Saturday, February 28, 2009

Living Green - Introduction


With all the information out there in the news and on the internet most people are at least aware of pollution problems. The issue is more serious in some areas but the fact remains that we all contribute to it. The concern is that with more people on Earth now and more pollution we are harming our environment.

Since we breathe the air that is out there what is in it should be a top concern for each of us. Yet we often go about our day without thinking twice about it. Yet there are more than enough individuals suffering from health concerns due to what they have been breathing in for years to make us sit up and take notice.

With all of the pollutants out there right now, imagine what it will be like for future generations. You may not care much as you won’t be around. Yet you will have family and friends who will need to deal with the problems. Even your or your friends own children and grandchildren who are the next generations will be affected by it.

Each of us though has the power to make some positive changes. Some people believe that living green is a waste of time because you are only one person. Yet if each of we individuals all do our part it would have quite a significant impact overall.

The efforts of only one person over the course of one lifetime will significantly reduce the amount of pollution out there. Teaching children from a young age what they can do and why will allow that process to continue being implemented in our society as well.

We also have the responsibility to let our governments and businesses know that we expect them to take action. Buy what you can from companies that do have living green concepts incorporated as part of their operating policies. At the same time you need to influence your government to place laws into effect that limit the amount of pollution that can be emitted by companies as well as by individual vehicles on the roads.

If you are ready to start living green and to do your part to reduce the carbon footprint you have placed on this Earth it is time to learn about the various ways you can do so. It is never too late to make some positive changes to your behavior so that you can live healthier and so can everyone around you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Love chocolate?

Nature demands balance despite what we demand of ourselves. I’ve added healthy chocolate which is very high in anti-oxidants and nutrients as a nutritional supplement to my diet. I’ve been using it for about a month now. My pain level has lessened slightly and for the first time in 4 years I can wiggle the big toe on my right foot!

I was so impressed that I signed up with the company - MXI. Their unique product is a healthy chocolate called Xoçai (sho-sigh), a rich, dark, Belgian chocolate.

Chocolate always manages to get attention because so many of us enjoy it. The health benefits of dark chocolate have been all over the news. It seems the cocoa bean is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, higher than any other fruit or vegetable. To this they also added the Açai berry which has also been in the news lately.

MXI uses a patented cold processing technology so that none of the goodness in the cocoa bean is lost. This chocolate has no fillers, caffeine, waxes, refined sugars or bad fats. And it tastes absolutely delicious.

Raw unprocessed cacao is getting so much attention because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties. As much of my problem stems from inflammation this property was one that got my attention. The catechins and epicatechins in chocolate have been associated with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthening the blood vessels as well as other cardiovascular breakthroughs. The other properties in cocoa have been known to help diabetes, fibromyalgia, depression, macular degeneration, etc.

I was attracted to this product because I love chocolate and was so tired of being in pain all the time. I wanted to improve my diet without gaining weight. Also, from a business standpoint, it made so much sense.

First of all, it turns out that 9 out of 10 people crave chocolate, 50% can not live without it and the average American eats 12lbs. per year (18lbs. in the UK). As a business person this not only spoke volumes toward repeat users but also toward massive interest, especially during these difficult financial times.

Second, as 90% of distributors like me will have little or no network marketing experience, I wanted a product that would appeal to them. Because it is chocolate, I am not changing their habits by asking them to talk about and consume something they are not already consuming on a regular basis. Nine out of 10 people are going to consume chocolate no matter what; whether it is good for them or not. This chocolate is good for them.

One nugget of chocolate equals the antioxidant level of ½ pound of spinach. An ounce of the chocolate beverage equals a pound of broccoli. The antioxidant ORAC value (how antioxidants are measured) is 9 to10 times higher than a similar ounce of Goji, Noni or Xango. People will eat chocolate over taking pills, potions and functional beverages any day. This product is so delicious, it is easy to talk about, sample and because it is healthy (the highest antioxidant levels out there), why wouldn’t people switch chocolate brands?

Finally, the compensation plan is very rewarding and global expansion is wide open. The company’s top earner has already made over $1 million and the company just turned 3 ½ years old.

I am building a great international team here and would like to invite you to join me. Canada is off to a fantastic start. The company is in Japan and shipping to Australia and New Zealand and has just entered the UK.

