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Recalled Children’s Toys May Still Be For Sale Online

On November 22, 2016, the United State’s Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released its annual Trouble In Toyland report for hazards in children’s toys and recalled children’s items.

The report covered everything from the different types of hazards present in children’s products, to which products were recalled and may still be available for purchase online, as well as what parents can do about it. Toys have been recalled for reasons ranging from high levels of lead, to choking hazards, to combusting batteries, and even small magnets that, when swallowed, pose a severe risk of damaging intestines that would require invasive surgery and, in some cases, even death. PIRG has taken actions to prevent any and every sale of these recalled items, though they still need your (the consumers) help to ensure that none of these products pose a threat to any child. 

Some alarming highlights from the report include:

“In 2014 alone, there were 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms.”

“Over 40 recalls were issued of toys and children’s products since January, 2015, totaling over 35 million units. Over a dozen recalled toys still appeared to be available for sale.”

“Choking on small parts, small balls, and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Some toys can pose hidden hazards, exposing children to dangerous chemicals that are linked to serious health problems.”

“Between January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled 11 toys for violations of the CSPIA toxic heavy metal lead standard.”3

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes clear that any amount of lead in a child’s blood is unsafe.6 Moreover, since the effects of lead exposure cannot be reversed, it is especially important to prevent lead exposure to children in the first place. Unfortunately, toys can pose a risk in part because lead is used in other countries and can be found in imported products.”7  

“Additionally, lead may be incorporated into plastic.8…Children can inhale or come in contact with lead dust [in the air from light and air breaking down the chemicals in the plastic] when they put toys in or near their mouths.”9  

“The [Federal Standards For Lead .. in manufactured children’s products are slightly more than double the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for children’s products. (Despite the fact though, that there really is no acceptable level for lead at all.)

“Balloons pose the most serious choking hazard to children in the United States. They are responsible for more childhood deaths by suffocation than any other product.”

“Between 2001 and 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, approximately 38 percent of all toy-related choking fatalities reported to the CPSC involved balloons.”34 

“Between 2009 and 2013, the CPSC estimates that highpowered magnets caused approximately 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries. 41…Nearly 80 percent of high-powered magnet ingestions require invasive medical intervention, either through an endoscopy, surgery, or both.”

“In the United States, burns and fires are leading causes for unintentional deaths and injuries to children.51 From January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled four toys due to overheating which can lead to fire and burn hazards.”52 

Perhaps the most alarming news of all is that most product recalls don’t even reach the majority of consumers. That means that a recalled toy or children’s item could still be in your home, unbeknownst to you. 

So now that the Christmas shopping season is in full swing, what can parents do?

  • Review the full list of recalled toys on PIRG’s website and see if you have any of these toys in your home. If you find that you do have a recalled toy or children’s item, follow the instructions PIRG instructs for that particular toy. 
  • If you see a recalled toy for sale online, or need to report a toy-related injury, report it to Safeproducts.gov.
  • Carefully examine and assess any toys or children’s products before making a purchase. Remember that the list of recalled children’s items and toys are from January 2015 – October 2016; there may still be other hazards on the shelves that have gone undetected. If you think you found one that may be hazardous, again report it to Safeproducts.gov.
  • Go through any toys or products your children have, searching for possible hazards, especially those mentioned in the report. Take inventory of toys now before presents are opened, and make sure to go through any new toys and presents that are received this holiday season.
  • Subscribe to any government agencies that will notify you of product recalls so you can stay up to date. Make sure you send your information in to any companies that allow you to do so to be notified of any recalls they may issue customers.
  • Sign the petition to remind the CPSC to take action against retailers selling recalled children’s toys and items. Sign the petition now!

 

Want to know more about the hazards in children’s toys and find out the exact items that were recalled? Read the full report here

 

Want to find safe, eco-friendly toys?

 You May Also Like These Eco-Friendly Gift Guides For Kids!

Montessori Inspired Gift Guide

The Crunchy Gift Guide

25 Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

Gifts For Babies

36 Stocking Stuffers For Kids Without Chemicals

36 Stocking Stuffers For Teens and Tweens Without Chemicals

 

Be sure to check to also check out 

30 Eco-Chic Etsy Holiday Gifts Everyone Will Adore

 

Ring In The New Year With A Paleo Chinese-Inspired Menu

Chinese food is most often synonymous with New Years Eve. It is undoubtedly one of the busiest nights of the year for Chinese food restaurants, and if you’re following a Paleo diet or you are trying to eat healthfully this holiday season, springing for Chinese takeout may not be the best option. There is good news though! Tons of Paleo bloggers have created delicious, Paleo friendly versions of Chinese food that you can whip up in a jiffy on New Years Eve so you’re not feeling so left out while your friends and family are chowing down on fried rice. 

We’ve compiled several of the yummiest looking Paleo Chinese food recipes on the web, and created a sample menu you can use for New Years planning. No Googling and scouring for recipes that look appetizing, and trying to figure out what you will serve with what, because we’ve done it all for you!

