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Ecocentric Mom Box Review

Monday, November 9th, 2015

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What a great box this month! I’m always so excited when my Ecocentric Mom Box comes in the mail. I just don’t have the time to go looking for great eco-friendly products so they do the dirty work for me.  Each box contains such a different variety of stuff, it’s always neat to see what they include each month. EcoCentric Mom is a subscription box, for $24.95 you get a box once every other month, and now you can also get it once a month. They have three different types of boxes you can get: Mom Box (what I got this time), Baby and Mom Box,and the Pregnancy Box. All of these boxes are packed with eco-friendly items for you to sample.  For me though, the value in what you get is so worth it.  That’s almost the most important thing to me…am I getting my money’s worth of stuff? This box was super super genius, but I’ll let you be the judge.  Here’s what I got in my box this month.

 

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Ecco Bella, Cocoa Soft Eyeliner Pencil

EccoBella’s founder created her company because she hated the use of animals for testing.  She has plant based formula’s for all of her products, and they are all cruelty free. I love the color I was sent, and it stays on all day long. Make up isn’t usually in these boxes, and I was pleasantly surprised by this addition. This was the full size pencil, valued at $17.95.

 

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Silk Intensive C Serum

Silk Therapeutics provides skincare products that benefit the skin with out harmful chemicals or preservatives. This Serum contains 10% of your daily vitamin C, and is said to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and evens skin tone. I love the way it leaves my skin feeling.  I use it in the morning after my shower, and my skin feels great.  I love knowing there are no chemicals to worry about.  This sample size is a $20 value.

 

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Bitsy’s Brain Food Smart Cookies

Guys, I’m going to be real with you.  I saw chocolate, orange beet cookies and the first thing I thought was…GROSS.  Being a paleo person, I almost just pawned these off to my daughter with out trying them.  But then I thought to have a fair and honest review I had to at least try them.  They were actually really good! I had to force myself not to eat the whole bag, and let my two youngest split the rest of the bag.  They come in cute little letter shapes too.  When my littlest is a bit bigger (he’s only 15 months) I will be getting more.  This sample bag was valued at $1.00.

 

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Hemp Hearts

I’m going to be real with you all.  I’ve never tried hemp seeds before.  In one serving there is 210% manganese, and 90% magnesium, 80% phosphorus, and it’s relatively low carb. Guys. Why haven’t I tried these before? Have you tried these before?  It is estimated that 68-80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.  Go google it yourself.  This healthy little snack is so packed full of good stuff it is now a new regular in my diet.  I listened to the suggestions of sprinkling it on my salad, and in my yogurt. Add it to your smoothie, your baked sweet potatoes, seriously…it’s a mild enough flavor you can practically add it to anything.  Cooking it is fine, raw is fine, just eat it. Keep eating it.  This sample size was worth about $2.25, and it also came with a 20% off promo code. Win!

 

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Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm

Winter is coming, and I’m a lip balm addict. I admit it. This lip balm goes on smooth, and doesn’t have weird fake fragrance or flavor to go along with it. The best part, it’s not only organic, and sourced from small farms, but each purchase goes towards a cleft lip surgery fund. You can read more about their cause here.  The price for this lip balm is $4.99.

 

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Ellovi Mint Chocolate Butter Minis

Also, in preparation for winter. Like the label says, there are only 6 ingredients so pure you can eat this stuff. My skin gets so dry in the winter, this is exactly the kind of thing I need. They included a .5oz trial size valued at about $3.75. They’ve also included a coupon code for 15% off. 

 

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People Towel: On the go hand towel

This is a neat idea.  A light weight, small little hand towel to take with you on the go.  Keep it in your purse, your diaper bag, whatever.  Use anywhere you’d use a paper towel, then throw it back in your purse.  You can throw it in the wash machine, but the instructions say air dry. Fair enough, it’s so light weight it wouldn’t take long.  Nice and convenient, and organic too. This towel’s price is $3.99.

 

Total value for October’s box? Just over $50! That’s not even including the coupons that go with it.  Why do I love this box? It’s so convenient, and there’s always such a nice variety of stuff each month.  I love that it introduces me to new products, because really, I don’t have the time or the energy to go find stuff like this in back woods Pennsylvania.  I’d probably have to travel really far to find anything like this.

