Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap: Review and Giveaway

Sounds funny I know. Dried fruit nuts in a cotton sack to clean your clothes and diapers? Truth is not everybody would jump on this bandwagon when they see it BUT I'm just the person for it. Of all the things I try and do to be green and save the planet this had my name all over it! Here is what sounded so good to me about these little things:
  • They are mild enough for clothes and cloth diapers
  • Eco Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. (Our family is very sensitive!)
  • Eco Nuts are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides.(Now days this is hard to find even for food!)
For more great reasons read here!

Sound amazing right? Now all we need is for it to actually work right! Guess what, they work just as amazing as they sounded! I love them! I used them with kids clothes, husbands work clothes, my clothes, towels, sheets and cloth diapers! Everything came out so fresh and clean. I couldnt understand how these work so well when there isnt any bubbles or sents! Then I went back to the website and read the first paragraph on the link I gave above.

"Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are a berry that grows in the Himalayas that naturally produces a soap. The soap is called saponin, a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away."In other words they lift the dirt right out of your fabric and leave it in the water to be washed away. No foam is good meaning there is no foaming agent to make you "think" its working hard it just is naturally!

Ive tried alot of detergents including most at stores from Tide, All, Purex, Brand names all the way to homemade! They all failed in one way or another. Either smell, price, chemicals, additives bothering our skin, or with the "green" factor. I wanted something so pure and natural for our laundry and mostly our skin that is green and easy to use. Of course I didnt want to pay an arm and leg either.

Thats the great thing about these. You just stick 4-5 nuts in the bag they provide and toss it in. These things last for about 10 loads or until they start to disintegrate. Then you can throw them into your compost or add new to them! How perfect is that? I'm so in love with these things. I bet you want to try some now too! Here is your chance to win a trial size box good for 10 loads!

You have until Sunday July 15th, 12:01am to enter. A winner will be picked and posted on this blog post and emailed! Winner must contact me within 48 hours or a new winner will be choosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DivaCup Review and GIVEAWAY

This is going to be an honest review of the DivaCup in all of it's glory! It may be TMI but it comes with the territory and is necessary to decide whether you will want to try it! My hunch is you will ;) Lets start with the basics about it:
It is a latex, BPA and plastic free silicon cup worn internally to collect menstrual flow. It can be worn up to 12 hours without worry of TSS better known as toxic shock syndrome. 2 great things right there. No worry of latex allergies harmful chemicals and no TSS!!! Oh and no dyes, colors or additives! And it gets better. There are only 2 sizes to choose from and it is so simple.

Model 1: For women under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.
Model 2: For women over 30 years old and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by cesarean section. How easy is that???

Now for my personal experience:
I have the model 2 even though I'm under 30 because I have delivered 3 babies. It is suggested to trim the stem to avoid discomfort but I decided not to and decide if I needed to after the fact. I ended up keeping it the original length as it never bothered me. One of my favorite features being that for me I experienced only 1 leak in the 3 cycles I have used it. It wasn't even until my second cycle and most likely due to my kids yelling for me so I was rushing and apparently didn't get it in just right with a good seal. Nothing I couldn't go in and fix right away since I could feel it was off a bit. I was very afraid to leave the house the first few days as I have a very heavy flow. I never had a leak even at night!!!! It was amazing there in that fact. Also on light days it is nice to just put it in and be able to forget it for awhile without any fear. My days are full with 3 little ones so one less thing is great! I will say there are tons of ways to "fold" it so if at first you don't succeed try again. I lucked out and had no issue with the "U" style fold. When you are ready to empty just pull it out and wash with hot water and mild soap or the diva wash. There are a list of things NOT to use here along with answers to every possible question you may have.

I also want to mention I have a tilted uterus and that is what caused me to hold off on trying the DivaCup for so long since I had heard it doesn't work well with that issue. Like I said above I have had no issues with leaks or discomfort at all. Another thing I love is how easy it is to pack the small bag it comes with in my purse or bag. We are on the road a lot so it is great to not have to pack a box of tampons and just the simple bag that fits anywhere.

I was not paid for this review or endorsement.

If you would like to buy the DivaCup you can "Buy Now" or look for a retailer near you with the "Store Finder".

Even better enter for your chance to WIN one!!!! This is my first giveaway and I can't think of a better product. Here are the rules:
The giveaway opens on 5/03 and ends at midnight on 6/03. The winner will be announced in this blog post. The winner will have 48hrs to claim their prize and must contact me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 23, 2012

My MUST SEE Documentaries

How perfect to post this just after Earth Day! You all have green brain and are open to new ideas to make healthy green choices. I wanted to share differnt documentaries that I love and that helped educate me. These taught me so much and when you want to change things in your life it is easiest when you understand it fully! These give you basic information to implement a new lifestyle. Blah's late and I'm tired so not the best time to try and do this but I wanted it done so what do you do? Hope it isn't to scattered for you.

  • My first is going to be the first I ever watched and it was in High School *GULP* 8 years ago. You can watch it free on hulu:
Super Size Me 2004

As described on
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock puts his health on the line in this examination of the food industry.