I am looking for leaders who want to work with me and become a part of a company that is quickly charting its own course. If stability, timing, good leadership and a hot product are important to you, then e-mail me at or call me at 631-983-2051 (USA no.). If you have Skype ( on your pc we can talk voice to voice without incurring any long distance charges. Or you can send me your phone number and your preferred times to call I would be pleased to call you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Etsy Twitter Team Featured Shop of the Week -Maine Lee Crochet

The Etsy Twitter Team's mission is to bring Etsy sellers who use Twitter together to become the authority on Twitter for all things handmade.

Ginny, from Maine Lee Crochet, has been in business on Etsy since March 2008. She makes gorgeous all crochet or knit items like hats, socks, scarves, dishcloths, and towels with crochet tops . Everything is handmade by her and ready to ship.

Ginny says about her handicrafts, “My product is high quality and made with my heart. I love what I do and I hope it shows in my items. If I don't like the way something turns out it doesn't get listed for sale. My ‘oops’ products stay at my house for my own use.”

Ginny promotes her shop in a number of different ways. She says, ”I use MySpace, word of mouth, I leave business cards where ever I can. I use the forums a lot. I also visit the chat rooms on Etsy and talk about my items, the way they are made, and the material used.”

She ships internationally! Stop by her shop for some good crocheted love!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bargain Hunters Paradise

If you are looking for a good bargain, this is a great time of year to find one. Retailers are trying to get rid of any leftover holiday and winter related stock, as well as make room for upcoming spring fashions. This can be the best time of year to buy coats, jeans, and other cold weather wear.

Before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to make a list of what you are shopping for. Start by going through yours and your child’s closets and drawers evaluating what will still be able to be worn this year. Then, make a list of what you and your family actually need. When you go shopping with a list in hand, you will stay on budget and be less likely to buy impulse items.

At the same time, keep an eye out for each retailer’s weekly sales flyers. Each store will likely have a big sale on one or two items, in order to draw shoppers in. It may take a little bit of time to run around to each store in order to buy just the sales items, but it could save you a lot of money. Keep an eye on your gas gauge too, as sometimes it may actually cost more in the long run to chase after those bargains!

If you are crafty, you can buy plain items, such as t-shirts and let your kids customize them. Some easy ways to do this are with fabric paints or iron on transfers.

While many people head straight to retail stores, going to consignment shops, yard sales, and sites such as eBay can be more budget friendly. Before buying any used clothing, check for any tears, rips, or stains.

Happy hunging!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shake Those Winter Blahs

Does all this winter weather have you and your family suffering from cabin fever? Does your family have the winter blues? It’s time to take them on a winter picnic! Rent some movies, throw a blanket on the floor and cook up some summer heat inspired recipes. Gather your family around and enjoy a good old fashioned ‘picnic’. You’ll have everything you need minus the ants!

Nothing says summer fun like good old classic picnic food. The following recipes will have you celebrating in no time.

Keep in mind that these are the basic recipes. Use your imagination to modify them in any way. If you’re craving something a bit spicier, add some chilli powder to the corn before cooking or jazz up the burger recipe by adding some smoky paprika or Cajun seasoning. You might like to add pepper jack cheese and guacamole for a “south of the border twist.” Your options are limitless with this menu!

Potato Salad
3 pounds potatoes, cooked until tender, cooled, and cubed
6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
½ chopped sweet onion (as in Vidalia or Maui)
2 stalks chopped celery

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard (such as yellow or Dijon)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the dressing ingredients first, adding a bit of each at a time until you get a consistency and taste that you like, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Pour dressing on top and mix until salad and dressing are combined.

Veggie Pasta Salad
1 (16 ounce) package pasta cooked and cooled
1 and a 1/2 cup finely chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, and onions
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 packet dry vegetable soup mix (such as Knorr brand)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended

Basic Burgers
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoon liquid smoke flavouring
Grill seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste

Preheat a grill pan; meanwhile, mix together the ingredients. Form the mixture into 6 patties. Place the patties on the grill grate, and cook until your desired level of done.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Etsy Twitter Team Featured Shop of the Week

Shop of The Week: Tinker and Po

Lisa Gergets, of Tinker and Po, creates the most wonderfully warm fingerless gloves/arm warmers and accessories that are made from felted and repurposed merino wool, angora, cashmere or lamb’s wool sweaters. She selects source materials for her fingerless gloves from used sweaters, which present endless possibilities in color, pattern and texture. Tinker and Po has been selling on Etsy since July of 2008.

