A Couple of Baby Bath Product Recipes

bathAs promised, here are a couple of baby bath product recipes that you can make in your own home!

Oatmeal Isn’t Just for Breakfast Bath:

Put 1 cup of oatmeal in a blender or food processor, and pulverize until it is a fine powder. Place in a muslin bag, or a square of cheesecloth tied with a string or rubber band. Place in baby’s bath water. This is makes a nice everyday skin-soothing bath.

Homemade Baby Wipes:

2 drops tea tree essential oil*
2 drops lavender essential oil*
2 cups distilled water
1 vitamin E capsule

Mix the essential oils in the water in a spray bottle. Cut open the vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents into the oil/water mixture. Mix well. To use, simply spritz onto a soft cloth (like these biodegradable unmoistened wipes), and use as you would a commercial wipe. Please note: because there are no preservatives in this mixture, keep refrigerated and use within one week. The tea tree oil and lavender are natural anti-bacterials, but it will not keep forever.

* Use organic essential oils, whenever possible. You can find pure essential oils at Whole Foods, or online at stores like Mountain Rose Herbs. Make sure to never use fragrance oils, only pure essential oils in any products that you make for your baby. Fragrance oils can contain up to 200 different ingredients. Common side-affects can include headaches, dizziness, rash, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation.

Baby With the Bath Water

BabySetThe following post is by guest blogger, Julia Guarino

It is always good to consider the safety of body care product ingredients, but it is especially as when choosing the right products for your baby. With a baby’s delicate skin, the word “gentle” appeals to many parents, but the process used to make common chemical ingredients more “gentle” in fact produces a byproduct that is a known carcinogen. This byproduct, called 1,4-dioxane, is banned from cosmetics and body products in the European Union, and though not considered cause for concern in small amounts, it is present in an alarming number of baby products meant for daily use; the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found detectible amounts in 32 out of 48 products they tested this year. To avoid 1,4-dioxane, watch for these common ingredients: PEG-100 stearate, sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also tested the baby products for the presence of Formaldehyde, which is released by some common preservatives like Quaternium-15 over time when they are stored in a container. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen, can be absorbed through the skin, and causes skin reactions in some individuals. This iffy – and frankly pretty creepy – contaminate was found in 23 out of 28 baby products tested for it. Seventeen out of 28 were found to have both Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. If you’d like to learn more, you can take a look at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s report, “No More Toxic Tub.

 This may leave you feeling somewhat overwhelmed; after all, if these ingredients are present in almost all of the products you normally buy, how can you avoid exposing your baby – and yourself – to these potentially dangerous ingredients? One excellent resource is the Environmental Working Group’s “Parent’s Buying Guide,” which rates the safety level of products based on the European Union’s cosmetics standards and other published safety data. The database contains thousands of entries, and can help parents pick safe and natural products for themselves, too!

Herban Lifestyle offers a line of truly natural baby products, made from organic and natural ingredients. Come back tomorrow for a couple of recipes for baby products that you can make in your own kitchen!

2009 NIH Mind-Body Week Cancelled

recovery.gov

Yesterday, I received the following email from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mind-Body Week directors:

Dear Yoga Week Listserv, I am writing to inform you that the NIH has decided to cancel the proposed NIH Mind-Body Week (MBW), scheduled for Sept 8-11, 2009.  Subsequent to initial discussions among planners about a MBW event, the NIH was given the enormous opportunity and attendant responsibility of funding an unprecedented $8.2 billion to support scientific research priorities as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  The period proposed for holding the MBW is exactly when much of the NIH will be focused on ensuring that all of the successful ARRA applicants receive their awards prior to the end of the NIH fiscal year on September 30, 2009.  We appreciate your efforts in developing MBW and regret any inconvenience caused by the change in plans.

While it is disappointing that this much anticipated event is being cancelled for this year, it is also heartening to know that health research is being supported on such a large scale. The funding will go toward things like the financial support of grant-funded positions for students and educators, biomedical research and development, as well as research into effective public health initiatives and health care delivery.

This infusion of research funds has important implications for health care delivery and illness prevention efforts. For example, there are many great cancer prevention programs that have been created by our nation’s top academic researchers, and have been shown to be effective in their trials at a local level. However, they often don’t have the funding to develop these programs into packages that can easily be used by others (e.g., schools, hospitals, municipalities) on a national scale. Some of the NIH-designated ARRA funds will go toward the development of these important programs.

