Archive for November, 2011

i am thankful

November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many reasons to be thankful. Here are just a few off the top of head…

• A supportive partner

• A loving family

• Great friends

• A cozy home

• My local farmers

• Healing plants

• Good books

• My craft & business

• The giving planet we are all a part of

• And you!

What are you thankful for?

Cheers, to a Happy Thanksgiving!

make a big impact on the no impact project

November 18, 2011

You may have seen the No Impact Man documentary, or maybe you’ve been on the blog. But did you know there was a No Impact Project that organizes environmental programs at colleges, in communities, and with educators? I have to say, it doesn’t sound like this movement lacks an impact. You can help support the project while enjoying an intimate gathering of eco-minded folks over a delicious meal (and open bar!) at the first annual No Impact Project Holiday Fundraiser. Full details and link to get tickets below.

No Impact Project Holiday Fundraising Party

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
6:30pm until 8:30pm

Aroma Kitchen and Wine Bar
36 East 4th St. NYC

The environmental non-profit the No Impact Project, founded by author and activist Colin Beavan (No Impact Man) is excited to invite you to our first holiday fundraising party for our friends and supporters.

The event will be a cozy occasion at Aroma Kitchen and Wine Bar (voted Top 10 Bars in New York, New York’s Sexiest Wine List and Citysearch’s 2007 Most Romantic Bar & 2006 Best Group Dining.) We will have yummy, vegetarian food, an open bar, a fun video and more.

Tickets are $200 a person. 50% of the ticket price goes directly to the programs of the No Impact Project and is tax-deductible. To find out more about the programs and accomplishments of the No Impact Project please visit


Purchase Tickets here:

*Please note, you may also purchase tickets by sending a $200 check directly to our fiscal sponsors. Please make it out to Sustainable Markets Foundation, with “No Impact Project Holiday Party” in the memo line.

Checks should be sent to:
Sustainable Markets Foundation
Att: Jay R. Halfon
45 W 36th St, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you there!

the holiday avalanche is coming!

November 17, 2011

Whoa, mama. I’ve got a busy month ahead of me. Starting this week actually. This is my first holiday season with Raganella’s Botanical Solutions and I’m doing the local craft fair circuit. So please forgive me if I have a hard time keeping up with you, my dear friends. My weekends will be dedicated to fairs (plus a workshop), but I hope to squeeze in time for holiday fun time somehow. Here’s the schedge:

Saturday, November 19
10am to 5pm
Park Slope Holiday Craft Fair
(to benefit Park Slope Collegiate students)
@ John Jay
237 7th Ave, Brooklyn
(btwn 4th & 5th Sts)


Sunday, November 27
2pm to 4pm
Create Your Own Body Care (workshop)
Homemade goods make the best gifts
Third Root Community Health Center
380 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn
$15 materials fee, $5 to $15 sliding scale instructor’s fee
email or call to RSVP: 718.940.9343,

Saturday, December 3
10:30am to 5pm
Brooklyn Friends School Holiday Craft Fair 
375 Pearl St, Brooklyn
(I’ll be sharing a table with Annie from Brooklyn Owl)


Sunday, December 4
12pm to 5pm
Vegan Holiday Shop-up!
@ Pine Box Rock Shop
Bushwick, Brooklyn
(off the Morgan Ave L)


Saturday, December 10
10am to 5pm
Stuff You Should Buy
The new Holiday Shop at PS321
180 7th Ave, Brooklyn
(btwn 1st & 2nd Sts)


Saturday, December 17
10am to 5pm
Crafted at the Canal
Build It Green! NYC
69 9th St, Brooklyn
(F,G,R to 4th Ave/9th St)


That should do it.

Hope to see you at one (or more) of these fine events!

PS. If you can’t make it to any of these fairs, you can find Raganella’s Botanical Solutions online at Etsy or locally at Shambhala Yoga & Dance CenterSun In Bloom Kitchen, or Sustainable NYC.

park slope holiday fair this saturday!

November 16, 2011

I don’t know where my head is… I forgot to tell you all about this Saturday’s craft fair at the John Jay Building in Park Slope. I’ll be there selling my body care goods and some herbal delectables (like teas & extracts). The folks running this thing are old school and don’t have a website (or any online presence, for that matter), so I’m going to give you all of the details.

