Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’


Jelt Belt

The Jelt is a comfortable elastic belt with a low profile buckle & internal gel that helps keep your jeans from saggin’.

Jelt is an elastic stretch belt made from recycled plastic bottles. It is available in three styles (Jelt original, Jelt X, and Jelt Venture) There is a Jelt belt for men, women, and kids in several colors.

A made in Montana, USA brand. 100% Cruelty-free, 100% vegan

This had a secure fit around my waist without feeling heavy and looking bulky. The stretch of the belt combined with the grippy Jelt name on the underside of the belt keeps it securely in place. The no show buckle lays flat which allows a shirt to drape with a smooth look. It wears comfortably with a little stretch. A great belt for the entire family. (problem solver for kiddos with a small waist)

Jen Perry, founder of Jelt, provided a Jelt belt to facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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What's the Difference Between Grace and Karma?

I sat at a table of friends as one relayed her experience with road rage. She told how she absent-mindedly merged into traffic and almost hit an oncoming car. The driver of said car then lashed out with a tirade of abuse and obscenity. Once the traffic cleared the car sped past her, still yelling abuse.

Funnily enough, a few minutes later my friend noticed the abusive driver pulled over by highway patrol.

Someone at the table piped up and said a word I hate to hear, “Karma,” – the insidious, normalised, celebrity-endorsed worldview that what you put out comes back to you.

You don’t have to go far to hear people refer to karma – on reality television, the radio, in conversation. Regardless of its Buddhist and Hindu origins, karma has seeped into our Judaeo-Christian society. Like its cool. A new standard.

In reality is is neither.

Karma is not Biblical nor is it life according to the New Testament. God’s kingdom operates by grace.

And grace is very different to karma.

What’s so amazing about karma? 

Karma refers to intentional actions that impact one’s future. It is a key concept in many world religions, including Sikhism and Taoism. Our western understanding of karma is the doctrine of inevitable consequence, where whatever you do is returned to you.

And there is nothing amazing about it.

Karma teaches you get what you deserve. Worse still, it teaches you get what your past deserves, even if it isn’t your past.

In modern society people rejoice when the wicked get what they deserve in the form of financial hardship, health issues or relationship struggles.

While many people – including those who have no other association with Eastern religion – live by karma, there is a higher way.

Looking for Grace

The Bible does not teach karma. It teaches grace. Grace is where you get what you don’t deserve.

Grace is unmerited favour. It is love and mercy bestowed upon us by God because He desires us to have it. As you can see, very different to karma. More like polar opposites.

It was grace, not karma, that rescued the Baby Moses from death. It was grace that allowed Queen Esther to plead for the survival of her people. Grace helped Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Grace appeared face to face with Saul on the Damascus road.

Grace reached out to you and me while we were sinners deserving death and took our place.

Grace. Amazing grace.

And it disappoints me that we have forgotten. It disappoints me we are more inclined to look for karma than we are to look for grace.

In the book, Bono: iIn Conversation with Mishka Assayas, Bono commented, “I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge… I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross…”

If the world knew the magnificence of God’s grace they would be holding out for it as well. Because I’ve got a feeling society doesn’t need more karma but a whole lot more grace.

If there was more grace there would be less road rage.

If there was more grace there would be less divorce.

If there was more grace families would talk to each other.

If there were more grace there would be less racism.

If there were more grace there would be less violence.

If there were more grace there would be more kindness.

More love.

Getting what you deserve is horrible because if we’re honest, we all deserve a rotten life. Getting what you don’t deserve is some kind of wonderful. And it is all around us. If we opened our eyes we would see grace working on the planet each and every day.

It was grace that got my sister-in-law an upgrade to business class on her trip from London to Australia. It was grace that caused a stranger to give my children free tickets to the zoo. It was grace that delivered groceries to single moms on Christmas Eve. Grace was the parking space at the Mall. Grace was the out of the blue phone call from a friend. Grace was the smile of a child. Grace was the not so random act of kindness you received.

Grace. Pure grace.

Getting what you don’t deserve. A gift from God.

Let’s look for the incorruptible, glorious gifts of God’s grace working through and around us in everyday life. No one deserves the consequences of karma. We all need amazing grace.

Sarah Coleman


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May Designs

Design your own Eco friendly book. 

Sewn Binding

All MAY BOOKS are bound together by the all-famous, old school sewing machine.

Not only is the thread fabulous for the environment, but the book becomes utterly indestructible. No pages ripping out, covers falling off… Believe us, we have tested notebooks.

Great binding keeps you out of bad stitch(uations).