Go Green with the Etsy Twitter Team

GGETT_Globe1Please join the EtsyTwitter Team for our first ever green event! From July 21 through July 27, members of the EtsyTwitter Team will be featuring items that are green: upcycled, recycled, organic, sustainable, repurposed, earth-friendly, eco-friendly, etc. etc.

During this time, participating shops will be offering a wide array of sustainable products, discounts and/or free shipping, and there will be daily giveaways.

Team leaders Vickie Porter (of In My Head Studios) and Kristen Evans (of FireBirdHouse Designs) are spearheading this event. The impetus behind this event, in Vickie’s words, comes from the fact that “The handmade lifestyle is an important piece of the eco-puzzle and we want to be sure and share that with the rest of the world, on Twitter and off.”

Coco Watkin (owner of By Coco) has also written wonderful article on this event, and others being held by the Etsy Twitter Team, by  in Handmade News.

For more information about this event, including updates regarding which stores are participating, and what types of deals they are offering, please check out the teamblog. You can also find details about the Going Green with the Etsy Twitter Team event by following us on Twitter or by visiting our Facebook page.

Join Us At the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market on 7/11!

n103040742442_1797Please join us at the 2009 Ballston Arts & Crafts Market on July 11th. The market is held outdoors on the second Saturday of the month, from May through October. It’s strategically located across from the Ballston Metro station, a short walk from many restaurants and shops, and the mall with “lots of stuff, but nothing good.”

Over 70 local artists will be offering their bath and body products,  jewelry, crochet, puppets, paper arts, handbags, children’s fashions, screenprinted tees, photography, decoupage, funky jewelry, adorable plushes and toys, creative paintings, rustic and modern ceramics, colorful bags and more! There is live music every month. This month, the Table Top Poets will be performing.

I will be in Booth #2, across the way from the band, right next door to my fellow DC Craft Mafia craftinistas.

For more details, and great pictures of the artisans’ wares, visit the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market blog or the Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership website.

Always Look on The Bright Side!

brightsideHerban Lifestyle is featured this month in The Bright Side Project! The Bright Side Project was started by Miss B and Miss K as a way of bringing a bit of sunshine into people’s lives. And the lovely design, upbeat clever writing, and generous giveaways on their website do just that!

Every month since the site was established (last March), the creators have established a theme. They then feature a different designer each day whose work fits within that them. The designer offers a prize, which goes to the lucky reader who comes up with the best answer to a question posed by the designer.

This month’s theme is “Beauty Full!” And every day throughout July, The Bright Side Project will be giving away items “that celebrate, promote, and reflect the beauty in you and in life.” Winners are announced every Wednesday. And, for our part, Herban Lifestyle will be giving away one gift set.

For a chance to win an Herban Lifestyle gift set, simply answer the question “What is your super power, or what do you wish it was?”

Applications being accepted for DC Craft Mafia Holiday Heist

holiday_heistThe DC Craft Mafia will be hosting on a holiday craft show at the The Soundry in Vienna, VA on November 21st. Applications are being accepted until July 31, 2009.  The members of DC Craft Mafia will be reviewing all applications and selecting vendors who offer fun and unique items that would make great gifts. There will be space for about 30 vendors. 

The Soundry is a wonderful artist work space and performing arts venue in Vienna, VA, just 5 minutes from Tyson’s Corner Center Mall. For more information on the event and how to apply, visit the DC Craft Mafia website.

Now appearing at HealthEGoods.com

healthegoods-logoI am happy to announce that Herban Lifestyle™ products are now available at HealthE Goods. They carry environmentally-friendly products, as well as a wide array of items that support natural health, including herbal medicines, homeopathics, light therapy, yoga equipment, and even mattresses.

Dr. Benjamin Lynch, owner of HealthE Goods, approached me about selling my products through their store. When I looked into their mission and their focus, I was flattered to be included with all the other carefully selected items. Dr. Lynch has a fascinating background, and is dedicated to the idea of natural health, particularly preventive health. As an undergraduate, he spent a year backpacking through the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, at one point volunteering with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. While in India, he became severely ill and an East Indian friend took him to a local Ayurvedic physician who prescribed herbal medicines, resulting in his instant recovery from what had appeared to be Malaria. This, quite naturally, got him interested in Complementary Medicine!

He went on to earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine, and decided to focus on Environmental Medicine. The HealthE Goods website is full of great information on a variety of medical conditions and methods for treating them naturally.