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Boom Boom Cards: Cards that help you pay it forward.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a true cool things-focused Favorite Things Friday, so I figured I’d go back to my roots. For all my new readers — and there are a bunch of you these days — Favorite Things Friday is my opportunity to write about things I have seen and liked recently. Sometimes I profile Web sites. Sometimes I profile food. Sometimes I profile stuff. Enjoy!

Boom Boom! Cards: I got an e-mail about this and loved it. We’re a week away from Valentine’s Day so I had to include. The premise is simple: You get a pack of cards that ask the recipient to do a random act of kindness. The cards all have tracking numbers so the people who get them can post about their kindness online for everyone to see. Great concept. Love the whole random acts of kindness thing. And if you’re going to buy paper valentines anyway, why not buy some that make the world a better place. (Just remember to recycle them!)

Sliquid Organics: Whether you’re young or old, sometimes the nether regions need a little help. (Something a wise friend once told me — of course, she said it a lot differently!) However, the whole mucus membrane thing makes it very scary to me. It’s not a place you want to put chemicals or carcinogens. These personal lubricants are made from organic, all natural ingredients, and come in a 100% recyclable packaging. The labels are even printed on 75% recycled paper stock. Sliquid Organics Natural, a water-based lubricant would be my choice, because of the company’s claim that it will “never cause UTI’s or yeast infections.” Good to know.

Organic sheets. We spend 1/3 of our life in bed, and yet most of us have traditional cotton bedding. When a place like Target is selling 250-thread count king-size organic cotton sheet sets for $89.99, you know it’s time to make a move. Don’t understand why you’d want to buy organic cotton? There’s a great primer about it from the Organic Trade Association here. The most important reason: 25 percent of the world’s pesticides are used in cotton production. Like food, residue remains. Then we sweat and those residues are transferred to our bodies. Not convinced? California Pesticide Use Reporting data shows that traditional cotton growers use 2.13 pounds of chemicals per acre when growing cotton. Scary.

Organic lipstick. Here’s the thing: Study after study keeps finding lead in traditional lipsticks. In September the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — a pretty good source — came out with a study that found lead in all 20 of the lipsticks it tested. According the the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: “The FDA noted that three manufacturers had the highest levels of lead, but they did not name those brands. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report also found that a few brands had consistently higher lead levels, including L’Oreal, Maybelline and Cover Girl.” The scariest part: The FDA study found an average level of lead in lipsticks of 1.07 ppm – more than 10 times higher than its own standard for lead in candy. FDA’s standard for candy is based on the lowest lead level that can be achieved. A similar standard should be applied to lipstick. So my suggestion? Get out that candy red lipstick. Just make sure it’s organic. You can even buy organic lipstick at a place such as Sephora.

Soy-based candles. I love burning candles. Love it. But when I saw the multiple studies about the dangers associated with this fun escape, I had a pause. At the September National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) — again, a pretty solid source of information — scientists explained burning traditional paraffin candles “is an unrecognized source of exposure to indoor air pollution, including the known human carcinogens…In the study, R. Massoudi Ph.D., and Amid Hamidi said that that candles made from bee’s wax or soy, although more expensive, apparently are healthier. They do not release potentially harmful amounts of indoor air pollutants while retaining all of the warmth, ambiance and fragrance of paraffin candles (which are made from petroleum).” I can’t really suggest a specific candle, but if you Google “soy candles” or “bee’s wax candles” there are a ton of options.

I am writing this post today instead of next week so you can get ready for the most made-up holiday in the world — next to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, of course. There’s no reason that you can’t have a phenomenal, romantic heart day as long as you make it a healthy one. Have you ever considered the above tips? Have any more healthy romantic options? I’d love to hear about them!

3 Responses to “Favorite Things Friday: Love Edition”

  1. Sharon Waldrop says:

    Besides soy and bees wax, I love palm wax candles! Palm wax glows when it burns and is absolutely beautiful! By the way, that’s a great price on the organic sheets on sale at Target! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Jen Haupt says:

    I love your favorite things editions on Fridays, Karen. I always find something new and fun!

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