Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions

Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve heard it phrased a million different ways: essentially, green is the new black. 2013 brought us many new options for livin’ the green lifestyle. Whether you switched to a hybrid vehicle or didn’t get a chance to “go green” last year, there are lots of ways to easily transition to a more eco-friendly way of life.

Here are a few of the easiest, most impactful, and most affordable green ideas;

FOOD
Eco Friendly DietSurprisingly, what we eat has more impact on the environment than the kind of vehicle we drive! But how can we know what the most eco-friendly diet is? There is so much conflicting information out there!

Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see which foods are kindest on Mother Nature while also providing us with absolutely radiant health.

Surprise, Surprise: organic fruits and veggies always come out on top!

Want a planet and a body that are fit for a king? Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and slowly reduce your consumption of animal products and grains.

MEDICINE
Pharmaceuticals are wack, on so many levels. One of the quickest ways to take back control of your health and stop financially supporting chemicals as “medicine” is to go natural. Homeopathic Treatments are a powerful, natural way to heal just about any illness. Plus, they are far more affordable than prescription medicine and don’t have any dangerous side effects.

COUPON: Save 12.5% on homeopathic remedies from Forces of Nature using coupon code “tweetdeal2″ :)

BOTTLED WATER
our favorite water bottleYou already know what happens when you leave a water bottle in a hot car, right? If water bottles are proven to be that toxic, then why would you gamble your health by using them at all? You deserve a better bottle, bro!

The Mable’s Team upgraded our water bottles in 2010 and we’ve been pleasantly astounded by the results. Our VibesUP water bottles have a funny little coaster glued to the bottom of the bottle, which uses simple quantum technology to make the water easier to drink. But here’s the really weird part… we’re not sure how, but this weird “vibration raising” technology makes it so that our water bottles never smell. You know how often you have to clean reusable water bottles, right? Not with VibesUP!

CLOTHING
Recycled green goods Here’s a fun way to make a stylish and eco-friendly change: update your closet. When the time comes to replace any part of your wardrobe- from shoes to jeans to accessories- look for sustainable style. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Cotton accounts for 50% of the world’s fiber needs, 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making cotton the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”

Thankfully, there are many great retailers of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing such as XYLME, and Blue Canoe. Amazon also has a growing selection of more affordable organic clothes, as does magical eBay

There’s a new company, Fashioning Change, that we’re really interested in, because they help us find eco friendly clothes based on our unique style preferences. Just choose your favorite style icons and designers, and Fashioning Change will match you up with gorgeous choices.

Plus, if you share the love and invite a friend to shop at fashioning Change, both you and your homie get $10 off.

Stylish. Safe. Sweatshop Free. Save Money. Give Back. It is our vision to help shoppers make better purchases and create bottom-up change in the fashion industry. ~ Fashioning Change

Another rad option is 10 Tree, which plants a whopping TEN trees for every item purchased. When people ask you how much your top cost you can be like, “$35, and it came with ten free trees. No big deal.”

10 trees planted with each item

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle?
Recycled green goodsThis is a broader concept that challenges how we think about every area of our lives. You’re probably familiar with the first 3 concepts, but “upcycling” is quickly gaining momentum in the handmade community. Etsy has a great article that discusses how everyone can learn to “repurpose” trash-bound items into something useful. Not only can you upcycle your own goods, but you can also purchase products that are made of upcycled or recycled material.

Feeling DIY? Upcycle That will keep you inspired all year long.

Have you decided to go green this year? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips; please leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions

Take More Pictures: New Year’s Resolutions

resolve to take more photos

Continuing our series of New Year’s Resolutions from the previous Get In Shape article, Take More Pictures is next. Most people enjoy looking at pics on Facebook, Picasa (or other preferred photo viewing option) and reliving some great memories. As much as I enjoy doing this, I often wish I’d taken more pictures during trips, events, and especially everyday pics.

