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.

 

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

natural makeup

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

Herban Lifestyle Store Grand Opening, Feb 8th!

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At the end of November, we moved into a large studio space in the Merrifield neighborhood of Fairfax. The space has a showroom in the front, which we have turned into the Herban Lifestyle Store! To celebrate our new space, we are hosting a Grand Opening on February 8, 2014 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. We will have food & beverages (including delicious treats from Thunder Pig Confectionary and Momme Meals), samples, product-making demo, discounts and a drawing to win a free DIY kit! For more information, check out our Eventbrite invitation or Facebook Event Page.

At the store, customers can see and sniff our entire line and learn about the various organic and Fair Trade ingredients that go into them. The store also serves as a gathering spot for people to share practical ideas about sustainability, self-sufficiency, creative reuse, and safer products. You are welcome to join events or use hands-on resources at the store, including:

• Workshops where you can learn how to make your own truly natural personal care and household products, as well as other green crafting techniques, including a Couple’s Valentine Craft Night on February 12 and Make Your Own Organic Spa Products on February 19.

• A learning library for those of you who want to make your own bath and body products, plus a variety of USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified ingredients and sustainable packaging.

Store

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logoWe hope you can join us!

How to Make Vegan Welsh Rarebit (aka Rabbit)

rarebitA while back I posted a recipe for vegan mac and cheese. And although it was the best recipe I had produced at the time, I have to admit that I haven’t been quite satisfied with it.

Recently, I had a craving for vegan nachos with cheese sauce, so I did some searching on and found this excellent recipe on Food.com. This one has a higher proportion of cashews, which results is a rich, creamy texture.

Ingredients*

  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 2 cups raw cashews (roasted won’t give you the nice creamy texture)
  • Another 2 ½ cups of filtered water
  • Strained juice of 1 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular works, too, but smoked provides a deeper flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup of beer (a dark beer, like porter, is preferred)
  • 4 slices of whole grain bread, toasted

Directions

1. Soak the cashews in filtered water overnight.

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2. Drain the water from the cashews and place them in a blender with all of the ingredients, except for the beer and bread, and blend until smooth.

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3. Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan, add the beer and heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently

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4. Spread over the toasted bread and serve with a salad for a simple, delicious meal!

To make nacho cheese sauce, eliminate the beer, replace the mustard powder with garlic powder and add 1 tablespoon of chili powder.

*Most Welsh Rarebit recipes call for Worcestershire Sauce, but this contains anchovies. If you are not a strict vegan, this adds a nice depth to the flavor.

Meet Us at The Mother Earth News Fair this Weekend!

The following post is by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s Sustainability Associate.

This weekend, Herban Lifestyle will be exhibiting at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.

This fun-filled family festival is a three-day event held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort starting at 12:00 pm on Friday and going until 6:00 pm on Sunday. The event is like a state fair, but better, because it’s all about rocking the sustainable lifestyle. So it’s like a Sustainability State Fair (as this Rogers and Hammerstein geek starts to sing, “Our State Fair, is a great State fair, don’t miss it don’t even be late!”)

Back to the fair… When you go, you’ll find a slew of activities to partake in to boost your sustainable expertise. First off, there are the workshops (with very entertaining titles), featuring hands-on experiences on topics ranging from modern homesteading to composting to DIY solar panels. Then there are the animal husbandry workshops with a variety of animal workshops on chicks, and ducks and sheep (oh wait, that’s another R&H musical) and llamas, alpacas, horses, and so on. I am torn between whether I would get a bigger kick out of “Hare-Raising Possibilities with Heritage Rabbits” or “Everybody Duck! The basics of raising ducks.” For those who are not as amused with word play as I am, there are also classes like “Pastured Pork Basics” and “Incubation 101.”

So where does Herban Lifestyle come into this mix? Well, we will be exhibiting in good company with an array of vendors including Affordable Barn Co., The Apothecary’s Daughter, Featherman Equipment, Flying Fibers, Gita Naguri Yoga Farm and Grandma Whimsy’s Cupboard. And I really like the name, Love at First Sit, which happens to be “portable, fair trade, ergonomic back support systems made of organic cotton and hemp.”