If you’re interested in getting your own box just follow this link. You can opt to have the boxes delivered once a month or every other month.  They $24.95 a box. That includes shipping! If you do a longer subscription, there’s room for savings too. For a limited time if you use the code “ecolove2015” you’ll receive $5 off your first box.  Enjoy!

Things you should know. I was not paid to write this post, but I did receive the box free for review. If you click on the links and order your own box, I will receive a small compensation for you doing so.  If you love the box, and love the blog it’s a great way to help support my blog at no extra cost to you.  I sure would appreciate it!  Xo!!

 

9 Easy Recipes for Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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It’s that time of year again. I think nature purposefully makes us all crazy to clean this time of year. I want to open the windows, and get every spot in my house clean. Whether I actually do it or not is another story. When I do get busy, I hate using fake smelling, chemically nasty cleaners. Long long ago when I was in college I worked in a perfume store. Some of my friends thought I was lucky, but can you imagine spending 8-10 hours around fake nasty chemical perfumes? After I graduated college and left the job, I could NEVER stand the smell of fake chemical smells again. Thank goodness for the pure power of natural essential oils. After cleaning with these products my house smells so fresh and clean.

Most of these cleaners have a shelf life of 1-2 months unless otherwise stated. They don’t have all the chemical stabilizers that store bought cleaners have, so making them in smaller batches that you will use in that period of time makes the most sense.  Because oils have a tendency to separate, it also makes sense to shake them before you use them.

So, shameless plug here. I just so happen to really love essential oils, so much that I have my own store. However, retail buying is not the best way unless you want to get like…just one. So, if you’d like to get some amazing oils to go along with these cleaners just email me. I promise, I’m a horrible salesperson and just a better educator so you won’t feel like I’m pushing you. Like, ever. /endshamelessplug

 

Onward to having a clean house!

 

 

Dusting Spray:

1 cup of olive oil

3/4 cup vinegar

15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil or Wild Orange Oil

To use: Add contents to a glass sprayer bottle.I spray this directly on a dusting cloth (usually an old washcloth) and wipe down any and all surfaces.

 

All Purpose Surface Cleaner:surfacecleaner

1 cup of water

5 drops of Protective Blend

5 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil

To use: Add contents to a glass sprayer bottle and spray surfaces that need disinfecting.  This is my go-to spray for my kitchen counters, bathroom counters, and my infant son’s diaper changing table. I use it every day.

 

Wood Floor Cleaner

1 gallon of warm water

2 tbsp liquid castile soap

15 drops of Citrus Essential Oil (Lemon, or Wild Orange)

**For a pine scent use 5 drops each of Cypress, White Fir, and Cedarwood.

To use: Mix in a bucket and mop on the floor, or use a sponge to scrub.  No rinsing needed. Make a new batch each time you scrub the floors, no storage necessary.

 

Laminate Countertop Cleaner (deep cleaning)

1 Quart of water

3 tbsp castile soap

2 drops of lemon essential oil

To use: Remove everything from your counter tops and and spray this cleaner to clean.  This is a one time use product, so no storage is necessary.

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Window and Mirror Cleaner

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

10-15 drops of lemon essential oil

To use: Put contents in a dark glass sprayer bottle, and use when needed.

 

Daily Use Shower Spray

2 cups of water

1 cup vinegar

10 drops of Melalecua Oil (aka, Tea Tree a well known anti-fungal)

5 drops of Protective Blend

To use: Spray in tub or shower after each use.

 

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1/4 cup castille soap

1 cup water

3 tbsp baking soda

10 drops of Protective Blend

To use: I put this in a mason jar.  When I make this I shake it all up in the jar, and then pour some in when I need it. Usually about 1/4 of a cup per scrubbing.

 

Toilet Bombs: (for the big job)

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup white vinegar

5 drops Melalecua

To use: Pour contents directly into toilet bowl.  There will be fizzing! Let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub as usual and flush away.