 

1.)  Paleo Sweet & Sour Chicken – The Domestic Man

paleo sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken is technically more of an American interpretation of Chinese food than an actual Chinese dish; it is nonetheless regarded as a Chinese dish in America and is also an extremely popular one at that. We chose The Domestic Man’s recipe because photos don’t lie, and that sweet and sour sauce looks sweet, sour, gooey, and sticky! (Which, we all know, is the best kind of sauce!) While he doesn’t add any veggies to his sweet and sour chicken, we encrouage you to load your plate with colorful veggies like red peppers and snap peas to compliment the sweet and sourness of the chicken. Head on over to The Domestic Man to grab his mouthwatering recipe!

 

2.) Paleo Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry – Wholesomelicious

paleo ginger beef and broccoli stir fry

It goes without saying that you can’t eat some New Years Chinese food and not have beef and broccoli. Beef and broccoli go together like..peanut butter and jelly. This easy recipe for Ginger Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry by Wholesomelicious takes only twenty minutes to prepare before you’re on your way to enjoying some serious deliciousness!

 

3.) Paleo Veggie Lo Mein Noodles – Raising Generation Nourished

paleo veggie lo mein noodles

Lo Mein noodles are one of those Chinese classics you just can’t forget on New Years. Noodles however, are definitely NOT Paleo! No worries though, because spiraled veggies serve as a fabulous substitute for noodles in this recipe for Paleo Veggie Lo Mein Noodles by Raising Generation Nourished. This recipe can also be thrown together in as little as 15 minutes, without sacrificing on taste. For a true Paleo Chinese food experience, visit Raising Generation Nourished to get the deets on this delectable recipe!

 

4.) Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs – Slim Palate

paleo slow cooker chinese spare ribs

Chinese spare ribs are another classic, favorite dish among chinese food aficionados, but traditionally made Chinese spare ribs are usually doused with GMO soy sauce and a whole host of other non-Paleo friendly ingredients that are also loaded with MSG. This recipe for Paleo Chinese Slow Cooker Spare Ribs by Slim Palate is 100% Paleo compliant though, and uses a combination of Chinese 5 Spice, coconut amines, apple cider vinegar, dry white wine, honey and tomato paste to create that classic Chinese spare ribs flavor. The ribs are also browned first and then placed in the slow cooker all day to create a succulent and juicy meat that falls off the bone. This is a great recipe to start in the morning and let cook all day while you prepare the other dishes in this menu! The recipe would also work well served over cauli-rice like pictured, or served alongside the Paleo Fried Rice recipe below.

 

5.) Paleo Fried Rice – Jay’s Baking Me Crazy

paleo cauliflower fried rice - paleo cauli rice

This wouldn’t be a Chinese food roundup without a fried rice recipe included! This recipe for Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice by Jay’s Baking Me Crazy won’t leave any room for disappointment either! It is a very simple, quick recipe you can whip up and then cover and set aside while you prepare the more involved main course. The taste and texture of this fried cauli-rice recipe is incredibly similar to traditional fried rice, but is chock full of healthy ingredients instead like cauliflower (duh), carrots, onions, and green onions. This recipe also tends to go heavier on the ginger, but feel free to adjust seasonings to your personal liking! Head on over to Jay’s Baking Me Crazy for this awesome recipe!

 

8.) Paleo Wontons – Life Made Full

paleo wontons

If you’ve stayed with us so far, you will surely not be disappointed! You probably didn’t think Wontons were ever going to be an option while eating Paleo, did you? Wrong. They totally are on your New Years menu this year! This recipe for Paleo Wontons by Life Made Full is nothing short of a miracle. The crispy dough is replicated by using tapioca flour, almond flour, egg whites, and coconut milk, which is then fried in palm shortening. While this image does depict the wontons filled with cream cheese (which is #NOTPaleo), you are free to fill your wontons with whatever you like! (If you want a Paleo-friendly version of cream cheese, we recommend using cashew cream cheese instead.) Head on over to Life Made Full for this mouthwatering recipe!

 

9.) Paleo Chinese Almond Cookies – Texanerin Baking

paleo chinese almond cookies

After all this Paleo friendly Chinese-inspired fried food, we had to culminate this roundup with a dessert recipe of course! These Paleo Chinese Almond Cookies by Texanerin Baking may not be 100% “Chinese,” but they are pretty darn close when it comes to Paleo baking. These cookies are chewy, delicious, and satisfying! Even if you are a cookie monster, you won’t feel guilty indulging in these cookies because they are full of healthy, filling ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. 

 

10.) Paleo Coconut Mango Pudding – Eat, Heal, Thrive

paleo coconut mango pudding

Mango pudding is a traditional Chinese dessert that will be sure to please everyone. This recipe for Paleo Coconut Mango Pudding by Eat, Heal, Thrive is a close and healthy representation of the dessert traditionally enjoyed in China. This recipe also happens to be AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) friendly as well! It is an extremely simple recipe made with only a few ingredients: gelatin, coconut milk, mango chunks and water (a little bit of honey is optional too!) so you really don’t have to worry about indulging in too much sugar at the end of your meal. Head over to Eat, Heal, Thrive to get the full recipe!

30 Eco-Chic Etsy Holiday Gifts Everyone Will Adore

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read our full Affiliate Disclosure here.