Here are some reasons I didn’t take more pictures throughout the year and the possible solutions. Maybe you can relate?

Problem: Wrong camera
If you’re bummed about how your camera is too slow, too bulky, poor-quality pics, not enough features, low battery life, etc., then a camera upgrade is going to be a weight off your shoulders. How do you know which camera is for you? Common sense wisdom: evaluate what your needs are and choose the best camera for you. Read the specifications and other people’s reviews and pay attention to their details (e.g. Did it capture good in low light? Quick to boot up? Easy to navigate menu?) Also, start asking your friends about what they do and don’t like about their digital cameras. The Amazon carousel o’ magic below can also help you find the perrrfect camera.

Problem: Don’t get to ENJOY digital photos
Not everyone is computer savvy and can manipulate digital photos into works of art, or simply print one out to frame. You can buy your own printer and photo paper and try it on your computer, or you can visit a web site, upload some pictures and have them delivered to you in many different forms. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy my digital photos are to have them printed out in different formats and displayed around the house to become a part of my everyday life.
- ImageKind: They offer framed prints, canvas, posters, cards, laptop skins, water bottles, and other fun surfaces for your favorite photos.
- Snapfish (first 50 prints FREE!)

Problem: Forgot the camera
Okay, this one’s easy. You always remember to bring your phone with you, right? Make sure your phone has a good camera, so even if you forget to bring your primary camera with you, you have a reliable backup.

Problem: I’m not a good photographer
Yes you are! You just don’t know it yet. I promise, the more you take pictures and flip through them with your favorite software the more you’ll become aware of what looks good and what doesn’t. Besides, the point of the photo is to capture a moment in time, not to see who can take the “best picture”. Believe me, getting an oddly cropped/slightly blurry photo is still better than getting no photo. But if you feel you need some training, you can take a FREE digital photography class online. How easy is that?

For more choices and crazy-awesome digital camera deals be sure to check out eBay!

Now get out there and take some pictures!

New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Edwin Pijpe

Get In Shape: New Year’s Resolutions

Get In Shape: New Year’s ResolutionsWith last year just days away, you’ve probably got New Year’s resolutions on the brain. Amirite? There’s definitely something about a fresh calendar year that jump starts our desire to make positive changes. Being surrounded by friends, family, and co-workers who are also brainstorming ways to improve makes this an especially ideal time for such endeavors. Bonus!

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring some of the most popular New Years resolutions in a new series of blog posts. Be sure to come back and let us know which of the featured resolutions that you will be committing to, or to suggest tips for sticking to new resolutions.

The most popular New Years resolution is always… drumroll please… Get In Shape!
There are countless ways to do this, and here are a few of my favorite tips and fitness products.


Get Fit this year

The best in-person fitness option is Groupon
Seriously, Groupon just obliterates your excuses for not trying something new.
The discounts are insane, and you get lots of local options to choose from.
Bootcamps, personal trainers, and unlimited fitness classes for a month are just a few of the fitness related Groupons I’ve seen listed.
Why not try a new style of exercise this year? Who knows, maybe you’re a Capoeira master and you just don’t know it yet ;)

Xbox 360 plus Kinect
The best at-home fitness option is a Kinect.
An Xbox 360 with Kinect was totally The Best gift I got this Christmas!
Nike+ Kinect and Hip Hop Dance Experience are my favorites for straight up fitness.
There’s just something about workin’ and twerkin’ at home in my undies :)
But you know what? Even the non-fitness game titles – like Adventures – give a pretty decent workout, too.
Plus, there is a huge variety of niche exercise games like Zumba, UFC training, and of course lots of dance games.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to set clear fitness goals for yourself, get plenty of rest and pure water, and maybe most importantly…

Be playful about fitness!

Studies show that when we approach a task with a playful mentality – also called “beginners mind” – we reach our goals faster and have a better time along the journey.

