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Author Archives: Wendy

Director of Product Launch at Daily Grommet.

  • Giving Dad an experience to remember

    My parents are like many, hard to buy for. They have what they need and they don't ask for much. I knew that the Cloud 9 Living gift would be perfect for my Dad -- and it turned out to be a big hit! He decided to drive an Indy race car as his event. I spoke to him on the phone after and he was quite impressed by their training and operation there at this FL track and he had a blast. He thought it was an amazing experience and was telling me he would want to do a plane ride. I love that he wants to do another one!



    Here is a note from my Dad:
    Continue Reading

  • The Search for Clean Cosmetics

    Beauty products are supposed to do great things for our skin, but the scary truth is that many of them expose us to harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through our skin.

    A new tell-all book by journalists Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt blows the lid off unhealthy cosmetics. But it’s not just gloom and doom. No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics shares insider secrets from scientists and dermatologists, plus it lists Siobhan and Alexandra’s choices for the best clean cosmetics, hair care, and skin care products (one of them is an upcoming Grommet, so stay tuned).

    No More Dirty Looks is a great resource. Siobhan and Alexandra are informative without being preachy. We had a chance to ask them a few questions of our own, and here’s what they had to say:

    This can be overwhelming for people — and upsetting, as well. You want to feel like the products you buy are safe, when the majority are not. What should people start with, to see the biggest difference? Body lotion?

    Don't we know it! We found it very upsetting to learn that the products we trusted were potentially unsafe, but that's also why we wrote an essentially upbeat book. We LOVE our products now, and we want to make the transition easy, beautifying and fun for other women. We think the book helps with the transition, because it's arranged by body part/product category. We say start slow, replace things as you run out of them, and keep in mind that things you use daily, and over a large surface area -- such as a shampoo, facial sunscreen, and body lotion – should be among the first to go.

    What do you say to people who try one of the products that you recommend and they don’t see a difference in their skin care?

    We've had pretty happy responses so far, we have to say! But as with anything, we think you need to find what works for you. I love pure organic argan oil from Kahina, and believe it has completely changed my skin. Some people don't want to put oils on their faces, but really love fancy creams from Tata Harper, or Evan Healy. The trick, as with anything, is managing expectations. We can't expect a bottle of anything to make us look 10 years younger, but we can expect more manageable, balanced, calm and hydrated skin, and that can make a huge difference in our appearance and in how we feel!

    We’re curious: Why are some of the top brands not included, like Perricone, La Mer & Arbonne?

    We were very strict when it came to ingredients and we only recommended products with really clean lists. We don't name names in the book, because the truth is most mainstream lines all use the same ingredients—variations on a theme.  We think you can get more bang for your buck using organic, clean lines instead.

    You can also visit their website nomoredirtylooks.com.

    If you would like to win a copy of No More Dirty Looks, simply leave a comment on this post. We will randomly select two winners.

    General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. or Canadian resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question on today’s post. No purchase necessary. The winner(s) will be randomly selected and will receive the title above. Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 8:00 am PST September 23, 2010 to 10 pm PST September 24, 2010.



  • If an event can be a Grommet, then RAGBRAI is a Grommet

    Wendy Chandor

    Why travel to Iowa to ride your bike from the West Coast to the East Coast of Iowa (between 50 - 80 miles a day)?  For the adventure! RAGBRAI was my adventure this year; a chance to experience something completely different, unplug (no access to work/email), and to challenge myself physically.

    RAGBRAI stands for The Register’s (Des Moines’s newspaper) Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.  It started 38 years ago when a Register reporter bet another reporter to ride his bike across Iowa and report on the local people he would come across; to tell their stories.  They wrote about their bet in the paper and invited others to come along.  To their surprise, many joined along and now today RAGBRAI has grown to over 10,000 riders.  The route changes each year passing through small towns that jump at the opportunity to be a part of RAGBRAI.  

    I realized that the people and the towns are what make RAGBRAI so special.  Everyone is so happy, friendly, and willing to connect.  We met a wonderful group of 8 (6 from CO and 2 from IA) who were fun to hang out with.  We all stayed at the same host house in Clear Lake, IA. This was our toughest biking day (extremely hot and turned out a longer distance than quoted on the map!) and so it was a treat to meet this gang of RAGBRAI alumni.  We shared stories, much laughter; this was like camp for adults.  Our host that night gave us a tour of the Surf Ball Room (this performance ball room is where Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens last performed before the fatal airplane crash) before we shared a wonderful dinner.  That night there were 15 people staying in this home and the host slept out on a couch in the garage!  Can you believe it?  Only in Iowa. . . .

    The bike route is 2 lane highways that have been shut down to automobile traffic by state troopers.  One of the troopers had a microphone and would entertain us when we met up at certain road intersections.  The people who ride on RAGBRAI tend to be mostly in-shape cyclists — with personality.  There was a Team Cow (dressed up as cows), Team Pink (wore pink boas and one gal had pink hair, Team Good Beer, and the Air Force Team (as you can imagine, they flew by us often).  Some of the riders have unique bikes:  all different types, bikes with only one speed, a bike that looks like a banana, a guy rode one of those old fashioned bikes with a large front tire — and one guy was standing on an elliptical bike.  We met people from all over the world — the furthest away point that I encountered was New Zealand.

    We biked past mostly corn fields that reminded me of oceans of corn, oh the beauty.  Soy beans, beautiful barns, horses cantering in fields, cows, pigs, homes with kids and families cheering us along.  Iowa is progressive with their wind energy turbines which are pretty humbling when you see one close up.  Occasionally, you will see a cluster of 20 of them and they are so peaceful --- sort of out there keeping an eye over the crops.

    You bike along on the highways and eventually we would start seeing signs for the upcoming towns (i.e., “smoothies and burritos 3 miles”).  We enjoyed reading the preview signs.  Once all the bikers hit the towns (and we are talking Mayberry here), all the cyclists would have to get off.  So we get off, walk around, take photos, eat, drink, dance, see the sights, talk to others.  This was the special part — and each town marked an accomplishment along the way.  These towns come to life with music, entertainment, food/drink vendors, portable potties, and more.  The churches made the best food.  They have done everything to make us comfortable and fuel us for getting back on the bike.  Cartersville, IA was one town my sister and I won’t forget.  Normally only 15 people live in Cartersville — but today there were thousands stopped to watch the local feature set up on a corner next to the largest grain elevators.  One of Cartersville’s farmers built a crane and attached a swing to it that you could grab onto and swing across, then jump into the lake.  We arrived at Cartersville at 10 am — and the line was 30 – 40 people deep to get a chance at the swing! Cartersville may only be home to 15 people, but now thousands hold a fond memory of a unique, fun swing with the backdrop of a local farm!

    My sister and I are proud of what we accomplished and will never forget so many moments from RAGBRAI.  Everyone looking for adventure should put RAGBRAI on their Bucket List.

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