Every holiday season, most people clamor for the latest electronic trend: a brand new phone, a larger and “more hi-def” tv, the latest Google product release.

These gadgets certainly are exciting to give and to receive, but we challenge you to think on a smaller scale; get more personal. With more and more world-wide attention being focused on eco-friendly sources of energy, power, and other alternatives to our every day lives, the biggest changes usually have the smallest of beginnings. Whether you are already eco-conscious in most of your day to day choices, or you just dutifully recycle your water bottles, it doesn’t take as much effort to be green and on trend as you may initially think.

While technology has afforded us so many cool gadgets today that our parents and grandparents couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams, it has also afforded us the luxury of not even having to leave our own homes to shop. Online shopping provides not only convenience to our hectic, daily lives, but it can, on the flip side, also provide an earth-friendlier solution to inevitable commercialism madness.

 

Shopping online is eco-friendly in several ways:

  • It means you aren’t producing excess fossil fuel by rushing about in your car from store to store,
  • You avoid wasting plastic and paper shopping bags,
  • You do not have to purchase wrapping paper, unless you choose to have your gifts shipped to you for wrapping, which would result in more waste than if you have it shipped directly to your far-away friends and family.
  • You can find a much wider selection of eco-friendly presents online than you could by shopping in your local malls and stores, (ENTER: Etsy.)

Etsy is like the world’s market place of underground, eco-friendly, small business owners. Literally. The site is teeming with earth conscious creatives who want to share their passions with the world! Want to know just how simple it is to find eco-friendly goodies on Etsy? Simply type in “eco-friendly..” and a variety of search suggestions pop up, including ‘eco-friendly gifts,’ ‘eco-friendly jewelry,’ and eco-friendly engagement ring.’ (And isn’t it the perfect time of year for engagements?)

Since we at Primal Kidz Mag were absolutely gaga over the idea of not only supporting small business owners, but the environment as well,  our editors teamed up to find the best and coolest eco-friendly Etsy gifts this holiday season. These Primal Kidz curated Etsy products are perfect for nearly anyone on your list; they are affordable, trendy, and best of all, they are earth-friendly and made by real people who are just as conscious about their products and the environment as well!

 

For Babies & Toddlers:

 

1.) Vegan & Soy Free Personalized Name Crayons

 eco-friendly name crayons Etsy

These adorable crayons are made by The Little Tree Shop, an eco-conscious shop in California that specializes in cute crayon shapes, including these personalized name crayons! Most crayon companies, (including the few ‘green’ ones), use a combination  of GMO soy wax and paraffin, the latter of which is a byproduct of petroleum! Even many of the beeswax crayons on the market only use a small percentage of beeswax, while the rest is paraffin. Little Tree crayons, however, only use candelilla wax, and do not use soy, paraffin, or even beeswax, making these crayons eco-friendly and vegan! There are several other crayon designs, and multiple colors to choose from. All crayons come in a cute box or tin! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 10% off!

NOTE: LITTLE TREE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING ORDERS UNTIL AFTER THE 1ST OF THE YEAR! HOWEVER, PRIMAL KIDZ  READERS WILL CONTINUE TO GET 10% OFF INDEFINITELY! SO HOLD ON TO THE PRIMALKIDZ COUPON CODE FOR BIRTHDAY PRESENTS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS!

2.) A Montessori Inspired Wooden Puzzle

montessori wooden leaf toy puzzle eco-friendly wooden toy

Montessori toys are wonderful because they encourage children’s natural play tendencies to explore and learn. They function on the idea that simplicity is best, and leave the blinking lights and obnoxious, loud sounds at the door. This Montessori-inspired wooden leaf toy is hand made by Tinocchio Toys in Israel, and can be shipped worldwide. It is made from pure wood and the paint that is used is lead free with a water-based coating!  The leaf puzzle can be assembled in a variety of ways, allowing for different levels of difficulty and related skill. Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 15% off at checkout!

 

3.) Organic Toddler Nap Mat

eco friendly organic toddler nap mat

Is your child in daycare or preschool? Nap mats used in most day care centers and preschools are made with yucky, plastic chemicals like PVC that are harmful to health and can cause a wide range of health concerns. Instead, spring for one of these organic nap mats by Organic Designs Co. They are handmade in the United States with 100% pure organic materials, both inside and out. The nap mat is perfect for children under 6 years old, and can be used for sleepovers too! This particular design is a limited edition one, and there are several other cute designs to choose from. Each nap mat comes with an attached organic fleece blanket and a detachable organic pillow! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you $10 off all organic nap mats if you order by December 31st! 

 

4.) Monkey Farts Whipped Body Butter

 

monkey farts organic body butter

Before you get all, ‘I don’t want my kid to smell like a monkey fart,’ this all natural body butter does NOT smell like actual monkey farts! In fact, Monkey Farts Body Butter by The Organic Body Boutique smells like a monkey’s tropical oasis, which we are assuming would include lots of ripe bananas, coconut, and other tropical fruits like oranges, kiwis, and grapefruit. You don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals coming into contact with your child’s skin either; this body butter is only made with shea butter, vitamin e, tapioca starch, and essential oils. If your child is prone to dry, cracked skin or deals with eczema and other skin conditions, this body butter will help to heal and soften their precious child skin!