So speak kindly to yourself as you’re transforming your body, and remember to approach exercise like a game.
You’ll have more fun :)

New Year’s Resolutions

Tempur-Pedic Neck Pillows from Heaven



Tempur-Pedic Neck PillowThank all that is good and holy for Tempur-Pedic. Fo’ real.

Since 2001, Team Mable has been getting a restful nights sleep thanks to the Tempur-Pedic neck pillow. We want to share this with you because it’s turned out to be one of the best purchases we’ve made in the last decade. Waking up with less stress in your neck and stiffness all over is a mighty great feeling.

We don’t spend the night anywhere without making sure to bring our contoured neck pillows. They have traveled with us to 10 countries, on trains, planes, cruise ships, cars, hotel rooms, and the guest rooms of friends and family. It doesn’t matter how full our luggage is: our Tempur-pedic pillows are mandatory for travel.

These Tempur-Pedic pillows are designed for maximum pressure relief, and the pillow sizes are custom fit to cradle your neck at the proper angle and conform to your head while you sleep. It seems so simple and I’ve tried recreating it by folding an edge of normal pillows, but it’s definitely not the same. You actually do wake up with noticeably less tension and stress in your neck. It’s one of those things you just have to experience to believe. As an added bonus the included hypo-allergenic velour covers are dust mite resistant. Take that, bed bugs!

tempur-pedic
Of course the ultimate would be to get the Tempur-Pedic mattress so your entire body is supported by NASA-developed “Visco elastic” material. Along with being ultra comfortable, “studies show that Tempur-Pedic mattress reduces tossing and turning by 83 percent. You can try the mattress for 90 days, risk-free.

Since there are no inner springs to worry about, Tempur-Pedic beds are maintenance-free. You don’t even need to flip or turn the mattress, and it’s guaranteed to perform for 20 years.” This has been on my personal wishlist for several years, and I’d love to try it out. With the 90 day trial, maybe now is the time.

Do you sleep on any Tempur-Pedic products? How have they affected your sleep?


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I Have Other Ideas for the Bed Wedge

bed wedge system for sleeping better... and a varied sex life!I’m getting an idea and it’s going like this:

“Hey doc, I wake up with super stiff muscles. It’s effecting my work performance and quality of life. Definitely.”

That’s when doc writes a note and the insurance company ponies up for one of the ungainly named “Contoursleep Bed Wedge Systems“.

And that’s how I get free adult furniture. That I can comfortably sleep on, too.

What part of that isn’t genius?


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The Effortless 1 Week Flat Tummy Cleanse

quick flat tummy cleanse

Warning: You’re going to fall in love with Mable’s for this tip ;)

Are you ready to effortlessly lose inches from your waistline? Summer weather is right around the corner and I’m stoked I found THE easiest way to get a flat tummy.

I don’t care if you’re a size five or are 50 pounds overweight. This method will shrink your waist in 1 week, guaranteed. Best of all, it’s a natural method that is good to your body. Unlike diet pills and fiber cleanses, you won’t feel tired or bloated or endanger your health.

Here’s how it works. Everyone on the planet is carrying around spare gunk inside of their guts. Everyone. This is why you might be doing a bunch of ab crunches, eating healthy, and trying to take care of your body, but still have a pooch. There’s a layer of old food and cooties from your colon that is literally stuck inside of you. That stuff lines your intestinal walls and pushes your belly out to create a “spare tire” or “beer gut”. And there’s only one way to remove it: a cleanse.
clean colon equals flat tummy
Get a handle on your love handles by flushing away the “gut gunk”. Oxy-powder is a unique product because it uses activated oxygen to comfortably dissolve that build-up. In just 6-7 days, your intestines & colon will be clean and your tummy will be flatter. No gas, no bloating, just a rapidly shrinking belly.

This is not a diet pill, and it does not dissolve excess fat. If you’re overweight you will still need to limit your caloric intake to burn excess fat. But no matter what size your body is right now, Oxy-powder will significantly shrink your waist in just 1 week. There is even a 90 day money back guarantee if you’re not 100% satisfied. That’s how certain the manufacturers are that you will love your results.

