Thinking Outside the Box

April 22, 2013

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and by extension, a product by its packaging, but sometimes what’s on the outside is worthy of a little spotlight too. When it comes to evaluating cosmetics and skincare, the quality of the ingredients, the formulation, the performance and the colors are certainly paramount, but this Earth Week we thought we’d turn the focus on the innovative, eco-friendly packaging some of our beloved brands use to bundle their offerings.

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There’s nothing like a nasty cold or flu bug to bring you down after the merriment of the holidays, and this year’s crop seems to be particularly potent. Winter is the optimum time for this kind of misery, not directly because of the frigid weather but because we tend to spend more time cooped up indoors where germs and viruses can lurk and spread. We all know the motherly mantra to wash our hands frequently to avoid catching these infections, but there’s only so much wishful washing you can do.

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It’s that time of year again where we reflect on our past and look to the future. There’s something about a fresh calendar that inspires us to want to do better as a go-forward. Most of us know from experience that life-altering affirmations and major commitments to change often fall by the wayside by the time February rolls around (how many pieces of neglected fitness equipment are lurking in your closets?), but making minor tweaks to our daily routines or product choices is certainly doable. Here are some manageable health and beauty resolutions you can make for a more positive 2013.

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Summer is the season for road trips, plane flights, train journeys and ocean voyages. It seems everyone is going somewhere for at least a few days' break or a fortnight's escape. Whether it's a week at the cottage, an exotic beach getaway, a weekend city break or an extended overseas adventure, packing for the summer holidays is always a challenge. While we can't help you on the clothes front, we can assist with some ideas of what to throw in the toiletry case, carry-on, purse or beach bag.

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Summer is upon us, and with all the positives that stem from this warm weather, carefree, outdoorsy, kick-off-your shoes season comes a few minor grooming concerns. We tend to show a little more skin, absorb extra rays, perspire more persistently and face a few hair challenges as the temperature and humidity rises.

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Playing in Sprig Hallow

August 11, 2009

I’m not a fan of electronic toys that require little interaction and even less imagination. So I’m always on the look out for something that will inspire a little creativity while also being eco-friendly. Right now my youngest son is completely digging (literally) Sprig Hallow toys. Available in three sets that can be mixed and matched with each other, the DuneBug’s Sand Truck, Bee and Butterfly’s Farm Playset, and Dragonfly’s Helisoopter Playset are perfect for boys or girls, and are recommended for ages three and up.

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He's an American icon from decades past who's managed to stay relevant by singing with Jessica Simpson and performing on Stephen Colbert's holiday show. And although Willie Nelson's body of music and movies is impressive, it's really his dedication to activism that really stands out to me.

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Two of my favorite recent documentaries are Who Killed The Electric Car? and The 11th Hour. The first film is about the creation and almost immediate destruction of an eco-friendly electric car and the mystery behind the destruction of something so desperately needed right now. The second centers around the idea that it's still possible to make a positive impact regarding the global crisis we're in. The human race is responsible for destroying the delicate balance of earth's ecosystems and it's our responsibility to fix it-before it's too late. I recently sat down to watch them again-this time with my kids-and it really got me thinking. During the films I had to hit pause over and over to explain certain factors to my kids to help them understand. Then the idea struck me: what better way to learn than from example. So I decided to set a challenge for my family.

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Green Cuisine

January 8, 2009

One of the great things about organic going mainstream is the appearance of so many restaurants that serve organic food that's-get this-actually really delicious. And the ones that really stand out are going above and beyond by getting organic certifications. Some are strictly vegetarian. But others are expanding their horizons with the understanding that not everyone who eats pure is eschewing meat. Whether it's pizza or fine dining, there are so many options out there that you'll probably find one in your area. No? Well then I guess it's an excuse to do some traveling.

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You love toys that are safe and environmentally responsible. Your kids just want to have fun. And being the only family on the block with a toy chest full of wooden and organic cotton toys may not go so well over with the little ones. Luckily there are options out there that are toxin-free, non-hazardous and totally cool. Your kids will go crazy for them.

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