 

5.) Monogrammed Organic Kid’s Bathrobe

monogrammed organic bath robe towel

Personalized gifts are always special to receive because they feel, well, more personal! Kids especially love to have things with their names on them! These cute bathrobe towels by Organic Towel are made out of 100% organic certified materials; the inside is made of terry and the outside is velour. There are several gorgeous colors to choose from, as well as tons of stylized fonts! These robes also ship super quick, they can be expedited in two days! 

 

6.) DIY Fairy Garden Set

doiy faery garden set

Get back to nature with this DIY Super-Sized Fairy Garden Kit by Moss House Miniatures. Big or small, your kids will absolutely love putting together their own Fairy garden with this all inclusive DIY kit that comes with everything you need to build a deluxe fairy garden. This is a gift that keeps on giving, because you get to spend time making the garden with your kids, and it can be reassembled again and again! Your kids will love placing the garden in different areas of the house, by windows, and even outside on your porch. Moss House Miniatures also has all kinds of miniatures available to make your faery gardens come alive! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ gets you 10% off the Super-Sized Fairy Garden Kit!

 

7.) DIY Terrarium Set


diy terrarium set for kids

If fairy gardens won’t make your child leap for joy, this DIY terrarium set just might! Perfect for the active, outdoorsy and nature loving child, this Mod Moss Terrarium kit by the Terrarium Supply Co is a neat and inexpensive gift that will engage your child in building a deeper appreciation and love for nature. Plus, kids love to build things! This complete kit includes everything you need to build a Moss terrarium, and they have lots of other terrariums to choose from as well! Coupon code 20PRIMALKIDZ gets your 20% off at the Terrarium Supply Co!

 

For A Teen, Twenty-Something, Or Bestie:

 

8.) Henna Coffee Mug

ceramic henna coffee mug

Chances are,  you know someone who is a coffee lover and who also appreciates art, and this Hand Painted Henna Mug by Filomena Mehendi will be right up his or her ally. Made of pure ceramic stoneware, these coffee mugs come in several sizes and various designs, all of which are painted carefully by hand with henna, an eco-friendly dye. The earthy colors and hand painted henna designs will certainly appeal to hipsters, teens, and latte lovin’ young adults alike. These unique coffee mugs ship worldwide from Portugal.

 

9.) Organic Deep & Dope Tank

organic tank top deep and dope grunge organic tank

If your teen isn’t all peace, love, and henna, not to worry, because this gift guide isn’t just for the crunchy granola ones. This Organic Deep & Dope Tank by Organic Punk is proof that being eco-conscious doesn’t mean you have to conform to anyone’s perceived ideals on being a sustainable thought leader. Organic Punk is best described as a mind/body immersion of rock and skater punk with a vegan/crunchy fusion. This cotton polyester blend tank is made with eco-friendly, vegan ink and is handmade in California. 

 

10.) Organic Bee Venom Lip Boosters

organic bee venom lip plumper

For the ultra diva in your life, these Organic Bee Venom Lip Plump Boosters by Urban Eco Beauty are the secret, VIP organic version of Urban Decay, before Urban Decay was Urban Decay. These lip plumping glosses are completely filler free and Paleo friendly, and are all made with organic and natural, nourishing ingredients. Organic New Zealand bee venom is the active ingredient in these naturally plumping glosses. Bee venom is nature’s equivalent to botox! Manuka honey, bee pollen, and beeswax are also stimulating ingredients in these glosses, while organic oils and vitamins nourish your lips. Choose your color or buy all five! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ10 gets you 10% off at Urban Eco Beauty!

 

12.) Rose Quartz Necklace 

eco friendly rose quartz necklace of protection and love

Rose quartz is a stone that goes back in ancient history as a stone of beautification, protection, and love. Rose quartz is known to govern the heart chakra, its pink color serving as a resemblance of the love and balance that the stone attracts. From self love, to platonic or romantic relationships, rose quartz has been known to protect against negative energy and to promote only love, manifested in all kinds of relationships. This Rose Quartz Necklace by Organic Olivia is a wonderful gift to give to fashion conscious teens or young women. Its  simple, pale pink gem pairs perfectly with many outfits and will be sure to bring positive, loving energy her way!

 

13.) Rose Gold Leather Bracelet

 

rose gold leather birthstone bracelet

Wrap leather bracelets are a trendy jewelry style for almost any age, but is especially popular among older teens and twenty-somethings. These customized leather wrap bracelets are plated with rose gold and contain a Swarovski birthstone crystal, of which you can specify for your personal order. The leather band can be customized to nearly any color you like as well. CozyDetailz make these bracelets by hand in Portugal and ships them world wide. 

 

14.) Natural Purple Clay Face Mask

natural purple clay face mask

Purple clay is not a clay you often see in the United States! This Natural Purple Clay Mask by Herbana Cosmetics will give your beauty guru bestie goosebumps when she sees her face smeared in neon purple clay. This mask is not artificially colored though; it’s sourced from Greece and uses natural violet clay and purple clay, along with aloe vera and natural essential oils, to purify and rejuvenate sensitive skin. Purple clays are rich in silica and magnesium, both of which are important ingredients in building collagen and firming skin. 