 

Homemade Bleach

1 cup hydrogen peroxide

1 tbsp lemon juice

3/4 cup of water

5 drops of lemon essential oil

5 drops wild orange

To use: Put in a dark sprayer bottle. Use to disinfect surfaces, pull stains out of clothes (works best if the stains haven’t dried or set in yet), and even lightens grout stains. This bottle will last 2-3 months and this recipe is easily cut in half. There is a slightly different recipe I use in the washing machine for laundry, so check back soon for my post about using essential oils for the laundry room.

PS: If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils in a friendly no pressure setting, please check out my cozy little Facebook group

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Photo credit: Windows cleaning supplies

Ecocentric Mom Box Review

Monday, February 9th, 2015

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A few weeks ago I was approached by Ecocentric Mom to review one of their boxes.  I love doing these types of box reviews, specially for green/eco-friendly products specially geared towards moms. I don’t know about you, but I’m a busy work at home, homeschooling mom of three and I just don’t have the time to look for the best products for my kids.  Who has time to shop? Not this gal. Ecocentric Mom puts together a box every other month full of organic, eco-friendly products for you to sample at home.  Super convenient.

They have many different types of boxes, and I asked if I could review the mom and baby box since I have a 5 month old little boy. When I first got my little box, I wondered how much stuff you could actually get in such a small box.  I was kinda ready to be disappointed, but after I started digging in I was shocked at how many things were packed inside this little box.

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When I opened it up, right on top was a card with lots of information about the items packed inside.  This was new.

 

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And then I started pulling things out.  Unpacking, and unpacking…

 

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What you can’t see in this picture were my kids hovering behind me.  They wanted to grab all the snack bits and run.  So what was included in this box?

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1. Mama loves Me.  This book apparently is out of print!  Cute little book that is hard to find nestled cutely in this box. I googled other reviews for this box, and apparently little card books are a regular.  Love it. I’m already reading books to my little guy and these books fit easily in the diaper bag and are ready to go.  On the book it says it’s value is $6.99.

2.Natural Seal, 1 oz bottle. Never heard of this stuff before but I like having it on hand.  My daughter is a little swimmer, and we have a first aid kit that goes with us to practice and to every swim meet.  We got to try out the product first day (thanks to the dangers of homeschooling…paper cuts.  The struggle is real). My daughter was pleasantly surprised it didn’t hurt, her tearful protest ended right after I sprayed it on her.  I’m glad to see it came with a coupon….it doesn’t expire either, so I’ll be on the look out for this product when I ever get a chance to get out.  The 1 oz. bottle is valued at around $12.

3. One packet of Amara dried apples baby food. Another product I had never heard of.  What a neat idea to have dried baby food for whenever you’re out with baby.  We camp, and we travel and on our next trip I will be sure to stock up on these for my little man.  What a fabulous little find. Moisten it with water or breast milk and you have your little one’s lunch.  Love it. The one package’s value is about $1.50.

4. Pura Botanica Fusions “Pick me up” Bath salts. This one obviously for momma. After a long day of taking care of everyone else’s needs, we should take some time for ourselves and recharge so we can do it all again tomorrow.  Right? These salts are lovely! So refreshing.  They retail for $11.99, but I found them on Amazon for $7.50.  Either way a nice addition to the box. Four products in, and I’ve hit my $24.99 price for the box, and I’m done yet. MOAR!

5. Bum Boosa Baby Wipes.  I received two samples of these wipes, and they went straight into my first aid kit again.  This may not have been the most valuable addition to the box, but I love sampling natural products that I will use day in and day out.  Super useful to have these little packets to wipe bums or boo boo’s with, even if the value of them is negligible.

6. Snack Out Loud Crunchy Bean Snack, tomato basil. I didn’t get picture of this one by itself because my hovering children took off with it after I snapped the group photo above. I didn’t even get to try them, they wolfed them down (because you know…I don’t ever feed them).  Apparently they didn’t read the part where it was healthy because it disappeared.  The value of the one package was $1.79.