Canvas Covers

Our Green-e Certified Canvas Covers are resilient, durable
and water-resistant.

After a few days of use, the canvas becomes worn-in like the perfect pair of jeans.

Pick a style (monthly agenda, weekly agenda, address book, budget journal, meal planner, calorie/exercise journal, kids coloring book, or a diary)

Step One.

Choose your pattern.

Step Two.

Customize it. Add a monogram or add a name

Step Three.

Choose your Inside Pages. Agendas, Dots, or maybe Lines

Step Four.

Preview & Checkout. Voila – you are finished!


This is my NEW 2015 Agenda May Book. I decided (after many revisions) for a colorful cover and an ‘N’ to represent Notes. I use my old one (2014 Agenda) almost every day and it still looks fantastic. (durable stitch binding)

Notes From Dawn received a May Book from May Designs in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Drifter USA

All Drifter Products Made With Pride in the USA.

Established in 1977, Drifter Sport and Travel Bags, Inc. began as a parachute rigging business. Our main customers, skydivers, demanded that their parachutes be made of the highest quality material available. Their lives depended on the quality of our products.

Later, the idea to create bags using these materials came to mind. “Who wouldn’t want a bag that is sturdy and durable, but light enough to carry?” And with that, production began and Drifter bloomed. For the last 35 years, Drifter has continually grown and adapted to the changes, as everyone has. But one thing that has not changed, is the desire to create the perfect bags for people everywhere, the kind of product that can prove itself to be sturdy, durable, and lightweight.

Expertly crafted in the Buckeye state, Drifter bags are made with outstanding quality. Styles are pretty amazing, too. There’s a Drifter bag for you whatever your occasion.

I LOVE IT The Drifter Daypack is the best back pack I’ve ever used. (tested from coast to coast – Malibu to Myrtle Beach) Just as claimed, this pack proved to be durable and lightweight. I love the simplistic look. With 2 pockets, it offers uncomplicated handiness for my stuff. Comfortable padded straps fit snug without binding. Hope you’re good at making decisions since it’s available in 24 colors. 


The Drifter Daypack is my “hands-free” favorite. 

Notes From Dawn received a Daypack from Drifter™ in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Get Ready for the Great American Backyard Campout

NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future

The 2014 Great American Backyard Campout will take place on Saturday, June 28!

Great American Backyard Campout® is a part of National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to help inspire Americans to protect wildlife, including a three-year campaign to get 10 million kids to spend regular outdoor time in nature.

This year, we’ve set a goal of getting more than 200,000 people across the country to camp out. AND, just in time for the 10th anniversary of the Great American Backyard Campout, National Wildlife Federation’s Board of Directors and other friends have offered to donate $2 in support of NWF’s wildlife conservation work for every person that participates in this year’s Campout— up to $400,000!

Pledge to participate in this year’s Great American Backyard Campout and help make an important difference for America’s wildlife!

Scanned pics of a camp-out from June 19th ’99



And another camp-out a few years later. (same tent, same kids)



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Changing The Way You Pack


Each pack contains 10 bands, 5 small and 5 large.  The small band is 9″ in circumference and the large band is 10.5″.  rollnband is constructed of 3/4″ non-roll woven elastic, which helps prevent the band from twisting in on itself.  The silicon label is color coded to help in separating clean from dirty clothes upon returning from your travels.

Do you have any summer vacation plans?  I don’t yet but when I go on my next adventure, I intend to pack with rollnbands™. That being said, this review was done by family-member-airline pilot; a perfect reviewer for travel bands if there ever was one.

rollnband™ proved to be a helpful packing aid. The two sizes provide the amount of stretchability needed. Simple to use.

Roll it Band it Pack it




Dirty clothes were re-rolled with the rollnband™ but were placed in a laundry bag so the color-coded label wasn’t utilized. (yellow side, clean; gray side, dirty) I think the two-sided label could be used for identifying something else. Maybe like marking outfits for a specific day? (yellow for day 1; gray for day 2) But what about days 3, 4, and so on? Oh well.

Overall, they are a terrific made in the USA product. I would like them better without the labels and I would suggest a 12″ size.

Notes From Dawn received a package of travel bands from rollnband™ in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.


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Steve Baker, inventor of the DUS-T, created ICHANGE inc. in 2005.  The goal of the company was to enlighten the public to the causes of respiratory damage and skin disorders caused by everyday exposure to the environment.  Steve and his associates have been working diligently to ensure a safe work place, as well as creating a reliable solution to the wasteful disposal masks that have flooded the market. “Green thinking” is the way to a cleaner planet and a healthier environment!