Tickets are $35 at the gate for a three-day pass or $20 for one day. By using this coupon, you can get $10 off those prices. Sounds like we are going to have a blast. I hope you can join us this weekend to get your State-Fair-Fix-with-a-twist. Mmmm pass the raw cultured veggies and vegan goodies this way!

Paul Newman and Paul Anastas: Green Salads and Green Chemistry

Just a few months after I started my business, I came across Paul Newman’s book, “In Pursuit of the Common Good,”  and had to buy a copy. I was always a huge fan of his; he was not only incredibly handsome, but he was an amazing actor, top-tier auto racer, and strong advocate for social justice. While I never had the good fortune of being introduced to him (although I did almost bump into him – literally – in the stairwell of his Westport, CT office), all my friends who knew him said that he was an incredibly kind, generous and down-to-earth guy.

image copyright People

But anyway, back to why I bought Newman’s book. I had recently started my business making organic and natural bath and body products. Being part of the broader crafting community through various online groups, I ran into an interesting phenomenon. There were many other bath and body product producers who claimed to make natural and organic products, but when I mentioned the idea that I didn’t want to use chemical preservatives, some got up in my face and starting writing in ALL CAPS that it is dangerous and irresponsible not to use them. They warned that I would kill my customers with bacteria, yeast, fungi and molds. Given that people have been making soaps and creams, etc.  for a long time before the advent of “Better living through chemistry,” not to mention the fact that companies like Badger Balm, Pangea Organics and Dr. Bronner’s have not been (to my knowledge) killing their customers in large numbers, I thought those statements might be a bit of an overreaction.

In Newman’s book, he describes the adventures he had in developing, manufacturing and distributing his famous salad dressing. Back in the early 1980s, when he began approaching companies to manufacture and bottle his recipe, there was no such thing as “all-natural” salad dressing. He finally found a bottling company willing to produce his dressing, but they tried to convince him that he had to use chemical preservatives, or his dressing would spoil quickly. They also wanted him to add other chemical agents and gums. But he refused to allow any chemicals in his products. So they gave his recipe to their chemists to test the formula.

Interestingly, testing showed that the combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar and whole grain mustard made a natural gum (no other dressings used olive oil or red wine vinegar at that time, instead opting for cheaper, lower-quality, refined soybean oil and white vinegar). In addition, the chemists found that the natural gum from the ground mustard seed had the same chemical effects as EDTA (a chemical preservative used in all dressings at that time), and the olive oil had a much longer shelf life than refined soybean oil, which together eliminated the need for preservatives. On top of this, the bottling company agreed that it was a far better tasting product than anything else on the market at the time. And here we are 30 years later, with 10s of thousands more chemicals than we had then, many of them used in our food, personal care and home cleaning products.

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune of sitting in on a web conference sponsored by the American Sustainable Business Council where Dr. Paul Anastas was the speaker. Anastas is the Assistant Administrator for Research and Development for the Environmental Protection Agency. He is also the Director of Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, where he has been on leave since joining the EPA.

Anastas quoted John F. Kennedy by saying, “The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” Anastas feels that one of the greatest myths of our time is that “we have to use toxic substances to have quality of life.” Luckily, as Anastas pointed out, “green chemistry is helping us to belie this myth.” I thought of Paul Newman’s salad dressing adventures, and how he helped to dispel the myth that we need chemicals in our food to make it taste right and not spoil on the shelf.

And I thought of Newman when Anastas emphasized that the only way that the chemical myth is going to change is if we keep showing people how safe alternatives can not only work, but often work better. Anastas says that as advocates of the environment and human health “We have to be relentless in letting people know [the chemical myth] is not the case.” And with an increasing number of widely distributed products from companies like Newman’s Own, Badger Balm, Dr. Bronner’s, Pangea Organics, Seventh Generation, Method and so many more, the true is becoming more and more obvious.