 

For Your Girlfriend Or Wife:

 

15.) Spank My Booty Scrub 

spank-booty-scrub

While your girl may love getting kitchen supplies or cute lingerie every Christmas, this holiday season get her something that’s solely for her! Spank My Booty Grapefruity Sugar Scrub by Dirty Girl Body Beauty is full of ingredients that will naturally brighten dull, winter skin. The scrub is handmade with organic cane sugar, almond oil, jojoba oils, essential oils and natural gel food color. Its sweet citrusy scent will invigorate and relax for a truly pleasurable spa-at-home experience. 

 

16.) Vegan Leather Bag

eco friendly vegan leather purse

If you can’t afford to take your woman to Europe this holiday season, buy her a bag from Europe! This Vegan Leather Bag is an extremely unique and extraordinary gift. It is a portable painting; hand-painted by designer Velibardo in Bulgaria. While it resembles something Pucci or Gucci might create, you will not believe how extremely affordable this bag is! Not to mention it is a one-of-a-kind European piece!

 

17.) Black Obsidian Bracelet

eco friendly black obsidian bracelet

This Black Obsidian Bracelet by Living Earth Jewelry is a natural, negative energy absorbing stone. Even if your girl doesn’t believe in the healing capabilities of stones or gems, the bracelet is a fashionable statement piece that will pair well with any outfit. It’s casual but elegant, simple yet high style. If it helps ward off a couple of arguments between two lovers or friends, then that’s just a bonus! Each order comes with personalized crystals picked out by intuition as a free gift!

 

18.) Square Pendant Necklace

eco friendly square pendant necklace

These Square Pendant Necklaces are truly an eco-friendly and sustainable gift for your special lady. Handmade in Pennsylvania, these necklaces are crafted out of tree branches from the designer’s backyard wood, and are then finished with a resin gloss. Custom orders are also welcomed at Starlight Woods jewelry. 

 

19.) Old Mine Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

eco friendly diamond engagement ring

Old mine cut diamonds are extremely rare finds in the jewelry world. Old mine cut diamonds are also the closest you will probably get to a raw, untouched diamond; furthermore they are recycled diamonds, rather than newly mined ones, so they are considered eco-friendly. Altana Marie is an internet diamond store based out of California that specializes in sourcing eco-friendly, old mine cut diamonds. They can work with you on custom orders and help you find the perfect ring! Their prices are also extremely reasonable and comparable to any traditional diamond store, except with Altana Marie you get a much more personal, customizable, and eco-friendly experience!

 

 

For The Man (or Men) In Your Life:

 

20.) Organic Vanilla Beard Balm 

organic vanilla beard balm for men

Does your man rock a beard? If so, you know he is dead serious about his locks. This holiday season, do him a favor and help him eliminate harmful chemicals from at least one source in his life: his hair products. Organic Warm Vanilla Beard Balm by Nature’s Skin Nutrition is one of those really cool, rare finds that looks and smells like a brand name product, but sans the gross chemicals. Nature’s Skin Nutrition products are all made with organic and natural oils and essential oils that are healthy to skin, and not irritating like mainstream men’s products are. Nature’s Skin Nutrition also makes a ton of organic versions of popular mainstream brands like Polo, as well as a ton of original scents. Everything is handmade in Oregon and custom orders are available too! Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ saves you 15% through February 1, 2017!

 

22.) Obsidian Dice


obsidian-dice

Black obsidian is a stone that has been known to stimulate the release of negative energy. If your man is a lover of anything involving games or a casino, a little dose of luck might be the best thing he gets this Christmas! These two pure, Black Obsidian Dice by Organic Punk come in a black vegan leather pouch, and protection of negative energy invading your zone. 

 

23.) Apple Bourbon Candle

apple bourbon soy vegan candle

Even if your man isn’t big on bourbon (or drinking for that matter,) he will absolutely love the smell of this Apple & Bourbon Soy Candle. The sweetness of vanilla, apples, maple, and bourbon are a tantalizing aroma that appeals to almost everyone. Organic Punk also has a ton of scents that you can almost smell through your computer; but better yet, all her candles are vegan and made with non GMO soy wax and natural essential oils. 

 

24.) Onyx Exchange Solid Colognes – Pick 3 

onyx exchange organic solid cologne pick 3

The Onyx Exchange is changing the way men do cologne. This all natural, chemical free version of men’s cologne combines easy functioning with the desired result in a non toxic way: smelling like a boss. Hand made by two men in Indiana, The Onyx Exchange utilizes the simplest and most effective natural ingredients like beeswax, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and a variety of essential oils. This Pick 3 option is a perfect gift for any man. Can’t decide on your scents? Editor’s picks: Constantine, Sapphire (custom blend,) and Ember.

 

25.) Recycled Crown Royale Desk Clock

recycled clown royale desk clock

If you’re dating (or married to) a “man’s man” who loves his man cave, then look no further for a great, eco-friendly gift. This recycled Crown Royale Desk Clock is one of many clocks created by Etsy shop Ray Mel’s,  which were salvaged from empty hard liquor bottles and wine bottles and made anew into clocks! This clock is a really neat gift idea for the man who already has everything. If your man doesn’t like Crown Royal, no need to fret because there’s lots of vintage bottle clocks to choose from!