7. Flavorz Organic Sports Drink Mix. I didn’t get a picture of this one either.  My daughter couldn’t wait to try it. Lots of the girls on her swim team bring gatorade and other sports drinks to practice and I don’t allow my daughter to drink it because of food colorings and other sugars that I think are just unhealthy.  We mixed it up right away and put it in her water bottle.  She brought it with her to practice that night even.  She loved it.  So glad we now have an alternative to gatorade! The value of the one package of mix is about $1.29.

8. Kelapo Coconut Oil, two pouches. Something I’ve actually seen before, yay for not being completely uninformed.  I’ve sampled this oil in the past, and was glad to see it in this box.  This got tucked away for future camping trips.  Loving the little pouches.  This valued at about $2.00.

 9. eInvite Idea Catchers. Cute little sampler of quality card stock idea catchers.  Perfect to tuck away in your purse to catch phone numbers or any other notes you need to take down. Great little addition.  Valued at about $5.o0

10. Coupons!!  Tucked inside was a 20% off coupon to O&N Collective. O&N Collective is an online apothecary specializing in certified organic and natural skin and personal care products. Something else to check out! 

Overall I’m pretty impressed with the quality and the selection in this box.  I love it when these boxes introduce me to new products for me to sample and try. The mom and baby box was perfect for me and my little man.  A subscription would make a lovely gift for a shower gift for any expecting mom you might know. Because really…new moms as much as we’d love to, just rarely have the time to get out there and get shopping.

If you’re interested in getting your own box just follow this link. Boxes are delivered once every other month and are $24 a box. That includes shipping.  For a limited time if you use the code “ecolove2015” you’ll receive $5 off your first box.  Enjoy!

Things you should know. I was not paid to write this post, but I did receive the box free for review. If you click on the links and order your own box, I will receive a small compensation for you doing so.  If you love the box, and love the blog it’s a great way to help support my blog at no extra cost to you.  I sure would appreciate it!  Xo!!

 

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Nine Things No One tells you about Having a Baby

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

 

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When you’re pregnant everyone tells you how much your life is going to change.  Sleepless nights, babies cry, how much worrying we’ll do, yadda yadda.  What is it people don’t tell you? Probably lots because everyone is too embarrassed to discuss it.  Well, I’m not.  Here’s what people are less likely to tell you.

 

1. Babies fart.  They fart like adult men, and it can be so loud that people will think it’s you. Yeah right mom…blame the baby.

2. Babies always know when you’re about to sit down and eat. Just as you sit down, they’ll wake up from their naps and sing you the song of their people.

3. Poop! Babies poop, and they will load up a diaper like no one’s business.  Newborn poop isn’t so bad, but it can be frequent. That all changes once they start eating table food. Then, luckily it’s less frequent, but the stink factor goes way up.

4.  A highly scientific internet study has shown Babies are more likely to poop in a fresh diaper. Also, they are more likely to spit up right after you’ve put them in their new adorable outfit.

5.  Neck cheese. You know…that curdled milk that found it’s way into your baby’s neck folds after they spit up. Sure you bathe them, and wash them, but what’s what weird smelly stuff in their neck?  Neck cheese. Sick.

6. Hand lint. Newborn babies clench their hands most of the time.  Those little hands get sweaty and filled with lint. Lint collects between their fingers, and specially between their thumbs.  Why it smells so bad, I have no idea.  Hot, sweaty hand lint. Yum.

7. Baby fingernails grow super fast, and the skin around their nails bleed really easily.  Luckily it doesn’t seem to hurt too bad if you miss the nail. Also, even the cleanest babies seem to always get dirt under their nails. You’re usually left with a choice: bloody fingers or dirty ones.  Weigh your choice carefully! greenboogie

8. Bulb syringes are the DEVIL. It’s just not a simple task to jam these “nose plungers” in your little one’s nose, and suck all the boogies out.  If you don’t clean them out after your little one isn’t sick anymore than so many fabulous friends grow in there. Tasty.

