Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Living Libations - Review and Contest

Potions.  Elixirs.  Alchemy.  Not just the stuff of fantasy, relegated to fiction and myth.

Nadine Artemis of Living Libations (Ontario) is adept at taking the best Mother Nature has to offer and transforming these elements into the most wondrous concoctions.  Petals, herbs, roots, and other gifts of nature become potent, pure, aromatic, bliss-inducing, skin-enhancing enchantment in a bottle.  This is the real-life magic available from Living Libations, and I have joined the likes of singers/songwriters Alanis Morrisette and Sass Jordan, actor Woody Harrelson, and raw food guru David Wolfe in my admiration of Nadine's talents.

I first learned about Living Libations when watching an interview with Nadine and husband Ron, who were participating in the Longevity Conference in Costa Mesa, California .  Attracted to their unassuming manner and their obvious passion for what they do, I made my way to their YouTube channel to learn more about their products.  From there, onto their business website, where I ordered the following products...

Healthy Gum Drops  *THIS* is what ultimately brought me to Living Libations. It might have a whimsical name, but it is a very effective product.  I received my order of Health Gum Drops in late October, and am so happy I took the chance on something new. My gums look healthier (they are so pink!).  I find I am almost looking for excuses to brush my teeth - it tastes that good. My breath is left cinnamon-y and my lips tingly. It's tempting to carry the bottle in my purse so I can use it as a breath freshener instead of gum and mints. I'm torn between telling my boyfriend about it, and keeping it all to myself! I should have bought the largest bottle. It is liquid gold.

I ordered GingerLily Poetic Pits - an alternative to commercial deodorants - based purely on the positive reviews it had received from others. I was hesitant to risk buying something without being able to give it the "sniff test" first.  To my delight (and frankly, relief), GingerLily has met - exceeded - my expectations. I haven't worn perfumes for years, finding most smell unnatural at best, and chemical-laden at worst. This product is in a class of it's own. It's remarkable how the ingredients are transformed by my body's warmth once it's applied. It is a very potent, feminine scent. Intoxicating!

Do take a moment to review the ingredients contained in each product before ordering if you have allergies or sensitivities. The Poetic Pits line, for example, contains sandalwood oil, an ingredient used for its antibacterial properties.  Some people find sandalwood has a "musky" scent they are sensitive to.  If you have any questions or concerns, do contact customer service before ordering.
There are so many amazing products available at Living Libations!  I recommend you check out the tooth care items and the Essential Kits section.  Thankfully, there is a Wish List option built into their site, so you can browse and then share your Wish List with your wonderfully generous friends and family.  Personally, I am eyeing the "Lavish Abundance Levity" Perfume, the Seabuckthorn "Best Skin Ever", the "Altogether Now Cocao-Clarity" Chocolate Bar, and several of Nadine's essential oils (especially the lime, clove, and peppermint).  I will be saving my pennies and trying more of their products soon.  I'll let you know when I do! ;-) 

Nadine has generously offered to sponsor a contest so you can discover for yourself the sheer bliss of Living Libations!


Prize: a $50 gift certificate to the Living Libations online store!

This contest is open to everyone.

Please note:  If the winner resides in North America, shipment of their order will be included with their prize.  If the winner resides outside of North America, they will be responsible for any shipping fees associated with their order. 
Contest ends Saturday, February 5th at 8:00pm Pacific Standard Time.  Winner to be randomly selected.  If the winner has not responded to my notification by Tuesday, February 8th at 8:00pm PST, another winner will be selected.  

*     *     *
This contest has now ended.  Congratulations to Lilac P. of Alberta, Canada!

Many thanks to everyone who dropped by my blog, visited Living Libations, and entered this contest! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mumm's Sprouting Seeds - Contest

We are now well into January, finding our groove in this brand new year, and have, for the most part, settled back into our routines.  The holiday season of 2010 is but a memory.  Unfortunately, the lingering effects of too many Yule Tide treats is anything but a figment of the imagination!  If you're like me, overindulgence in sweets and snacks has left you wanting to shed a few pounds, cleanse your system, and craving clean, green foods.

To that end, I present Mumm's Sprouting Seeds!  I discovered Mumm's Seeds (Shellbrook, Saskatchewan) several Januaries ago, when I was longing to eat more fresh vegetables, yet appalled by the winter produce prices at the grocery store.  The only person in the house who enjoys daily fresh vegetables, I also found the ones I did purchase were spoiling before they were entirely consumed.  Money into the composter.  Sprouting seemed to be the perfect solution.  I could grow as many - or as few - at a time as I wished and would have a constant supply of fresh, nutrient-packed vegetables at my fingertips. It also satisfied my yearning to GROW something in the dead of winter, to have a little "garden" of seedlings sprouting in my kitchen window months before I could actually dig outside in the dirt!