We’re big fans of natural health here at Mable’s, and we only share products that we feel totally confident about. I’ve been personally searching for a way to cleanse my body without the side effects of herbal & bulk fibers. Oxy-powder is the only product I’ve personally tried that delivers what it promises, and is truly healing to the body. Try just 1 bottle and you’ll see what I mean.

Wild Divine Makes Meditation Fun

Did you know there is no “right way” to meditate? Anything that allows you to become relaxed and centered is the “right way” for you. Maybe that’s a walk around the block, singing along with an uplifting album, or sitting in your favorite chair and just breathing deeply. Yet no matter what meditation methods you prefer, our bodies respond in the same ways when we enter a relaxed and centered state. It’s called coherence: a highly efficient psychological state where all the systems of the body work together in harmony. Thanks to biofeedback machines we can actually measure how “coherent” our bodies are. Wild Divine offers 2 products that allow the user to instantly measure their coherence level, and even better, to learn to bring their body to coherence at any given time.

Both of Wild Divine’s products combine biofeedback data with an enlightening interactive format. Their flagship product, Healing Rhythms is described as a “guided training program” and is better suited for adults and teens. The Passage: Journey to Wild Divine is presented as a beautiful interactive game and is adventurous fun for all ages. (There is another game – Wisdom Quest – that can also be used with The Passage.) Here’s a video clip of The Passage:


Even if you have never meditated before, the very act of watching your biofeedback levels will begin to bring you into a state of calm. Playing with the games will bring anyone into a deeper state of inner peace. The manufacturers don’t talk about the health benefits much, but that’s the part I find especially amazing. The biofeedback unit measures the Heart Rate Variability, and HRV is the best predictor of future mortality and morbidity than any of the standard risk factors (cholesterol, smoking, exercise levels, etc). That means using a Wild Divine product helps us learn to be relax while transforming our health, too. Now that’s holistic health care.

Besides the game versus training format of the two systems, my research shows one other consideration. The Passage game system does not come with detailed graphing abilities, but separate Grapher Expansion software is available. This is the package I will be purchasing, because I want the flexibility of lots of game play but still have the option to just quietly watch my body’s rhythms. Plus, I can add the Wisdom Quest game later if I want.

This certainly isn’t the only way how to meditate, but it is an innovative new tool that promises to open humanity’s understanding about the body-mind connection. Have you tried any of the Wild Divine biofeedback products? We would love to hear your feedback!

Image courtesy of Hector Landaeta.

Ego Boost Mug


Ego Mug It’s been about 5 months since Sean blogged about the Daily Affirmation Bowls, but I still think about them on dreary mornings when I’m getting out my regular bowl. I wonder if I’d notice a positive change in my day if my morning bowl of orange wedges were encircled with uplifting messages.

Hey, sometimes all it takes is a quick compliment to totally turn your day around. It’s quite possible that an Ego Boost Mug could improve your attitude and your day.

Boldly declare your greatness with a smirk and a really cool, slightly oversized mug. Choose from Super Human, Smarty Pants and Mr. Wonderful (I’m sure Ms. Wonderful is just sold out). Ceramic is dishwasher and microwave safe.

SORRY SOLD OUT


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Custom Natural Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals

Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals
Sometimes having too many options can be a little overwhelming, but when entering the Pink Quartz Minerals shop I feel like a kid in a candy store! Doree is a one woman DIY powerhouse who makes a variety of all natural makeup, but she always makes time to create any item to your exact specifications. What color do you want that lip balm? How opaque do you want the color? Want to add a flavor? An all natural sweetener? How about customizing the label with any text you want? Even cooler, these options are standard and there is never an extra charge for them. I have been loving my marshmallow flavored, stevia sweetened, deep rose lip balm for months and I’m actually excited to order a few more.

