical preservatives like parabens and phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors (hormone-mimicking compounds that interfere with your body’s normal hormone function stimulating cancer development and triggering immunity, fertility, metabolic, developmental and cognitive problems). Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in a wide variety of personal care products, cleaning products, toys and even food. Not only are these chemicals bad for human health, but when we use them, they end up in our water systems, polluting the water and causing health problems for fish and amphibians.

All of our plant-based ingredients are carefully screened to make sure they are grown without pesticides, which prevents water pollution through runoff from the farms where they are grown. By preserving these water systems, we not only protect the animals that call these systems home, but also help ensure that future generations of people will have clean water to drink. And since all of our products are made with natural ingredients, such as certified organic vegetable oil, instead of harsh chemicals, they are all completely biodegradable.

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Our Process
Our rain barrel captures waters for our gardens, we use ENERGY STAR appliances (ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over their lifetime), we filter water for drinking rather than buying bottled water, and we don’t make water-based products (which saves water, uses less packaging, costs less to ship and negates the need for preservatives).

55-gallon rain barrel

Our 55-gallon rain barrel

Our Suppliers
At Herban Lifestyle we carefully research our suppliers to make sure that they use environmentally sustainable practices, including water conservation. One of our main essential oil suppliers, Mountain Rose Herbs, is also a Green America Gold Certified company and embraces sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. The Mountain Rose Herb River Project, for example, focuses on cleaning and sustaining river ecosystems, stream health, and fish habitats. By only using suppliers that adhere to a strict standard of water conservation and preservation, we further cut down on our water waste and help minimize water pollution.

We realize there is always more that we can do to protect this most precious of commodities. What are some of your favorite water-saving/preserving tips?

How To Make Delicious Herb-Infused Water

herbwater21In celebration of National Water Quality Month, created to help remind us of the importance of protecting our water supplies, I wanted to share some recipes for herb-infused waters that are as healthful as they are delicious.

For these recipes, I chose herbs that are growing in my garden, along with a complementary flavor – citrus gives the blends a nice zing, and vanilla beans add a light sweetness to the water. There are unlimited flavor combinations, and it is fun to experiment with a variety of herbs, spices and fruit. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Lavender and Vanilla
• 1/4 cup fresh lavender, buds crushed slightly to release the flavor
• 1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise

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Mint and Lime
• The rind of 1 lime
• 1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

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Shiso and Lemon
• 1/2 cup fresh shiso, coarsely chopped
• The rind of 1 lemon

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1. Place ingredients in a quart-sized canning jar and fill with cold, filtered water.
2. Allow the filled jar to sit, refrigerated, for 8-12 hours to allow the flavors to infuse.
3. Strain out the ingredients and return the water to the jar. Keep the jar in the fridge to keep it chilled. It will last 2-3 days.
4. When serving, add some fresh sprigs of herbs or slices of fruit to your glass for a beautiful presentation.

You can adjust the amounts of the ingredients for more intense or milder flavors. Have fun experimenting!

2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards

We are a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award Nominee!

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The American Made event occurs annually in New York City and serves to bring together entrepreneurs, and small businesses across the country that are focused on crafts, style, design and food, etc. Each year Martha Stewart Living recognizes several small businesses in these categories that are dedicated to entrepreneurship and their communities. These selected businesses earn the title of American Made Winner along with some great publicity and promotion materials.

In determining the winners, the following criteria will be taken into account:

Innovativeness, demonstrated creativity, and originality of idea

  • Originality and level of creativity
  • Clearly identifiable customer need
  • Customer value and usability

Workmanship

  • Quality of materials used
  • Attention and care paid to product details and/or customer satisfaction
  • Level of craftsmanship involved in production

Appearance

  • Unique design aesthetic
  • Visual appeal of product packaging
  • Compelling logo and/or typography

Embodiment of American Made theme

  • Use of local components and processes
  • Engagement of local community

A panel of judges and Martha Stewart herself handpick most of the winners, but the audience does have a say in choosing one lucky winner.

You can check out our profile here and, if we make it to the semi-finals, vote for Herban Lifestyle starting September 15th!

Artists of the Month: Michael and Mary Devito, Naked Botanicals Apothecary

The following post is by Michael and Mary Devito, Owners of Naked Botanicals Apothecary, the Herban Lifestyle July 2014 Artists of the Month.

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ABOUT NAKED BOTANICALS APOTHECARY

We’re an organic skincare company dedicated to the prevention of violent, brutal attacks by mosquitoes and other little buggers. Our natural insect repellents harness the mighty superpowers of…lavender! Lemongrass! And peppermint! Which smells like you ran nekkid holding candy canes through lavender fields in Provence. (That’s in France.)