 

For Moms:

 

26.) Caprese Tomato & Basil Candle

caprese tomato and basil scented candle

Is your mama an Italian mama? Even if she doesn’t hail from the mother-land, it’s hard to resist the smell of vine-ripened tomatoes and sweet basil. Artificially scented candles can be bothersome to many, causing eye and nasal irritations because of the harsh chemicals utilized in traditional scented candles. This Caprese Tomato Leaf and Basil Candle by the Onyx Exchange is made of soy wax, is hand-poured,  and is naturally scented with essential oils.

 

27.) Organic Yoga Pants

organic yoga pants

With top name brands like LuLu Lemon and Lula Roe leggings leading the current Yoga-wear trend, why not give the mom in your life a trendy gift that is slightly more special and unique than the popular store bought ones that everyone else has? These Organic Yoga Leggings by Purusha People are 100% handmade in California out of 92% organic, US grown cotton and 8% spandex. These gorgeous organic yoga leggings are just one pair of the many mystical yoga leggings and yoga tops that Purusha People creates. Not only are their active wear hand sewn, but they are also hand dyed! Each pair is made with love, and they also do custom orders!

 

28.) Organic Spa Bath Gift Set

organic spa bath set

Every mom loves to be pampered, but most spas (even the pricey ones) use products that are filled with chemicals and toxic ingredients. If you’re not lucky enough to live near an organic, chemical free spa, why not give your mom this Organic Spa Gift Set by Deep Leaf Organics that she can enjoy from the comfort of her own home? This set is completely free of any and all chemicals, and is hand-made with organic, all natural and skin-loving, luxurious ingredients that will deliver a full spa experience. This set comes with a Flower bath tee with therapeutic bath salts, a cocoa butter and french pink clay bath bomb, a cocoa butter body moisturizer, and a soy hand-poured essential oil candle. If you purchase from the shop, mention Primal Kidz and get a coupon for your next purchase!

 

29.) Recycled Vodka & Wine Bottle Bangles

white vodka bottle bangles

For the mom who really enjoys her jewelry  these Recycled Vodka Bottle Bangles will delight her when she realizes how unique these bangles are. Dessin Creations specializes in making by hand bangles from recycled wine bottles, vodka bottles, and other glass alcoholic beverage bottles. Even if she is not over the moon about the idea of wearing used alcohol bottles, the gorgeous design and impeccable craftsmanship simply can’t be ignored. Dessin Creations also creates gorgeous bangles out of other kinds of bottles, including rare colors of glass that are reminiscent of sea glass. Coupon code PRIMALKIDZ15 gets you %15 off good through December, no minimum order!

 

30.) Pure Silk Hand Dyed Cochineal Scarf

pure silk scarf hand dyed and eco friendly

Truly a work of art, this Pure Silk Scarf was created by My Bird Song Designs with thoughtful precision and love over the course of a week. The scarf is imprinted with authentic botanical silhouettes harvested from the designer’s own backyard. The scarf is then hand dyed with eco-friendly dye that came from the Cochineal, an insect used for centuries as clothing and cosmetic dye.  My Bird Song Designs handcrafts other kinds of scarves as well, and each one is incredibly unique to the nature of hand dying.

 

 Want even more ideas for holiday gifts?

Check out Etsy’s Editor’s Picks Holiday Gift Guide for some serious gifting ideas!!

5 Creative and Fun Activities For Cold Winter Days

This article was contributed courtesy of Leah McDermott, a natural child learning specialist.

It may be starting to get cold outside, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck inside! Children can benefit just as much from daily outdoor time in the winter as they can any other time of the year, so it’s just as important to find ways to get out there and enjoy all of the fantastic changes that take place in nature during the colder months.

Here are five of our favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors, even when it’s snowy, rainy, or super chilly:

Animal Track Hunt: 

animal tracks

This activity is best done the morning after a fresh snowfall, but anytime there is snow on the ground will do! Head outside (bonus if you’re near a wooded area) with a camera or blank notebook/pencil and search for animal tracks in the snow! When you find some, take pictures and/or have your child draw what they see in their notebook. Keep in mind that not all animals make paw prints! What might a snake or bug look like making its way through the snow? Ask your child which animal they think the tracks belong to, and jot ideas down. Once you’re back inside warming up, search through animal track books – Tracks, Scats and Signs by Leslie Dendy is a favorite of ours – or utilize the internet to help you accurately identify the tracks you found!

 

Frozen Bubbles frozen bubbles

Save this one for when the temps are super de-duper cold, as you need it to be well below freezing outside for the bubbles to freeze rapidly. This is about as easy as it gets – simply grab that container of bubble juice from the summer (or whip up your own), head outside, and start blowing! The bubbles should freeze before they hit the ground. This gives your child a rare opportunity to get a good look at a bubble, watch the crystals form on it, and to see what it looks like when it pops/breaks. Talk with your child about the differences between bubbles in the summer and bubbles in the winter.