Jim & Maggie Mumm originally started growing organic alfalfa and radish seed for sprouting as a sideline business.  By the mid 90's, the business had flourished to the point where they needed to hire employees to help out!

The Mumm's Seeds website offers a wealth of information about sprouting.  The online store has everything you need to get started, including sprouting jars, hemp bags (my preferred way to sprout), automatic sprouting trays, books about sprouting, and starter kits.  Naturally, a wide variety of seeds are available as well.  My favorites include red clover, black lentil (my favorite to snack on), the crunchy bean mix, the sandwich booster mix, marrowfat peas (great in salads - yum!) and broccoli (these sprouts contain many times the cancer fighting sulforaphanes of mature broccoli).  Sprouts are versatile and in most cases, very easy to grow.  Add them to soups, sandwich wraps, salads, or snack on them "straight up".  Milder sprouts can even be added to smoothies and green drinks for an extra boost of enzymes and chlorophyll. For those interested in emergency preparedness or stocking a long-term pantry, do consider ordering larger quantities of seeds. They are well packaged and store for years. 

The Mumm's Seeds website has both Canadian and American online stores.  I can attest to their excellent customer service and QUICK shipping.  There is free shipping on Canadian orders over $25 and on American orders over $50. Seeds can be exported to Europe and Asia as well.

 The majority (85%) of Mumm's seeds are sourced in Saskatchewan.  Some of the seeds they make available simply do not grow well in the province's climate (or Canada's, for that matter), and those they have to source elsewhere.  All Mumm's seeds are certified organic.

Eager to try sprouting at home?  Here's how!

Learn more about the many health benefits of eating sprouts.

Wondering what the difference is between fenugreek, amaranth, and quinoa? (And how do you use them, anyway?!)  Check out this informative seed summary.

The fine folks at Mumm's have very generously offered to award a $25 gift certificate to the winner of this contest!


Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Mumm's Seeds online store!

Open to residents of Canada and the United States.

Contest ends Sunday, January 16th at 8:00pm Pacific Standard Time.  Winner to be randomly selected.  If the winner has not responded to my notification by Wednesday, January 19th at 8:00pm PST, another winner will be selected. 

Please note: shipping of the winner's order is free if the winner resides in Canada.  If the winner resides in the USA, they will be responsible for the shipping charges related to their order. 

This contest has now ended.  The winner is D. Criss of Lyons, Indiana.  
Sincere thanks to everyone who dropped by and entered!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let There Be Light

    We usher in a New Year, finding ourselves in the depths of winter's cold and darkness.  For me, it is a period of reflection, a time to relish solitude.  I instinctively seek out a source of light that enhances this period of introspection and makes the long days brighter.  Pure beeswax candles fill the need perfectly, emitting a distinct, almost sacred quality of golden light and a soft, warm scent of honey.  I absolutely love pure beeswax candles.  I cannot imagine passing through the winter months without them in my home. If you'll excuse the pun, no others on the market can hold a candle to them in terms of light quality, scent, health benefits, and burning time.

     One of my favorite producers of pure beeswax candles has to be the Cheeky Bee Candle Company (Warkworth, ON), started in 1999 by owners Perry Melzack and Amanda Gardner.  I even love the name.  Go on...say "Cheeky Bee" three times fast and see if it doesn't leave you smiling! These are the beeswax candles I am most familiar with and receive most often as gifts from family and friends.  They burn evenly, giving off a delicate, sweet scent and last a long time with proper wick maintenance. An all-natural plant fibre wick is used in Cheeky Bee candles - no harmful lead or zinc.  The beeswax used is sourced locally, and Amanda and Perry take pride in the fact that all their candles are completely handcrafted using traditional methods. In a small factory where plugged-in equipment in conspicuously absent, each candle is carefully hand poured, hand dripped, hand dipped, and hand finished.  A variety of styles are produced (e.g., smooth pillars, multi-wicks, votives, tea lights, dripped, tapers) in original, natural gold, and rustic butterscotch colours, as well as a striking naturally filtered ivory.

    The warmth and authenticity of Cheeky Bee candles seem to be a reflection of the same qualities so evident in owners Perry and Amanda. It is clear to me, through our communications, that they love their community, their neighbors, their craft, and each other.  Browse their online catalog and simply call or email to place your order.  You will receive prompt, friendly customer service. You might also wish to visit the lovely Warkworth Gallery Perry & Amanda own that features their candles as well as other beautiful, handcrafted items, including hand carved chairs, heirloom quality dolls, jewelry, and original artwork.