  • Next is one that wont be easy for everyone to watch BUT has some great information in it that you cant contiue living without! You can watch it on
Food Inc. 2009
As described on
Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner uses reports by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser and The Omnivore's Dilemma author Michael Pollan as a springboard to exploring where the food we purchase at the grocery store really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations. By exposing the comfortable relationships between business and government, Kenner gradually shines light on the dark underbelly of the American food industry. The USDA and FDA are supposed to protect the public, so why is it that both government regulatory agencies have been complicit in allowing corporations to put profit ahead of consumer health, the American farmer, worker safety, and even the environment? As chicken breasts get bigger and tomatoes are genetically engineered not to go bad, 73,000 Americans fall ill from powerful new strains of E. coli every year, obesity levels are skyrocketing, and adult diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps if the general public knew how corporations use exploited laws and subsidies to create powerful monopolies, the outrage would be enough to make us think more carefully about the food we put into our bodies. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

  • Now a favorite of mine that is more on the relation of eating animal products and your health. I LOVED this one!!! It too is free on hulu:
Forks Over Knives 2011
As described on
Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

To go along with this subject is an awesome book a great friend let me borrow called "Disease Proof Your Child-Feeding Kids Right" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He also wrote "Eat to Live". I suggest those if you struggle with any of the following: ADD, ADHD, ear infections, cancer, asthma and so on!

  • Lastly that I have watched is one that shows the relationship between compainies and our GMO issues. The farmers and how irresponsible America is! Even if you aren't about healthy, green food choices you need to see this!
The Future of Food 2007
As described on
The Future Of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.

On my list to watch yet are:

As always PLEASE share any books, movies and articles that are your favorites that I missed. Hope this is helpful for you all.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Some Delicious Recipes

I have to start by saying sorry for not updating with my organizing progress. My camera broke and without pictures how boring of a post to just read. I will update with what I can soon though in a not-so-boring way if I can. I wanted to share some of these healthy recipes I have tried recently. Please leave a comment with any suggestions on how to make it healthier.

1. Pinapple Carrot Muffins
2. Tortilla Lasagna
3. Carrot and Grapefruit Smoothie

Serves 12, 1 muffin per serving
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time" 20-25 min.
Calories:160 From Fat: 50 Sodium: 160mg Sugar: 16g Protein: 2g

1 medium carrot (shredded)
1 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice
5 T canola oil
1/4 C cold water
1 TB white distilled vinegar
1.5 C whole-wheat flour
3/4 C light brown sugar (packed)
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
pinch of ground nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice
.5 C chooped walnuts
.5 C raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Rinse and peel carrot. Shred with a grater.
3. In a medium bowl, add pineapple with juice, oil, water, vinegar, and shredded carrot. Use a fork to combine.
4. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Blend well with fork.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
6. If using walnuts or raisins, gently stir in now.
7. Coat muffin pan with oil. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with batter. Bake on middle rack of oven until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Credit for recipe goes to Chef Bob Casey in Boston, Mass. from my Cooking Matters for Adults book.

Double recipe and freeze extra for up to 2 weeks. Set out in a air tight container overnight for a great grab-and-go breakfast int he morning.
To make a cream cheese frosting: Mix 4 T soft cream cheese, 2/3 C yogurt, and 1-2 t honey until smooth and creamy.
Add in or substitue your favorites. Fresh pineapple, fiber cereal added at the end (about .5-1 C) or anything else you desire. Please share your ideas!
I prefer olive oil over canola and honey for the sugar.

These turned out awesome! My 3 kids and my husband loved them and my daughter and I were the only ones to like the frosting. I used plain yogurt and like the tang with my sweet muffin. If you don't like plain yogurt maybe try vanilla or any flavor you like. The kids helped make these and it was very easy for us all!

Serves 10, 1/10 of lasagna per serving
Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 1 hour and 10 min.
Calories: 170 From fat: 50 Sodium 420mg Sugar: 4g Protein: 7g

1 medium yellow onion
3 medium cloves garlic
4oz. mushrooms
1 medium green bell pepper
2 bunches of spinach
1 medium sweet potato (shredded)
4oz. white cheddar cheese
9 (6-in) corn or whole wheat tortillas
1 T canola oil
1 t oregano
5 oz Queso Fresco or Feta cheese
1 (10 oz) can green chile or enchilada sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Peel, rinse, and chop onion. Peel and mince garlic.
3. Cut mushrooms to slices
4. Rinse pepper and remove core and seeds. Cut into thin strips
5. Rinse spinach and tear and choop into pieces.
6. Rinse, peel and shred sweet potato.
7. Grate cheese
8. Tear tortilla in half.
9. In large skillet over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add onions. Cook until transparent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, muchsrooms, bell pepper, and oregano. Raise heat to high. Stir in shredded sweet potato. Cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in spinach. Cover and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
10. In medium bowl mix cheeses.
11. Oil the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Layer 9 tortilla halves over the bottom, with the flat edges against the side of the dish. Cover the tortillas with 1/2 the cooked vegies, drizzle 1/2 the enchilada saauce and sprinkle 1/2 the cheese on thop. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
12. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
13. Bake about 40 minutes, remove foil and continue baking until cheese on top is lightly browned (about 10 minutes).