Rise up, friends! We’re empowering adults, children, pets–anyone with skin!–to take a stand against unwelcome advances by would-be predators. We’re arming you with certified organic ingredients and intoxicating aromas, straight from our nation’s capital. YUM.

 

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ABOUT ORIGINAL LAVENDER INSECT REPELLENT
Our organic bug spray harnesses the mighty superpowers of…Lavender! Citronella! Peppermint! Which smells like you ran nekkid holding candy canes through lavender fields in Provence. (That’s in France.) And look, Ma! No itchy, nasty mosquito bites. Best. Summer. Ever.
We take a bold, citrus bouquet of lemongrass, citronella plus energizing peppermint then round it out with woody lavender and cedarwood notes to create our signature intoxicating scent. YUM. Not only does it repel biting insects, but the witch hazel-based elixir also refreshes and purifies your skin in high heat and humidity.
  • Certified organic essential oils of lavender, cedarwood, citronella, lemongrass and peppermint are potent, naturally-occurring insect repellents.
  • Effectively repels mosquitoes, ticks and biting insects for up to 4 hours.
  • Biodegradable, vegan and DEET-free.
  • Contains NO nuts, gluten, dairy, chemicals, dyes, fragrances or preservatives.
  • Safe for the whole family: adults, children over 6 months of age, those with sensitive skin, even pets!
  • Proudly made in small batches in the USA.
  • Each durable, recyclable PET plastic bottle contains 4 fluid ounces. Please recycle.

You can find more about Naked Botanicals Apothecary on their website 

Natural Makeup Workshop with HerbanLuxe July 12th and 13th

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Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own natural foundation? Join us for a special beauty workshop co-hosted with Myra Roldan of HerbanLuxe cosmetics. We will offer sessions from 1pm – 3pm with your choice of either Saturday, July 12th or Sunday, July 13th.

In this 2-hour workshop, you will learn how to create your own custom-blended liquid mineral foundation, as well as natural facial masque. There will be plenty of time for Q&A on natural beauty, natural ingredients and more. Take home your creations along with recipes and some sample products from HerbanLuxe and Herban Lifestyle. The class will be held at The Herban Lifestyle Store from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on both days. Cost to attend is $75 and materials are included. Seating is limited, so advance registration is required.

Secure your spot for July 12th here

Secure your spot for July 13th here

For more information, please email us at info@herbanlifestyle.com or call us at (571) 282-3624

All Around the Parkberry Bush: Fresh Mulberry Cobbler

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Back in 2010, I wrote a post singing the praises of mulberries (abundant in the Mid-Atlantic this time of year), after discovering a perfect foraging spot in a nearby park. In the post, I included a recipe for mulberry pie, which is just one of many great ways to use these berries.

Since then, mulberry picking has become an annual tradition for us, and besides pies, I have made sauces and syrups. This year, I thought I would try some quick and easy, and decided on a simple cobbler.

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The berries were in various stages of ripeness, so we picked about 3 cups of deep red/purple mulberries, and may go back for another batch in a couple of weeks. We avoided the white unripe ones. Wildman Steve Brill warns that unripe berries, uncooked young leaves, and mature leaves are toxic and mildly hallucinogenic and cause terrible headaches and upset stomachs.

When foraging, it is also important to make sure that anything you eat hasn’t been sprayed with toxic chemicals. The park where we harvested these berries is in a pesticide-free buffer zone since it is within a 2-mile radius around a school.

IMG_9346To make the cobbler, I adapted Southern Forager‘s Totally Awesome Mulberry Cobbler recipe by using dairy substitutes, but you can use regular milk and butter instead of the almond milk and Earth Balance. I also added some vanilla extract and fresh lemon to give it some zest. Mulberries are tasty, but lack acidity, so the lemon adds a nice balance to the sweetness of the berries.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Earth Balance vegetable spread
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups of mulberries (you can leave the stems on, as they will soften during cooking)
Juice and grated rind of 1/2 lemon
Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Put the Earth Balance in an 8″x8″ baking pan and place in the oven until the spread is melted. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Mix in almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. Toss the berries with the lemon juice and grated peel, and spread over bottom of baking pan. Pour the batter into the baking pan over the berries. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

IMG_9348Wildman Steve Brill offers a vegan mulberry crumble recipe, which calls for mint. I found this recipe after I had made my cobbler, but will keep it in mind for the next batch of mulberries we harvest.