Snowball Lanterns 

snowball lanterns

To prep for this activity, all you need is some glowsticks and fresh snow! Have your child make a bunch of snowballs. Place glowsticks standing up in the snow and carefully stack snowballs loosely around the glowstick to form a snowball lantern! This is an especially fun activity in the late afternoon (you know… when the kiddos are in that pre-bedtime meltdown mode), because the lanterns can be really enjoyed when the sun has gone down! You can really ramp up the excitement for this activity if you put the glowsticks outside on the ground when the snow begins to fall. This way, the snow will cover the sticks, creating a super fun and colorful “Northern Lights” effect in the yard!

 

Frozen Scavenger Hunt scavenger hunt

This activity will work whether you have snow on the ground or not. It takes a little prep, but will provide tons of fun! Gather an assortment of small toys and objects from around the house and freeze them in ice cubes. When ready, hide the frozen objects outdoors and have your child go on a hunt to find all of them. Extend this to a literacy activity by making a checklist for your child to read and check off as they search. Once you’ve gathered all of the objects (and maybe hid them again once or twice,) bring them inside and place all of the frozen cubes in the warm bath water with your child. Your child can watch the toys thaw out as they warm up too!

Indoor Winter 

indoor winter

Let’s face it – sometimes, it’s just too cold to be outside. But that doesn’t mean that you and your child can’t still enjoy the beautiful winter scene that nature provides! So, on one of those super cold days, bring the outdoors inside! Set up a tarp or plastic sheet on the floor and bring in some containers of snow and an assortment of outdoor winter nature objects – like icicles, pinecones, frozen sticks or rocks, etc. Give your child a variety of instruments to sort, scoop, create, and examine the nature with. Mix some food coloring in spray bottles of water and let them “paint” the snow. Watercolors work great on ice blocks. Experiment with ways to melt icicles fastest – use things like pickle juice, warm water, and salt. Have fun digging into wintery goodness while still staying warm inside!

BONUS: Tips for Dressing Appropriately for Outdoor Winter Fun

Though there are some areas where temps dip far too low to safely play outside regardless of winter gear, in general, the issues with being too cold to venture outdoors usually lie in the clothing choices and not the thermometer. Here are some of our best tips for ensuring you stay protected to best enjoy nature in the winter:

  • Cover Up! Your body will lose heat through any uninsulated area of your body. Put on a hat and a scarf; make sure as little skin is exposed as possible!
  • Cold Hands = Cold Essentials! If your hands are cold, that doesn’t just mean that you need gloves – it also means that your essential organs/core aren’t insulated well enough! Focus on covering the mid-section to help the warm blood flow to your extremities.
  • Layer Up! For best protection on your feet and hands, start with a silk liner, cover with wool, and then a waterproof shell or layer.
  • Check out some more tips HERE.

So, get bundled up and get out there and enjoy all of the beauty and wonder that Winter has to share with us! There’s so much to explore and learn during this time of the year!


leah mcdermottLeah McDermott, M.Ed. is an adventuresome mama of two rambunctious boys, living happily with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She spends her days reading, cooking, exploring outdoors, and learning alongside her littles. She is a former Master Educator and Reading Specialist turned homeschooling mom and natural education consultant and speaker. Leah helps families and educators transform the way their children learn, through child-led experiences exploring the beauty and wonder of nature. She believes passionately that when children spend time freely exploring the world around them, they grow up to be compassionate, caring individuals with incredible problem solving skills, and that through nature-inspired learning, we can change the world, one kid at a time.

You can learn more about Leah, and follow along with her at the following sites:
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Can The Moon Affect Your Hormones And Fertility?

This article  was originally written by Ann Marie Michaels and appeared on her blog, Cheeseslave

LUNACEPTION: HOW THE MOON CAN BALANCE YOUR HORMONES AND MAKE YOU FERTILE:

It’s called lunaception.

No, not lunatic-ception, as my husband would probably call it. LUNA-ception, meaning the moon + conception.

The book “Lunaception ” was published by Louise Lacey in 1974. The concept behind the book is that women’s menstrual cycles have traditionally been synchronized with the phases of the moon. According to Lacey, we should menstruate with the new moon and ovulate when the moon is full.

Katie Singer, author of The Garden of Fertility and Honoring Our Cycles, writes:

“In the late 1960s, Louise Lacey, a writer, realized that being on the Pill took her body away from its natural rhythm. She went off it, and subsequently had very irregular cycles. She began reading about circadian rhythm and the sexual cycles of some primates, which suggested peaks of sexual activity relating to the lunar cycle. Lacey wondered if the moon’s cycles relate to human reproduction, and if so, how? She wondered if artificial lights interrupt the moon’s effect.

A newspaper article that reported the effects of night-light on the menstrual cycle then caught her attention. John Rock (the Ob/Gyn whose experiments with giving infertile women synthesized progesterone led to the creation of the Pill) and physicist E.M. Dewan found that women’s menstrual cycles became regular by sleeping in complete darkness Days 1-13, sleeping with a 100-watt bulb burning all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) Days 14-17, and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until the new period began.