9. PPD.  Going to get serious for a minute, bear with me. If you are feeling mentally off after you have a baby it’s not due to the fact that you failed to keep yourself together.  Your hormones are going CRAZY. You just made a tiny miracle, and whether you’re breast feeding it or not, your body has lots of settling down to do afterwards.  Making babies is really hard on momma. Some women get symptoms right away, others its a gradual decline that can be difficult to notice at first.  Admitting you need help does not mean you lose.  Don’t isolate yourself, don’t feel shame, DO break out.  Go see friends, talk to people, tell your doctor, exercise and bring that beautiful little being with you. You won’t feel blissful every day, and once that initial honey moon phase is over you may feel gray. You don’t lose unless you tell yourself you do.  Think for a minute…when was the last time you thought someone who had post partum depression was just a wimp? Never? No one will think that of you either.

 

Did I miss anything? What surprising thing did you find out after you had your little one?

October Ipsy Review

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

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I feel like I’m doing a marathon of Ipsy reviews lately to catch up on what has been a very fun experiment. My daughter and I started our Ipsy subscription in August.  She’s a super girly girl, and I thought for $10 a month it was an easy way to have a little bit of fun with new make up every month.  We really look forward to our Ipsy Glam bag. If you’re curious about what we got in previous months you can check here and here.

If you’ve never heard of Ipsy they are a monthly subscription. For $10 a month, they send you a beauty bag designed to your needs. You fill out a questionnaire and they send you items that best suit you each month.  I requested items for my daughter and I that matched our complexion, and requested more natural items when they are available.

First off, I have to say of all the bags…this teal bag is my absolute favorite.  We went out of town last weekend, and I packed all my little travel bits in it. I love the teal blue. The contents of the bag I was again pretty pleased with.  I’m alway glad to get a new finger nail polish, and pretty much got things I would use.  Even the lipstick…which I almost never wear lipstick I would consider using.  So here’s the run down.

butter

The Ayres Patagonia Body Butter was a great inclusion for us.  It’s a trial size, so compared to the item I linked it’s probably about $9 worth of cream. I love having little trial sizes, because when I went out of town I brought it with me. The smell is nice, not too over powering. It’s probably one of the more natural items of the month…here’s it’s description from Amazon:

Enriched with plant emollients, herbal extracts and vitamins, this ultra rich creamy body butter provides relief from dry, rough skin. Vitamin E natural antioxidant provides protection to your skin while shea nut butter gives long-lasting hydration. Just drift away on a cool breeze of delicate jasmine and aromatic rosemary blended with lavender, bergamot, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, patchouli and fir. Inspired by Patagonia’s snow-capped mountains and blue lagoons, this fresh scent inspires a soothing sense of calm.

I’m not sure if I’ll be buying this again, but I’m definitely enjoying it for now.

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Next is the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, which boasts being an all natural product. It has a light fragrance that reminds me of the grape flavored tooth paste I used as a kid. It says on the label to use a tiny dot…and it’s true, a little goes a long way.  I’m actually really enjoying this cleanser, even with it’s weird grapey fragrance. It’s not cheap stuff, so I’d guess the little bottle they send me is about $8 worth of their product.

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The nail polish I received by Nicole Opi was a pretty gold color, named On a Gilt Trip.  It was not the type of polish I try to get, I tend to get Zoya and now thanks to last month’s bag, Pacifca’s nail polish. I actually haven’t used this nail polish yet.  Gold glitter doesn’t seem to be my thing, so I may end up giving it to a friend.  It’s value is about $5.

noyahlipstick

The lipstick…oh this lipstick.  I’m not usually a fan of lipstick.  Maybe I’m weird, but I think it tastes weird. I didn’t have this problem with Noyah’s lipstick sample. The sample is about half the size of the one for sale, hard to think it’s an $18 lipstick, but I liked it. No weird taste, and I actually really liked the color they chose for me to use.  This also claims to be a natural product. I think the overall value of this is about $9.

eyeliner

 

Last but not least is Skone’s waterproof liquid eyeliner. I don’t use liquid eyeliner ever often, but this is here just in time for Halloween for us.  As you can see, I haven’t opened it yet, so I can’t attest for how great it is, but if you ask me next week I can tell you. It’s valued at $15.

This being my third bag, I have to say overall I’m pleased with the diversity of stuff I’ve received. They are trying to stick me with as natural products as they can, but I’m thinking they could do a bit better in this category. The overall value of the items received in this bag was less than last month but still totaled around $40, so definitely worth your $10 monthly investment. We will be keeping our subscription for now, and are looking forward to our November bag!