“Every item I sell is meticulously handcrafted, is 100% repurposed, and 10% of every purchase is donated to autism research,” says Lisa about her work.

She uses Twitter effectively as a marketing tool. “I Twitter each new listing in my Etsy shop, any publicity or blog posting the shop receives, and engage in general ‘shop’ talk with other Etsy sellers on Twitter. I am also not hesitant to Twitter about an Etsy product that I enjoy, since in business, as in life, what goes around, comes around. I have definitely seen an upswing in my Etsy traffic since using Twitter.”

Valentine’s Day shipping deadlines: Domestic – February 10th; International - by arrangement, as normal shipping deadlines have already passed. Tinker and Po offers expedited and overnight shipping on all orders.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Heart Prints

Author Unknown

Whatever our hands touch -
We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture
On doorknobs, dishes, books.
There's no escape.
As we touch we leave our identity.

Wherever I go today
Help me leave heartprints!
Heartprints of compassion
Of understanding and love.

Heartprints of kindness
And genuine concern.
May my heart touch a lonely neighbor
Or a runaway daughter
Or an anxious mother
Or perhaps an aged grandfather.

Send me out today
To leave heartprints.
And if someone should say,
"I felt your touch,"
May they also sense the love
that is deep within my heart.

Friday Top 10 on the Handicrafter

Go check out the latest top 10 picks of the week

To have your shop considered for next Friday's list and help send more visitors to your shop please leave a comment on this week's list about any one or more of the items selected.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

CPSC Spells Out Enforcement Policy For New Lead Limits In Children’s Products Effective February 10

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Starting on February 10, 2009, consumer products intended for children 12 and under cannot have more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. This new safety requirement is a key component of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) aimed at further reducing children’s exposure to lead.

In an effort to provide clear and reasonable guidance to those impacted by this important law, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing its enforcement policy on the lead limits established by the CPSIA.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:

• Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling

o a children’s product to the extent that it is made of certain natural materials, such as wood, cotton, wool, or certain metals and alloys which the Commission has recognized rarely, if ever, contain lead;

o an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985; or o dyed or undyed textiles (not including leather, vinyl or PVC) and non-metallic thread and trim used in children’s apparel and other fabric products, such as baby blankets.

(The Commission generally will not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing items in these categories even if it turns out that such an item actually contains more than 600 ppm lead.)

Sellers will not be immune from prosecution if CPSC’s Office of Compliance finds that someone had actual knowledge that one of these children’s products contained more than 600 ppm lead or continued to make, import, distribute or sell such a product after being put on notice. Agency staff will seek recalls of violative children’s products or other corrective actions, where appropriate.

• Issue an interim final rule effective February 10, 2009, which establishes alternative lead limits for certain electronic devices, in order to prevent unnecessary removal of certain children’s products from store shelves.

• Accept a manufacturer’s determination that a lead-containing part on their product is inaccessible to a child and not subject to the new lead limits, if it is consistent with the Commission’s proposed guidance or is based on a reasonable reading of the inaccessibility requirement. Paint and other coatings or electroplating are not considered barriers that make a component inaccessible.

This enforcement policy will remain in effect until superseded by action of the Commission. CPSC still expects companies to meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children’s product that exceeds the new lead limits starting on February 10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children’s products that exceed the new lead limits.

As announced on January 30, 2009, the Commission approved a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers. Significant to makers of children’s products, the ‘stay’ provides limited relief from the testing and certification for total lead content limits, phthalates limits for certain products and mandatory toy standards. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will still need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements. Certification based on testing by an accredited laboratory is still required for painted children’s products and soon will be required for children’s metal jewelry, as well as certain other products for non-lead issues.



Office of Information and Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20207

February 6, 2009
Release #09-120

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vampire Girl's Valentine's Day

Ever wonder what a well heeled lady Vampire might wear for a comfy night in watching the vid tube? Here is a link you might be interested in ...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Is The Hour

This Is The Hour
The Hopi Nation Elders

This is not really a poem... but it's beautiful like
a poem and we wanted to give it a home. These words of wisdom were handed down to us by the Hopi Nation Elders of Oraibi, Arizona.

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.

Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart
and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves.

For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over.

Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Monday, February 2, 2009

CPSIA Requirements

CPSIA Requirements

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm / CPSIA / Trackback

The forum has been buzzing fast and furious in response to the CPSIA Requirements Alex wrote about in New Product Safety Regulations That Affect ALL Manufacturers. I am waiting to hear back from a few off site authorities who may help provide some insight. Below appears the list I’ve prepared for inquiries and you are welcome to post this entry in its entirety elsewhere on the web provided you link to the source. Obviously it cannot be comprehensive but it’s what I’ve come up with based on the 100 +/- comments posted to the two threads in the member’s forum. By all means add to it.

The overarching concerns are:

What are we required to do -and when? (sewn product producers)
What are we required to do -and when? (Retail)
Definitions and time lines
Enforcement and standardization
Infrastructure of testing facilities
Stifling innovation
What can we do (activism/comment)?
What are we required to do -and when? (sewn product producers):
Confusion reigns over whether assay of inputs or final products is required.
How about acquiring certifications from upstream suppliers? If one cannot be absolved of liability by accepting documentation from an upstream supplier, it’d be a huge expense and duplication of effort on the supply chain.

What are we required to do -and when? (Retail):

As the last stop in the process, what is their responsibility for collecting certification on goods they receive?

Are they absolved of liability if certifications are not genuine?

Is retail being forced to assume the responsibility of policing the whole process?

What if they get goods without documentation? Do they ship it back and risk incurring wrath from their suppliers over charge backs needed to cover the costs?

What if this happens to all or most of their goods and their shelves go empty while everyone scrambles to come into compliance?

Definitions and timelines -Among the myriad of complaints regarding the lack of comprehensive guidelines are these:

How is the date of manufacture determined? Is it considered to be manufactured when it comes off the sewing machine, when it goes into the shipping container, when it hits the dock in the US, or when one takes receipt of the goods?

Will items in the pipeline be permitted? If not, the losses could be devastating considering the time line of upstream sourcing of fabric and inputs.

Enforcement and standardization:

The certificate is not considered part of the entry documentation and therefore, not needed to be presented at entry. However, it does need to be included in the shipment meaning it must be present. This is beyond confusing.

What if enforcement agents don’t like the way the forms are done (lack of standardization) so the lot is impounded into a bonded warehouse? Is one permitted to pull samples out to get them re-tested? Currently, pulling goods out is not permitted.


Costs disproportionately impact small businesses and can put them out of business at a time when the economy is least able to absorb it. Solicited quotes for services range in price from $450-$982 per colorway of each style meaning a style with three colorways can cost $3,000 (I use the higher figure for reasons #6 and #7 below). For a small line with only ten styles, this can mean $30,000 -more than the total cost of production or inputs.

Worse (other than price increases to consumers) overhead is affected as testing must be done pre-market meaning one is spending money for compliance costs on styles that may be dropped. Yet you can’t pre-sell something if you don’t know it’ll pass. This should prove the need of assays of inputs (#1) over finished product testing but this remains unclear.

The logistics required are of greater complexity, straining those with less sophisticated sourcing management systems. One must collect input samples from international suppliers which must then be sent to labs for testing prior to purchasing. How much time will the logistics of testing add to the product development cycle (aka “speed to market”) considering the myriad of details to be collected?

Infrastructure of testing facilities:

Has anyone done an analysis of test lab capacity?

Are there enough to manage the new caseload?

How long will product development and scheduling be delayed?

Considering the dramatic increase in the demand for testing services, one can only imagine costs will dramatically increase until more labs get into the business.

Stifling innovation:

Due to logistics, lack of readily available compliance certifications from international suppliers, it is very likely producers will have yet another encumbrance, limiting the range of styles they develop. Style development will centralize to reflect only those goods which are readily procured and established to be within compliance.

What can we do (activism/comment)?

HELP! Tell us who to write or talk to and what to say and we’ll do it.

Related in the forum:The War Room: CPSIA & Consumer Safety. This is a very active section with nearly 60 different threads and over 1,000 postings. Open to the public.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Free Valentine's Day EBook

This is my very first Valentine's Day Give Away. Don't wait to grab your copy of this fabulous eBook full of fun ideas for this fun holiday.

This ebook contains 14 Fun Valentine's ideas for the whole family to enjoy. There are 7 special activities that will keep the kiddies busy and entertained. There are also 7 ideas for couples to enjoy after the wee ones have gone to bed.

Don't miss your chance to get a copy for your very own. Grab it today! Only a limited quatity are being given away and only until Valentine's Day!

Leave a comment on this post to reserve your copy.