The holidays are a time for giving, sharing, and creating memories with loved ones. Some of the memories my family and I enjoy around the holidays involved delicious meals and some yummy treats!
Today I’m sharing a treat you can feel good about giving to your kids and enjoying some yourself — homemade chocolate bark. I like to consider chocolate bark the new fruit cake. It makes a great gift for friends and relatives, plus my version is a lot healthier than any you could buy in the store. This chocolate bark is also fun to make — you get to choose the toppings and make it personalized. You don’t have to worry about it going old like baked goods since it has a pretty long shelf life. And even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen, chocolate bark is super simple to make. It’s truly the perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer or treat for a holiday party!
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~ Juli Novotny of Pure Mamas
We can’t get enough of this cute winter fox our design team created. It’s on our winter diaper patterns collection, as well as woven into Honest’s first story The Little Woodsman & The Winter Fox. And in the past couple weeks, we’ve shared a couple very cute winter DIYs inspired by this image. This week, you can give your little ones the Winter Fox activity booklet for some creative fun! You can download the four-page activity booklet by clicking on that link and printing it — just in time for winter break!
This is part of our ongoing series to help consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!
Ingredient: Ethyl Alcohol (Also called ethanol, alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, and ethyl alcohol denat., or “denatured,” which means a denaturant has been added to make the product taste bad to discourage consumption.)
What it is: Our natural ethyl alcohol is fermented from non-GMO corn sugars.
What it does: Ethyl alcohol is extremely versatile and in our current products, it performs different functions depending on the specific formulation. At the level found in our hand sanitizer, the ethyl alcohol kills bacteria on contact, but at the lower levels found in our cleaners, it helps cut through grease and grime.
Why we use it: People have been fermenting plant sugars into ethanol since the beginning of time (well, archaeologically speaking, we know they have for at least 9,000 years). It’s a relatively simple process and can be made from widely abundant renewable resources, so it’s a very eco-friendly choice. It’s also very versatile and effective in a variety of applications while also being safe when used as directed. All in all, a high quality and dependable ingredient by our Honest standards!
Why we’re featuring it today: People have expressed concern over our alcohol-based hand sanitizer — mainly due to hearing stories about children ingesting these types of hand sanitizers and getting alcohol poisoning. But, as mentioned above, it’s the safest option currently approved by the FDA. The thyme-based formulas that have become increasingly popular are not actually FDA approved for efficacy, though they are currently being reviewed.
Others have made the analogy that the alcohol level in our hand sanitizer is equal to several shots of vodka — and that’s true. And just like you wouldn’t leave shots of vodka where your child could reach or drink them, you shouldn’t leave hand sanitizer where it’s easily accessible either. Still, The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and other experts agree that the benefits of ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers definitely outweigh the dangers.
Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers help prevent the spread of colds, seasonal flu, and serious infectious viruses like H1N1 back in 2009. Used according to directions, the alcohol in the hand sanitizer evaporates very quickly — a VERY minimal amount is absorbed. And once your child’s hands are dry, you do not need to worry about any residues with our formula because there are no additional nasty ingredients like some other products.
All in all, it’s extremely effective and as safe as it gets for this specific product category.
Have any other questions about ethyl alcohol or our hand sanitizer? Let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help!
If you are anything like me, you make lots of resolutions every New Year. Some have been successful and some not so much. Usually we make resolutions about things we want to do differently — lose weight, stop smoking, or begin an exercise program. I know this season can already be a bit wild and crazy without undertaking new activities, but I want to suggest something that will benefit your mind and body — starting yoga today. That’s right, embrace the gift of yoga while we are surrounded by cookies, eggnog, and holiday parties during this hectic time of year. By embracing yoga now, you can give yourself the best holiday gift ever as you strengthen and tone your body, increase your flexibility, build core strength, improve your posture, and develop a long and lean look. Need any more reasons to start a yoga program now? Here are five:
1. Free up your New Year’s resolution for something new! Are you guilty of making the same resolutions every year? If you are, perhaps 2014 is time for something new. Start yoga now so that you have your fitness together by January 1st.
2. Avoid holiday pounds and regret up front. Many people resolve to lose weight in the New Year because all common sense and good habits tend to disappear in the month of December. Do yourself a favor by starting yoga now so that you don’t lose the next weeks to self-loathing and regret. End 2013 with a sense of accomplishment rather than the urge to diet. Like all new habits, good nutrition begins with a good intention and then builds over consistent practice — just like yoga.
3. ‘Tis the season to be jolly! Battle those holiday blues by getting your endorphins going. In the midst of consuming and gathering, it is easy to feel pressure to preform, provide, and impress. Expectations often lead to seasonal depression. Be savvy and empowered. Practice yoga to get your endorphins pumping because they are a natural and highly effective antidepressant.
4. Cultivate flexibility in preparation for your loved but not-so-liked ones. The holidays bring us together and sometimes that includes people who challenge you. In-laws, siblings, “friends of friends” that you’d rather not deal with all walk across your front door. Instead of anticipating and agitating about unwanted encounters, let yoga bring an open heart and flexibility into your life. You cannot change others but you can change how you react to them. Yoga helps us be present in the moment and we begin to understand how we can “let it all go” and enjoy the now.
5. Peace on earth starts with your inner peace. The holidays in greeting cards depict peaceful nights, holding hands, and singing angels, but to make those images a reality we must start cultivating our own inner peace. Do your part this holiday season by finding some peace with yoga or mediation. Simple asanas (yoga postures,) rhythmic and healthy breathing, and a little bit of meditation will change your life! I promise you will not regret it. Make 2013 the year that a whole new world opens up to you!
Tell us about the benefits you get from practicing yoga.
Jessica James has been practicing yoga seriously for 12 years, and for the last 6 years she has taught movie stars, pop stars, and all sorts of influential people that she keeps looking “Hollywood ready.” As a teacher, she has developed yoga sets that sculpt the body and clear the mind. During her second pregnancy, Jessica shared her own experience with a unique fitness-based prenatal yoga program. She has completed three yoga alliance certified teacher training courses and currently lives in Malibu, CA with her family.