Important Note: I am not being paid for this post, nor was I approached by Ipsy to do this review.  I purchased this bag, and reviewed it all on my own. I think this service would be great for fashion minded ladies who’d like to try new items but don’t necessarily have the time to go out and find them on their own. If you sign up for Ipsy with one of the links I provided in the post, or by clicking here I receive a credit that enables me to get more freebies. You can earn credits too once you sign up. 🙂

My TrueMoon

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was approached by Shelli Wright the founder of My TrueMoon. My True Moon is a company that not only offers organic tampons, but also offers girls in particular real information regarding their cycle. I have to admit, as a nearly natural mom, I hesitate when it comes to tampons.  There’s been so much bad press lately when it comes to them. It’s nice to learn there’s a safer alternative.

 

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I had a few reservations about this review. It’s out of my comfort zone to talk about tampons, my cycle, and my lady parts. Some ladies can scream vagina from the top of their lungs, and I admire them for their pride. Not me though! My daughter is 8, and I haven’t had much of a conversation with her either. Since girls tend to begin their period between 9-12, I took this time to talk to her with the help of the starter kit. The pamphlet in the starter kit is lovely and empowering. The pamphlet is well written and gives you ideas of how to have this conversation. There’s also a pretty case included you or your girl can store their organic tampons in.

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So why organic tampons anyway? Well, to answer that you need to take a look at what’s in conventional tampons. According to Women’s Health the list is a bit scary. Since coming on the market, the fiber ratios have varied to provide comfort, protection against leaking, odor control and absorbency. Fibers that have been mixed with cotton include cellulose (think tree bark?) collagen, polyester, polyurethane (ew?), polyvinyl alcohol, and asbestos (OMG!). This doesn’t include the chemicals that have been used to bleach the fibers such as chlorine, dioxin, and furan, all three have been linked to toxic shock syndrome. Plus, the government says there are NO levels of dioxin exposure that can be considered safe.

If you’re still using conventional tampons, maybe it’s time to make a switch. Shelli and I have collaborated to offer my readers a starter kit giveaway to help you on your path.

The starter kit includes 16 organic tampons, their carrying case, a dry erase tracking chart, and the 24 page booklet Shelli Wright, and her partner Anea Bogue.

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Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is for residents in the United States and Canada only, and winners must be 18 or over. For more giveaway rules click <ahref=http://www.nearlynaturalmomma.com/reviews-and-giveaways/>here. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Settling in

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

As of today, we’ve been in our new house for 20 days. Strangely it feels like we’ve been here longer and I’ve been unpacking, cleaning and dealing with life.  I’ve noticed a few differences from when you move long distances vs. short.  The largest difference being the kind of pause your life takes.  When you move long distances, you have to bring everything to a close.  When I left Denver, I had to stop playing with the fun loving Denver Pops Orchestra, I had to give up the awesome violin/viola studio that I had started from the ground up, and any activity the children were a part of had to be ceased.  We cleared our slate.

This move however all of that was unnecessary, to my relief.  It did pose one problem.  Our life still carried on while we had to move and unpack.  The most time consuming commitment we had was my children’s swim team. It was worth the time commitment, and I’m proud of what they did…but moving while your kids are competing twice a week is not for the faint of heart. Luckily the season is now over, here’s a photo of their awards ceremony/pizza party.