Credit for recipe goes to Chef Dudley Nieto in Chicago, Ill. from my Cooking Matters for Adults book.

Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper when cooking vegies for a spicer dish.
Use any veggies you want in it including any leftovers in the fridge so they don't go to waste.
Use or create any sauce you want.
Add in a protein like chicken or beans.
If you dont have foil cover with a cookie sheet.
I make my own tortillas.

I LOVED this but the kids didn't much. I made one half with lots of sauce and the other with just a touch and it was still pretty spicy for them. Hubby liked it but hates sweet potato and said he could taste it. I couldn't taste it but I do like them so maybe thats why. Changes I made were how I sauced it like above, adding about 1 C. of black beans and I left my sweet potato skin on it. Hope you enjoy and share your thoughts!

Makes about 18-20 oz.

1 large grapefruit (flesh and juice)
.5 C carrot juice
1 frozen banana
.5 C blueberries
.5C frozen mixed strawberries and raspberries
1 T. flax oil

1. Add all ingrediants to blender starting with liquids.
2. Blend until well mixed
3. Pour and enjoy.

I like to freeze almost all of my fruit but mostly bananas! They create a smoother, thicker smoothie. The riper the banana when frozen the better. Just peel and freeze in a bag or container. Same for other fruit. Rinse, lay flat on cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen add to bag or container and lable.
Add in anything you would like and if too thick add a little more liquid a splash at a time.
As always please comment with your thoughts:)
Baby Gizmo YouTube Giveaway Extravaganza!!!!! Day 5

Baby Gizmo is celebrating 5 million views on YouTube by doing some amazing giveaways. Today is day 5 and the chance to win a Britax car seat!!!! I love Britax and wanted to share this with everyone. All you have to do is watch their review video of the new 2012 Britax products and comment on the blog for a chance to win! Click here to go to their site!!!! Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

52 Weeks of Organizing

This is the introduction to my organizing plan and goals. I'm hoping to accomplish certain areas in my home for the next 52 weeks (1 year for any of you who didn't know that) and feel more relaxed and happy in our little space. I began with brainstorming areas that drive me crazy and then looking for inspiration in all places, okay so mostly pinterest but hey who complains (besides my husband John who says it is an excuse to become a hoarder) and went with that. My love for pinterest is bad but I'm admitting it so that's the first step right?!?!? I then made a chart type thing to make it look all nice and guide me with my goals. This is what mine looks like:

I will try to take before and afters of each project and share any how-to's. I'm hoping in sharing this journey with you it will keep me on track and be the motivation I need on the days I lack it. Being a busy at-home mommy to a 6 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old and a full time student husband I need it bad by 8am!!!! I only have until about June and I'm thinking as I do a project I will think of another and go from there. I'm sure I will mix this all around and do more of a go-with-the-flow type attitude but wanted a chart to put ideas on. I forget most everything so this is never going to work without it printed and in plain sight. Also, for any of you who would like to follow along and do your own please share any tips or advice you may have! I'm very much indecisive and get board very fast! Enough said I'm already late posting this and introducing my first project area! Oh boy, hope this isn't the start of something bad. Happy organizing!

Oh and if you can help me learn how to share with you a blank copy of my list let me know and I will do that.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Menu Planing

Has this ever been you? Standing in the kitchen, open each cupboard (twice), even the ones that don't contain food then resort to the refrigerator for the 10th time until finally I grab whatever is closest and easiest and call it good wishing it where something healthier. Finally I decided that with all this time wasted and being frustrated there had to be a better way.
Another frustrating situation is when your so busy and realize it is time to grocery shop and you haven't gotten a list or your coupons cut. You rush through the store, forgetting half the things you need and checkout to realize you didn't remember those darn reusable bags! Never fails! So I sat down one night and came up with these few ideas and tips that would help...

1. Plan each meal and snack for 1 week (I have a few made up waiting even).
2. Make a shopping list a few days ahead so when it gets time to shop it's ready.
3. Cut coupons (and I "clip" my mperks coupons).
4. Place all the list and coupons in my reusable bags at the door or in my van.

Now I know well enough that even though pizza is planned for a Monday but you don't feel like pizza. Or maybe it would work best for Wednesday when you have to be out of the house quick, so you opt to have it Wednesday. The idea is that you have all the ingredients needed and you don't stand in the kitchen for what seems hours with kids screaming in hunger for something you are yet to dream up and with any sort of nutritional value. Us parents have a hard enough job without having to think of on the spot meals to grow our little ones. I hope this helps you all and please leave any helpful hints you may use!

This is the shopping list I use and leave plenty in a place in my binder.
Here are what the blank menus look like I use but the template is from the link below called Blank 2 week menu.
You can create your own or use these ones. This is what works best for our family...Blank 2 week menu template and Shopping lists! I keep these in my Household binder for quick and easy use!