I think you’ll agree that the DUS-T is a great protective garment for you and an Earth kind alternative to disposable dust masks. 

The DUS-T Undershirt – This should accompany the “honey-do” list. It’s perfect for all sorts of jobs. What do you get with the DUS-T? A comfortable shirt that has an attached face mask. The mask part rolls into the collar so the shirt looks like a regular shirt but the mask is there when needed. The mask covers the neck, mouth, and nose; there are ear straps to secure it in place. The DUS-T is made from 100% cotton and washable so it can be worn again the next day. It replaces disposable dust masks and is much more comfortable to wear. It’s made in the USA; available in several styles, colors, and sizes.   



dus-t order


Notes From Dawn received a protective undershirt from DUS-T in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.


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Recycled style! Torrain bags are made from materials that were originally used to transport fish feed and cement in Southeast Asia. The Torrain bag styles are designed in Portland, Oregon but are made in Cambodia by artisans who benefit from this employment. Get the whole Torrain history on the website.

Style: Tote – colorful, durable, lightweight, and water resistant. Colors and prints vary. This tangerine tote is 15.5 x 20″. It has interior pockets and a zip pocket. The outside of the bag is the original bag material (woven plastic) but the inside of the bag is lined with a cotton/nylon blend.




It’s not trash when it can be turned into something else useful. Different bag styles for many stylish uses. The beach, pool, gym, spa. For shopping or picnicking. A cool bag for your summer adventures! How would you use yours?


Recycle with TORRAIN. 

Join us in developing our next line of products!  

If you have a farm, big or small, we need your used plastic feed bags! 
Not only will you see them transformed into new, stylish products but you will be saving our land and seas from being stockpiled with more plastic… that never goes away!
Defend Your Turf and ship your used plastic feed bags to:
TORRAIN Recycled Bags
265 N Hancock St
ste 103
Portland, OR 97227

Notes From Dawn received a tote bag from TORRAIN in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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How do the sides of your roads look this Spring? Mine are littered with trash. It’s a very sad reminder of how we treat our planet. And plastic bags constitute a large percentage of this roadside waste. I’m proposing a personal ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. Easy enough with a planet e bag, available in various designs to suit your style!

The Collapsible Shopping Bag. Or should I say BOX. This reusable is easy to store in the car and opens into a big useful cube (13 x 11 x 10). The reinforced bottom holds 30 lbs. It’s perfect for keeping groceries from spilling over or sliding around. I’ve also used it for miscellaneous things -like books- in addition to groceries. 

The planet e Basket. It’s made for the grocery store! Or how about a picnic?! This is my favorite replacement to plastic bags. Good for light shopping. Just set it in the cart and fill it up. From store to home, it’s easy ECO.



Eco-friendly. Re-usable. Durable. Easy to use.

Notes From Dawn received the collapsible shopping bag and the basket from planet e in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Xob Website

Icebox Knitting, maker of Dohm and Xob, is the picture of sustainability.
Made in Longmont, Colorado, USA, we have made Dohm wool hats on antique hand powered knitting machines since 1994. Our hats and accessories are made from world class yarns produced under the strictest environmental standards.
To further our commitment to the environment, we created Xob (say zob) an upcycled collection in 2006 . Pieces and parts of recycled wool blend sweaters and suit jackets are used to create fun and fresh designs you can wear.
We send production remnants to be used in another life cycle. Wool scraps are re-purposed into wool wiping cloths and trimming from fleece are used a filling for dog beds in an animal shelter. Sourcing previously loved sweaters, purchasing mill-end fabrics, and sending production remnants to be used in another life cycle, Icebox Knitting has diverted over sixty thousand pounds of waste from landfills.

How cool -& green- is Icebox Knitting! 

This Xob review is of the Soft Visor Hat and the Pocket Scarf. (check out their website for many more styles) The upcycled materials used for Xob hats and accessories are sorted in four different color families; black/grey, blue/green, brown/tan, or brights.  When you select an Xob style and color group, your new upcycled item will be an original.

It will be unconventional. Green. And made in the USA.

Both the soft visor and the pocket scarf (blue/green) are made of 100% upcycled wool/wool blend sweaters. (Be advised if you are wool sensitive)  I find them a little itchy but I like the warmth. I always have cold hands, so the scarf is perfect for slipping my hands into. Hint to Xob – I’d love to have a scarf style available in a lightweight summer fabric!!

Good For the Planet – Hats and Accessories – Made in the USA

Notes From Dawn received the Xob soft visor and pocket scarf from Icebox Knitting in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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