One room in this house has received most of my attention and that is my sun room.  This room has so much potential and I see it’s potential every time I walk into it.  I also see dollar signs. We are going to be using this room as our school room this year.  I can’t think of a more lovely way to do school but in a bright sunny room. I’m not one who usually focuses on problems, but I want to list the problems with this room and if any of my readers have suggestions post them in the comments below.  I am open to suggestions!!
  1. The carpet is old and stained.
  2. The windows have black mold around the weather stripping.  I’ve wiped the mold away, but I worry about the integrity of them and I’m concerned they may need to be replaced soon.
  3. The walls are brown and yellow.  At our old place we rented the family room had wood paneling and brick walls.  The room was hideously ugly and there was nothing I could do about it.  It turned me off on any kind of wood paneling so I’m thinking a paint job is in order in this room.  I’m thinking it might be the most affordable thing on this list so it might be the first project.
  4. The sunroom has a door to the back porch which is not covered by a soffit or anything else so when it rains the door gets a lot of water on it.  Some of this water leaks inside and the door itself is showing some mild water damage.
I’m reminded that living on the east coast is wet, specially compared to the dry climate of Colorado.  I told my husband last night how a spot of mold wouldn’t have concerned me out there, but I felt here it could easily get out of hand.
So that’s what’s been going on.  I haven’t posted much because life is just keeping me busy and I haven’t hit my rhythm just yet.  Moving is so tough crazy, and it’s hard on the wallet.  So many projects will have to wait until we recover.

Keeping Chickens Cool when it’s HOT!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The past few days at our new house have been super hot.  We haven’t built the permanent chicken run yet, so my girls have a make-shift run in the back of the yard where there isn’t a lot of shade in the heat of the afternoon.

I think most people don’t realize chickens handle the cold much better than they handle the heat. Here in Pennsylvania it gets really humid when it’s hot, so my poor girls really pant in the afternoon.  Here are a few ideas I have come up with to keep them cool.

  1. This is the most important, and almost a duh: they must always have access to water. In intense heat, a chicken can go downhill really fast if they don’t have access to clean water.
  2. Secondly, they should have some shade that isn’t the chicken coop. I’ve found that coops get super hot because of a lack of circulation.  Even well ventilated coops can get really hot on the hottest days.  If your birds aren’t situated under trees or some other shade, get them a tarp or a shade umbrella.
  3. Try freezing a cup of water in a disposable plastic cup.  On hot days around noon, I replace their water, and drop this huge chunk of ice in.  It only stays cold for about an hour, but they drink up the cold water gratefully.
  4. Refrigerated watermelon is also a nice afternoon treat.  It’s cold, and full of water and should help them beat the heat.
  5. Frozen berries are also a great treat. They take some time for them to get into so it’s also a good boredom buster.  Cold, sweet yummy treats on a hot day.  Yes, please?
During really hot days, chicken stool may be more lose than usual.  This is possibly due to all the extra water they are drinking.  When chickens are working on staying cool, they will pant, and pull their wings away from their body.  This is all healthy behavior, but be on the look out for droopy behavior, or pale comb and wattles.  If you see this, give your chicken a dip in a cool bucket of water.  
What are your ideas to keep your chickens cool on these hot summer days?

Menu Plan Monday — All Primal

Monday, July 8th, 2013

I’m back to it again.  After being in a weird stasis while moving, we are now detoxing with healthy primal/paleo foods.  We are going strict again to lose the 5 or so pounds we gained while being stressed about moving and drinking too many Angry Orchard ciders.  Here’s what we’re eating this week.

Monday: Chimichurri Meatballs with a big salad
Tuesday: Chicken Satay with grilled veggies
Wednesday: Fish Tacos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Grilled Sausage and Garlicky Summer Squash Fritters
Saturday: Grilled Chicken Legs and Avocado Kale Salad
Sunday: Roast Beast!

Here’s our shopping list, and since we just moved it’s huge.  Most of this we don’t have in the house.

2 pounds of ground beef
2 pounds of chicken tender/strips
1 pound of fish (light fish, tilapia or whatever is on sale)
1 package of sausage
3 pounds of chicken legs

small ginger root
1 onion
3 avocados
fresh cilantro
2 summer squashes
bunch of kale
2 tomatoes
Bag of carrots
Package of mushrooms

Lime juice

Linking back to Organizing Junkie

Wordless Wednesday – Our Week

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

On a gorgeous day we went for a hike.  We’re lucky to live about 10 minutes from Maryland’s second largest waterfall.  It’s one of our favorite spots to go.

Here’s the beginning of our short hike.

One of the best parts about the hike, the stepping stones across the water.

Here are the falls in all their glory.  We were the only ones there when we arrived and had the place to ourselves for more than an hour.

 

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