Thrilled by the possibility that she could return to healthy cycles, Lacey tried variations on the above experiment, beginning in 1971. She also began to chart her temperature. She found that sleeping in complete darkness except for three nights each cycle (when she slept with a 40-watt bulb under a lampshade or with a 75-watt bulb beaming a shaft of light from a nearby bathroom (essentially mimicking full-moon light) triggered ovulation. She called the technique Lunaception, and found that it could be used to direct her fertility — and that of her women friends. By avoiding intercourse on the days they slept with light, Louise Lacey and 27 of her friends developed regular, healthy menstrual cycles, and used Lunaception to avoid pregnancy effectively until menopause.” (Source)

Lacey says that when women practice lunaception, their cycles naturally sync up with the phases of the moon. She says that lunaception “optimizes your reproductive health.”

Why Practice Lunaception?

Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, women can use lunaception to prevent pregnancy, and lunaception can also be used to balance hormones.

According to Katie Singer, controlling the light when we sleep can help women in a variety of situations to strengthen their cycles:

  • Women with anovulatory cycles have become ovulatory.
  • Women with unclear mucus readings develop discernible, healthy mucus build-up.
  • Cycles that had been very short (26 days or less) or very long (35 days or more) become 27-31 days long.
  • FSH levels become healthy.
  • Spotting at various times during the cycle is significantly reduced.
  • Progesterone levels are strengthened.
  • Women with a history of miscarriage(s) are able to sustain pregnancy.
  • Premenopausal women develop a more discernible mucus pattern; and the intensity of their premenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood changes are reduced.
    (Source)

Getting Back In Touch With Mother Nature:

can lunaception effect your menstrual cycle

This whole thing makes perfect sense to me. Think about it. A full moon looks like a pregnant belly. Just like an egg, which is the very symbol of fertility.

I think it so cool to think that Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has it all figured out. I can imagine a native American riding home on his horse, looking up to see a full moon and thinking to himself, “It’s baby making time!”

When I was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference several years ago, I was having a conversation with flower essence therapist and clinical herbalist, Claudia Keel. We were talking about fertility and she was telling me that if you want a baby, you should take watermelon essence.

“Watermelons look like they’re pregnant!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly!” Claudia nodded enthusiastically. “There are a lot of plants and flowers in nature that look like what they do.”

The more I read and learn, the more I believe that so many of our modern problems are caused by the fact that we are so cut off from nature. For example, I’ve recently fallen in love with earthing, which is the theory that our bodies need physical contact with the earth. See my post: Can Walking Barefoot Lower Cortisol and Balance Hormones?

Lunaception is along these same lines. Women are the yin energy; men are the yang. Women are the moon, the mysterious, the unpredictable. Men are the sun, the obvious, the reliable.

It makes sense to me that we need the moon for our fertility and hormonal health.

How To Practice Lunaception:

Nowadays, most of us live in cities and are not able sleep by the light of the moon. When I look out the window of our 4th story condo here in Las Vegas, I see miles and miles of twinkling lights.

If you live in the country, you may be able to leave your blinds open in your bedroom. But if you live in the city like I do, you can artificially simulate the phases of the moon.

Lacey writes:

“If your cycle doesn’t match with the moon’s, keep your bedroom dark until your cycle matches the moon’s cycle. You will find you are likely to get into a match with the moon much more quickly that way. Then use the nightlight as above.

How will you do this?

First, you must find drapes or covers for your windows. They must be thick enough so that no light comes in, no matter the source. To test them at night, close the door, turn off the lights in the room and hold up your hand to the covered windows. Can you see your hand from the street light or passing cars? If so, the drape or cover isn’t thick enough.

Secondly, you must make arrangements so as to protect yourself from any lights that turn on or off during the night, such as any light that might shine through when someone opens the bedroom door. Those lights must have a red bulb, which you can buy at your hardware store. As with a normal fire, red lights will not trigger ovulation prematurely.

Third, you may need one red light in the bathroom, too, if it is anyone’s habit to turn a light on there at night.

Your bedroom now duplicates nature’s way. The only other manipulation of light is in mid-month. Put a small white nightlight, 15 to 25 watts, on the other side of the room. On the 14th or 15th day of the month, counting from the first day of your menstrual period, turn on that light before you go to sleep. Use it for three nights, and then don’t use it again until your next month.

Once you have made these preparations, the rest is easy!” (Source)

I’ve made my preparations. And I can’t wait to get in bed tonight!

But What About A Sleep Mask?

I know people are going to ask so I thought I’d address this.

The answer is: No dice. In other words, it’s time to get our your trash bags and duct tape.

I have been using a sleep mask for a couple of months now to try to increase my melatonin production, to help me sleep better. I don’t know if it has helped or not.

There is nothing like that pure blackness that envelopes you when all the light is gone. There really is no comparison.

According to Louise, “Our ears, our mouth, even “the hole in our heads” as the Hopi say, must be considered. We simply have to have the room dark, period.” (Source)

Have you had success with lunaception? Does this natural fertility practice intrigue you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Ann Marie - CheeseslaveAnn Marie Michaels is a homeschooling mom to 2 kids. She has a passion for traditional, healthy foods like butter, cheese, lard and wine (yes, wine) and through her blog, she can show you how cooking from scratch will revolutionize your health and save you a ton of money. She has the tricks and tools that make it easy and fun. You can follow her on Facebook.