Happy New Year Giveaway: Upcycled Sari Bag

Sari Bag 1Happy new year, friends! As we all embark on a fresh start in 2013, I thought I’d start it off right with a giveaway! I can’t think of a better way to thank all of you for a wonderful 2012 then by offering you a chance to win one of my new favorite things!

This one-of-a-kind bag is handmade by craftspeople in India from recycled saris. The layers of silk and rayon come in a unique combination of colors and patterns, ranging from jewel tones to earth tones. The bag has an inner lining of lightweight white cotton with a large central compartment and a single side pocket. The clasp functions in two ways: there’s a button and loop fastener, and a fabric cord that can tie the bag closed for greater security.

I love this fun, colorful bag and I know you will too. And thanks to Uncommon Goods you can win one of your own! Uncommon Goods has a slew of unique and creative gift ideas for all kinds of folks. Click here for more ideas for the gals in your life! I especially love their selection of recycled items like these.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me what your new year’s resolution is!  

For extra entries, you can also choose from any or all of the following. Be sure to leave an extra comment for each entry telling me you did so and what your corresponding Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook name is.

Details: The contest will run through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The winner will receive a single Sari Bag shipped directly to them from Uncommon Goods. Due to the handmade and upcycled nature of these items, each bag will vary.
Neither I nor Uncommon Goods can guarantee all colors in photo will be incorporated into each bag.
I’ll choose one lucky person via random.org and notify him or her via email. You will have 48 hours to respond and claim your gift. If you don’t respond, I will choose another winner. Please note that although Uncommon Goods provided me a free Sari Bag, the opinions expressed here are mine alone.

I shared this post on Clever ChicksTiny Tip Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Health 2day, Whole Food Wednesdays and Green Giveaways Galore

10 Ways to Think Outside the Proverbial Gift Box

I love the holiday season! That includes scoping out the neighbors’ holiday lights on the way home each evening; listening to holiday music in my office; gathering with friends for our annual HoliDaly party; sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree each night; and introducing K-bear to Santa, There is simply so much to enjoy!

What I don’t enjoy? The commercialism; the onset of Christmas in stores before Halloween candy has been handed out; the endless ads luring us to buy this and spend on that. I enjoy choosing gifts for my friends and family, but I prefer that those gifts that enhance our local community, celebrate local talent, provide to hard-working folks, or upcycle items in some special way, rather than simply put money into the pocket of another large corporation. Continue reading

2012 Soulicious Gift Guide: Eco-Friendly, Fair Trade, Handmade


Eeek! I’m so excited! When it comes to gifts, I love to seek out the unique, the useful and the fun. I also feel best when I spend my money on products that make the world a little bit better.

So move over Oprah’s Favorite Things! In the Soulicious spirit, I’ve scouted ten gifts for you that are eco-friendly, handmade or fair trade. They are all unique, affordable items you can feel good about giving, and those who receive them will be delighted. It was a tough job, but I’ve tested each and every one, and I hope you love them as much as I do. You might even find yourself buying yourself a special something for yourself, as of course you should! 🙂

Happy gift giving … Fa la la la la, la la la la! Continue reading

Understanding Skincare Product Certifications

According to Organic Spa Magazine, there are a growing number of organizations around the world that seek to certify cruelty-free, natural, organic and/or sustainable products and processes. Six of those have labels you will see often here in the U.S., including Demeter, Leaping Bunny, Natural Products Association, NSF, Oregon Tilth and USDA Organic.

As with eggs, these labels can be difficult to understand and keep straight. But better familiarizing yourself with their logos and standards will help you make more informed shopping choices for yourself and your family. Let’s take a closer look.  Continue reading

What’s Your Carbon Footprint?

You hear the words “carbon footprint” tossed around often these days, but what exactly is it and why does it matter? To put it simply, using coal, natural gas or oil for electricity, heat or transportation releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. These daily carbon dioxide emissions make up your carbon footprint.

Too much CO2 from our daily activities hurts the planet’s climate according to many sources, including the Sopris Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Aspen that focuses on preserving ranch land, keeping community intact in the face of changing land-use patterns, and working with Western leaders to develop a region-wide blueprint for livability.

This organization has taken the time to calculate the amount of CO2 used in three basic areas of daily living: (1) Home Energy; (2) Travel and Recreation; and (3) Food, Drink and Work. Comparing the numbers in each of the green, yellow and orange areas illustrates the power of the choices you make every day. Continue reading

Minimizing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (and an Envirosax Giveaway!)

Note: Giveaway is at the end of this post.

Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? I first recall it hitting my ears a few years ago following a media blitz by Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (thanks, Oprah!). He was the first to discover the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the late 1990’s.

This patch is only one of many across our world’s oceans that collects pollution thanks to swirling ocean currents. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Debris Program, the main debris type found in these patches is plastics, “likely because of the abundance of plastics and the fact that some common types of plastic float.”  Continue reading

Sneak Peak: EWG Cleaner Database

Environmental Working Group (EWG), the same forward-thinking, non-profit that brought you the Dirty Dozen and Skin Deep, is getting ready to launch a new safety database this fall on cleaners. Hallelujah!

This news couldn’t be better for consumers, many of whom regularly purchase toxic household cleaners. You may be one of them. I was, and I wasn’t even aware. Yes, even SoulMamma isn’t perfect. This lesson in particular was humbling because, really, I should have known better.

According to the EWG, they have unearthed compelling evidence that hundreds of
cleaners, even some of those hyped as “green” or “natural,” can cause serious harm.  Continue reading