Mother of Pearls & an Emerald

Just another weblog

April Promotions March 31, 2008

Filed under: Products — motherofpearls @ 7:04 pm

Oh, how I love a good sale!!

Every month Watkins publishes a highlights catalog with various items on sale or seasonal items available for a short time. If you’d like to sign up to receive one of these catalogs each month filled with recipes, ideas and product info, please email me at Until then, you can see all the sale items listed here. Maybe there’s a product you’ve been curious about, now is a great time to try it!


Watkins new Brand Awareness ads March 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 6:56 am
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I LOVE THESE ADS! I just got an email from our Watkins corporate communications to share these new ads that will start running in May in several major magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Natural Health, Cooking Light, and Cooking with Paula Deen. For one, I love old photos, or really anything “vintage-looking” or “vintage inspired”, so these would definitely catch my attention.  They’re clean and simple and quirky. I love the fact that these photos are from Watkins own archives.  They are perfect for today’s consumer looking to bring more natural products into their homes. Little did J.R. Watkins know how “green” and relevant his philosophies would be 140 years later!


Book Review "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth" by Jonny Bowden March 28, 2008

Filed under: Books — motherofpearls @ 9:59 pm
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I am a HUGE bibliophile! I simply adore books and reading anything and everything, so you’ll be seeing alot of relevant book reviews here. You may have noticed the Amazon link in the sidebar for a recent favorite read of mine. I discovered this book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why when my firstborn Pearl and I took a trip to see my sister. She had this little gem on her coffee table and I read it cover to cover while I was there! She was sweet enough to gift me with my own copy at Christmas!

For starters, I liked its’ organization, format and readability. It is organized into the major food categories: vegetables, grains, beans and so on as well as more specialized subsets like herbs & spices, oils, and sweeteners.  Each of the 150 items is well summarized in a one or two page spread with some temptingly pretty images. Each food has several concise paragraphs with a bolded headline to give you a quick at a glance summary.  Interjected in between the various categories are some nice Top Ten summaries as outlined by other health professionals with lots of interesting content in there as well.

I learned a great deal from this book and found many concrete facts to dispel myths about foods that have long had a “bad rap” in the healthy food world. Take coconut, for example. Long maligned because it contains saturated fat, Bowden contends that coconut and coconut oil are superfoods and that they are some of the “most healthy, amazing things you can ingest.” He cites studies that follow Pacific Islanders whose diets are high in coconut oil and found that they were “surprisingly free from cardivascular disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.” WOW! And there’s hundreds more tidbits like that contained in the book.

 Bottom line, this book is a tremendous resource for guiding us in making healthier food choices in using fresh and unprocessed foods that are easily available to us and gives us the very compelling and easy to understand reasons why!


Eat Your Veggies – Butternut Squash Fries March 27, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — motherofpearls @ 8:44 pm

“Your health is important. Eat your vegetables!” as quoted from a fortune cookie I opened recently. I had to chuckle at the irony after eating anything but healthy at that meal.  We all know that vegetables are essential for our good health, longevity, and weight control.  But knowing it and actually getting our 5-9 servings a day (of both fruits & veggies) are often quite different. Especially on Weight Watchers, it is crucial to develop a love of veggies since most are 0 points!  I heard about the website from a fellow member and, there, I was inspired to try her recipe for Butternut Squash Fries! I had made Sweet Potato fries before and enjoyed them as an alternative to the real deal. At one point per serving (winter and summer squash are some of the exceptions to 0 points), they truly are delicious!  You can season them with virtually anything you have on hand, depending on your tastes. Hungry Girl’s recipe goes for the minimalist approach simply sprinkled with kosher salt which is simple & wonderful. I also love spicing them up a bit with seasoned salt, cumin, chili powder or crushed red pepper for a kick.

Butternut Squash Fries

1 good sized butternut squash

Seasonings of your choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and de-seed your squash. Cut into french fry strips. I found I prefer thicker cut fries, rather than shoestring ones. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  You can give them a spray too. Sprinkle with seasonings. Roast until they start to brown a bit & are tender when fork-pierced, about 40-50 minutes. Dip in some sweet, organic ketchup-YUM! Thanks Hungry Girl for a satisfying veggie recipe!

As an aside, I’ve been coveting some kind of french fry cutter now, since I make these so often now. These squash can be fairly tough to cut into & my strips always look pretty hacked up. My beloved Grandpa would not be proud of that, he was super precise in anything he did, especially carving food! I did find these little gems to consider, like this well-reviewed, reasonable Progressive International Vegetable/French Fry Cutter or this attachment Cuisinart 6-by-6mm Fruit, Vegetable and French Fry Disc, fits 14-Cup Processor for my Cuisinart, “makes uniform strips every time”. Hmmm….