Park Slope Holiday Craft Fairs*
(to benefit Park Slope Collegiate students)
@ John Jay
237 7th Ave, Brooklyn
(btwn 4th & 5th Sts)

Saturday, November 19
10 am – 5 pm

Support local artisans and get a head start on holiday shopping. Come try out my body scrubs (coffee, yum!), creams, and more. I’ll have some teas to taste as well. And my table partner in an upcoming fair will also be there with her adorable felt hair clips, Annie from Brooklyn Owl.

Hope to see you there!

babies smell delish & my one holiday wish

November 16, 2011

I just made myself sick. Not intentionally, but it had to be done. I’ve had this collection of body care products sitting for several years under my bathroom sink, just collecting dust. Some of these things have been sitting there for at least 6 years (some over 8!). Most of them contain a whole slew of gross chemical ingredients, and in particular the one I can’t stomach the most – fragrance (parfum). Some of them were so-called “organic” products that  just didn’t work well (like deodorant).

I’ve been making my own body care goods for a few years now. The only thing I still buy is shampoo because I haven’t made the time to go no ‘poo yet (and when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know). So why didn’t I toss the nasty stuff sooner? Because I know there is no good way to dispose of products that contain unhealthy, polluting ingredients. So today was the day to just say F it. I’m going to get rid of you once and for all, jerk products! I grabbed a plastic bag (another yucky conveyance of the modern world) and in glopped the old shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.

pretty, isn't it?

In this mess of conventional body care products was baby shampoo. I don’t have a baby, so let me ‘splain. A few years ago, my ophthalmologist told me to use it to clean out my eyes (they were a little gunky, I guess). I never got into that habit, so there sat this giant bottle of generic baby shampoo in the cabinet. I took a peek at the ingredients of this yellow tinged goo and was not at all surprised, yet still appalled, that the product included Parfum (Fragrance). As I’ve mentioned many times before, this one ingredient is probably my least favorite, and unfortunately it’s in just about everything. Fragrance is one of the dirtiest of dirty cosmetic ingredients around. So what I want to know is, why is there fragrance in a product made for babies? Aren’t babies supposed to smell naturally delicious? Why on earth would we want to cover up that inborn sweetness, all the while exposing tiny developing humans to unknown chemicals?

Here’s where we get to my one holiday wish. The only gift I really want is for everyone to stop using products containing fragrance. It’s really not so hard to do once you know where to look. Turn around your shampoo bottle, your lotion, your deodorant, your laundry detergent, your fabric softener (oh please, don’t use fabric softener!). Look down that long list of ingredients to the one that reads “Fragrance” or “Parfum.” Now toss it. You’ll only be doing this once because from now on you are going to use products that do not include the word “Fragrance” in the label. Take note: products labeled “fragrance free” or “unscented,” can still contain masking fragrances loaded with trade secret protected chemicals.

If you like products with a scent, only buy goods that contain pure essential oils. The brands I trust are John Masters Organics, Suki, Dr. Bronner’s, and Dr. Hauschka. Local Brooklyn brands that I like include Meow Meow Tweet and Sprout. And of course, my own products, Raganella’s Botanical Solutions! (And if you’re into perfume, check out Herbal Alchemy). I’m sure there are other good companies making products without synthetic ingredients, I hope you’ll report back to me with your favorites.

For more info about Fragrance, check out this article from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

no icky stuff in here!

register now: diy body care for the holidays

November 3, 2011

Looking to give something different this holiday season, something homemade perhaps? I just happen to be leading this workshop at the end of the month…


Instead of shopping for presents –

Pamper your loved ones with homemade gifts!

Sunday, November 27
2:00 to 4:00pm

Create your own body care.

From luxurious lotions to polishing cleansers, come learn how simple it can be to nourish your skin, naturally. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn the simple art of mixing up your very own customized goods that enhance your natural beauty and also make great gifts.

Everyone takes home 3 products:

all-over body cream, facial cleanser, body scrub.

Materials fee: $15
Sliding scale instruction fee: $5 – $15

RSVP in person, by phone at 718-940-9343, or by email at

Third Root Community Health Center
380 Marlborough Road
Brooklyn, NY 11226