As someone who really doesn’t wear much makeup – usually some tinted lip balm or mineral foundation – my affinity for Pink Quartz Minerals might seem surprising. Keep in mind though that I’m a really particular shopper; I always know just what I want… and what I don’t want.

Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals Unlike most products out there, all of Doree’s handmade goodies are safe for your eyes, lips, skin, and face, which says a lot about how “natural” they really are. The ingredients consist of only 6 minerals (except the lip balms of course), and there are never any preservatives, chemicals, or animal-based ingredients. Everything is vegan friendly, and truly hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. I was visiting family recently and took a peek at the ingredients on my little sister’s sparkly lip balm set. Talk about night and day! There was a huge list of chemicals and it was petroleum based, too. Yuck! What bums me out is that makeup containing dangerous, junky ingredients is standard. Thank goodness for businesses like Pink Quartz Minerals who have integrity and create only safe and exquisite makeup items.

I also had the pleasure of trying the mineral foundation and the fabulous vegan kabuki brush. Both are amazing! I bought the sample kit to find the perfect shade for me, but you can also have a color custom blended. I’ve been asked so many times “Are you wearing makeup? Your skin looks so nice.” Could there be a better testimonial? During the visit to see my family, my mom tried the kabuki brush and could not stop raving. “It’s so much softer than the expensive one I bought and doesn’t shed all over the place either”. Since she doesn’t stop by this blog too often I’ll let you guys know that I’m going to order her a brush and sample kit, too :)

Unless you’re madly in love with your makeup and can identify all the ingredients on the label, I really encourage you to try some of the lovely handmade products from Pink Quartz Minerals. They’re safe, affordable, and bring out your natural beauty so you’ll look and feel like a million bucks.

Dream Big plus Free Shipping

Dream Big by Lisa Hammond, owner of Femail Creations About 3 years ago I picked up my first copy of Dream Big by Lisa Hammond on a lark. I was skimming the New Arrivals section at my library and the bright cover and bold title leaped out at me. It wasn’t a topic I had been consciously thinking about, but I was willing to give it a look. The ambitious tag line sounded great too – “Finding the courage to follow your dreams and laugh at your nightmares” – but I wondered how the author was going to cram such life-changing info into the relatively small book. The introduction gives a great insight when Lisa mentioned that she did not start with a business plan, despite everyone insisting that she do so. Following a lengthy “winning formula” can be so helpful at times, but your creativity and integrity will rapidly change your entire life. What made this book so endearing and inspirational to me was that simplicity. She encourages women to start with what counts: finding your passion. Everything else will flow easier once you start from a place of personal honesty. We’ve all heard the old saying that when you find work you love, it never feels like work. This is exactly why Lisa’s book is called Dream Big! She helps break down some of the internal barriers that prevent us from pursuing our DREAM calling. Not a “job” or even a “career”, but a “calling”. What a huge difference this will make in finding fulfilling activities to pursue.

Femail Creations: Gifts to Celebrate and Inspire WomenThe author is well qualified to write this book, as she is the owner of the mail order company Femail Creations (“Gifts to Celebrate and Inspire Women“). It was started by Lisa when she stopped working at her husband’s construction company. Like many of us, she was “going crazy” working at a job that she had little interest in! Lisa needed new work that was meaningful to her, and would allow her to stay home with their daughter. She was able to do both when she realized her dream of starting a mail order company. What made that meaningful and fulfilling for her was that she offers products that also support other women. Femail Creations sells many handmade, limited run, artisan products created by women, some of which are also SAHMs. Not only does Ms. Hammond now have a calling that she loves, but she is able to help other women realize their dreams by giving them a place to sell their creations. That’s the kind of win-win business planning that I love to hear about!

Femail Creations doesn’t really do sales, but they just let us know about a FREE shipping sale for orders $75+. No coupon code required, just click the link and it will automatically be entered into your cart.

Other places to buy the book online: Half.com (my fave), Amazon, and eBay

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