Watkins Natural Personal Care line is Here! March 24, 2008

Filed under: Products — motherofpearls @ 9:48 pm

You may have seen in recent news, a study that shows a strong correlation between the use of baby bath care products with higher exposure levels of potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates are widely used in cosmetic products to stabilize fragrances. Animal studies have linked some, but not all, phthalates to reproductive development and endocrine problems.  Even more troubling, is that rarely are they listed as ingredients on cosmetic labels, because the FDA does not require the listing of the individual components of fragrances.  If you’d like to read more about the study, here is a link to the full Reuters story.  There’s also a terrific site, Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, that contains information on common cosmetic and bath products and their ranking as to potentially harmful ingredients.

Now those that know me, know that I’m definitely not an alarmist, nor do I jump on every new bandwagon that comes along.  But for me, this one felt compelling enough to keep in mind, and in our quest for a “less processed” lifestyle, it made sense.  And I fully admit, I slathered on that Baby Magic Wash on both the Pearls, because I loved that baby fresh scent! I know, but babies smell delicious already!

This  then led me to several health food stores in search of more natural baby care products. Most that I found were either lavender-scented, of which I am not a fan, or various unappealing, unscented versions. Finally, my quest ended at Watkins products!

From Watkins, Inc. “we are pleased to announce the latest addition to Watkins family of products – J.R. Watkins Natural Personal Care. We continue our commitment to you, your family and the environment by continually remaining on the forefront of product development and innovation. We are pleased to be one of the first companies to offer a complete line of natural personal care with formulas that are at least 95% natural, with many 99% natural or higher. We truly are at the forefront of this product category!

By using renewable, plentiful ingredients from mother earth, we are able to provide you with a luxurious line of natural personal care products that are free of harmful chemicals that may pose risk to human health.

When J.R. Watkins mixed his first ‘natural remedies’ batch in 1868, he probably had no idea his “green” philosophy would be more relevant today than ever. This new line represents more than 140 years of innovative, natural product development – J.R. would be so proud!”

Watkins makes the following Brand Commitments for the Natural care line:
95% Natural and Above
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free
Paraben Free
Phthalate Free
Mineral Oil, Petrolatum Free
Dye Free
Propylene Glycol Free

You can choose from either Aloe & Green Tea, Lemon, Mango, or Lavender scent for the first four products. The foot care is scented with Peppermint oil & the kit contains a mixture of all four scents. See more detailed product info at

Natural Hand & Body Lotions
Created with your skin’s health in mind! Our natural formula contains more than 10 natural oils and extracts to protect and pamper even the most sensitive skin.

Natural Body Creams
Natural shea and cocoa butters are whipped together with more than 10 natural oils and extracts to protect, soothe and condition your delicate skin. This is a healthy treat your skin will never forget!

Natural Hand & Cuticle Salves
Formulated around a premium beeswax base, these salves incorporate natural oils that moisturize, nourish and revitalize hard-working hands.

Natural Body Oils
J.R. Watkins Natural Body Oils are a rich blend of luxurious natural oils regarded for their nourishing qualities.

Natural Foot Care
Formulated with pure peppermint oil, our natural foot care will provide a burst of aromatic peppermint while tingling and reviving dry, tired and aching feet.

Head to Toe Kit
We packaged our favorite natural personal care in our signature J.R. Watkins pouch so you can pamper yourself from head to toe, naturally! A great assortment with a new low price!

Thanks for stopping by! eBay Coupon Code for this weeks’ Huge Toy Lot is Watkins Liniment!


Watkins Trivia Time – The "Trial Mark Bottle"

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 12:43 pm

My Dad is a huge trivia buff! He knows more random facts than anyone I know. So here’s a new one I learned recently.

In 1869, Watkins founder, J.R. Watkins, created the “Trial Mark Bottle”. The design on the back of the bottle featured a line molded into the glass, nearly a third of the way down. The customer was encouraged to use the product risk-free down to the line. If the customer was not satisfied with the product’s performance, J.R. would refund his or her money with no questions asked. This represented the world’s first money-back guarantee and we still honor it today with every product in our line.

 “If a Watkins product used in your home is, for any reason, considered not to be satisfactory, please return it for full refund of purchase price.”

It’s great to be part of an organization that has such a rich history for offering top quality customer service and products and helping customers to naturally care for their home and family.


Spicy Sour Cream Chicken Recipe – 6 WW Points March 21, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — motherofpearls @ 12:40 pm

Hands down, one of my most favorite “tried & true” Weight Watchers recipes! You can easily double it for a crowd and it’s become a good family get-together meal.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 packet of McCormick’s Cheesy Taco Mix

1 or 2 -14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (depending on how saucy you like things!)

¼ cup light sour cream

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in bottom. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Top with tomatoes. Cook on low 6 hours. When ready to serve, remove chicken from pot and slice. Ladle out tomatoes & pour over chicken. With remaining sauce in pan, thicken if necessary, by whisking 2 Tbl of corn starch in a bit of water into the sauce.  Whisk in ¼ cup of light sour cream. Pour sauce over chicken. Delicious served in tortillas or over rice/beans. I’ve found various tasty, high fiber tortillas that are only 1 WW point. Check your labels for the best choice!