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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Green Spring Party Time!

We have all heard the term 'Spring Cleaning'. It is that time of year when spring comes around and we feel the need to clean out our homes. There are many origin stories of why we do this, but my favorite is the simplest one. All winter, we are mostly kept indoors due to dreary weather (even in the south). So when the sun comes shining and bright, and the temperatures turn perfect enough for opening windows, we get busy. Cleaning out the dullness with the dust, making everything glimmer with hope of a renewed year! But we need to be careful of what we use for this task. Not all cleaners are equal - or safe for that matter. Which is why I'm happy to introduce you to Rebel Green and EarthKind
*Disclaimer: I was sent these products free of charge in exchange for hosting a party and writing a review. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.*

How clean do you go?

I like to think that I keep my house clean enough all year around. That I don't slack and let things go. That's what I like to think. But truth be told, I have my times when this is not so. SHOCKING, I know. But even though I'm OCD and a neat freak, winter is a hard time for me. I get cold easily, which causes the arthritis in my back and legs to flare up. So I prefer to spend my days wrapped in a fleece blanket, sitting on a heating pad, near a fireplace that is burning well. Not washing dishes and vacuuming floors. 

But we all know that with the changing seasons there are illnesses (take the Covid-19, for example) and plenty of dust to clean away. So when spring-like weather gets close enough, I spring into action. (Pun totally intended.) I even enlist my kids to help. Dusting rags (or old socks with holes in them) get passed out. Everyone finds a spot to dust. I get those fan blades wiped down. Sometimes they help wipe the countertops too. The three oldest children even do their own laundry. This is a must for parents who want their kids to know how to care for themselves and be independent. But what about that microwave and the baseboards? Or how about pest control? Spring brings warmer weather, it's true, but then the bugs start coming out again. And then inside if you live in an old, leaky house.

However, there is a beware attached. 

Not all cleaners are safe for children to handle. Take bleach, for instance. The fumes can be quite toxic. Sure, it can destroy all traces of DNA and leave something clean enough to eat off of, but it can be dangerous as well. So how can we get our kids involved without putting them in harms way? We need products that clean, but are safe. Something green is usually the way to go. Which is where Rebel Green and EarthKind come in. These are family friendly products! Rebel Green is all around the house products while EarthKind is the environmentally safe pest control options. 
Both of these companies are woman owned. Both want to be as organic as possible. Both are dedicated to being safe for family, pets and the earth. 

Rebel Green
Let's talk about Rebel Green first. They use functional essential oils to create the scents. Their products range from produce cleaners to household cleaning. Fresh produce often comes with dirt, pesticides, waxes, fungicides and hand oils - just for starters. Did you catch the hand oils part? Yep, 20-30 hands touched your apple before you did at the grocery store. Ever stop to think about whether those hands were clean? Washing these things away allows us to truly enjoy the natural flavors fully, without the worry of also catching something. The household products are without any toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to people and the planet. No parabens, phosphates, petrochemicals, synthetic perfumes, dyes, chlorine, ammonia or chemical brighteners. So many of these things are toxic to our skin and health. And definitely not helping the planet either. It is believed that phosphates actually dry out your skin. With us having to wash hands so much, we need things that won't dry us out. Their hand soap is perfectly balanced to clean our hands while keeping them moisturized at the same time. However, if you feel that isn't enough, they also have a cream! My daughter has been helping me by keeping the microwave clean. I still remember the first time she did it by grabbing a spray bottle that I had put bleach in for mold spraying... Talk about the fumes when I opened the microwave later! I thought it would take days to air out and be usable again. But now, she uses the Rebel Green All Purpose spray. And it smells so good every time! I have the Lavender Grapefruit scent. Calming while cleaning! Then I have the laundry detergent. It is 3 times concentrated, so I only need an ounce to do a load. And they have so many options. Like baby, delicates and even a sports wear one.
Their desire is to stay local. I love their philosophy of getting everything made here in the USA. Why have manufacturing exported to another country, just to have to buy their "products a one way plane ticket back to the States". This is smart business thinking. Not just for them, but for our local economy as well. They save money on shipping, lower costs and offer more jobs here. 

Now we come to EarthKind. They are committed to providing pest control options that are safe for everyone. They work with nature, not against. Harmony, not harm! Before checking out their products, I would kill any bug that comes inside. However, these products are pouches that are designed to repel the little critters without the use of poison. Works for me. I usually get my husband to kill the spiders or roaches. I get bugged out for the rest of the day/night. So, win-win! The founder and creator of EarthKind started out by creating the Stay Away Rodent product. She wanted to keep mice away, without having to use poison and kill them.
As she pointed out, everything is a part of the ecosystem. They all play a part. So in order to maintain the balance, you need to keep them in their place by repelling them from yours. The little pouches can be kept in a cute container to keep them discreet. 

I also like the nifty little mosquito spray. It is perfect for pockets, purses and bags.

Set up your cleaning routine!

I printed out checklists to help me keep focused. There are daily ones, nightly ones, weekly and monthly ones. This website has a great grouping that is perfect, no matter what kind of experience you have. I use lists to keep me focused and on track. Now is the time to really get dedicated. This corona virus has changed how we think of being clean. Touching our faces, touching commonly used items and how we wash our hands has come front and center to everyone's attention. Sickness prevention starts with the home. Besides the rules that have been passed down, we need to secure our homes first. So check them out! And let me know what your favorite chore is in the comments below. If you don't have a favorite (don't like cleaning?) then tell me your least favorite!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Waiting is the Hardest Game

Hey guys! I haven't been writing much. Too much going on, and can I be frank for a moment? I've been working through so much in my life these days. It's a new year, so new me, right? Except, the new me thing isn't what I hoped for. This year started off great, and don't get me wrong, is still going great! But I'm struggling with some heavy personal changes. For starters, who I am. I'd love to say that I'm still the sexy, biker chic who knows what she wants from life that I was 14 years ago. But I'm not. Nor will I ever be again. Heck, even the me of 2016 isn't here anymore! My life has changed so drastically and quickly that sometimes I don't know who I am outside of Mom and Wife. Those zones are totally outlined. No questions there. But who am I when I'm alone? Better yet, who do I want to be? Hmm, now there is the enigma. 

Who am I? 

First and foremost, I'm a Christian. A follower of Christ. And I try to be the best in that area as I can be. And let me tell you something... God is truly testing my patience. Okay, not testing it. He is working on it to make it stronger. How? Through my medical condition. Want to know if you have the "patience of a saint"? I wish I'd never been described as having that... Have your health fail on you. Long term. You will meet a whole new you. A side of you that cries yourself to sleep. A side of you that hates looking in the mirror. A side of you that feels lost. A side of you that can't stand being around other people no matter how much your heart loves them. Oh yeah, that side is there. You just can't see it until something forces it out in the open. And it is ugly.
Well, God decided my patience needed some more work. Let me back up a second here though, I'm moving ahead of the context. I'm in pain. All day, every day. For most days, I can get by. I smile, I laugh, I talk. The only person in my life who sees me cringe is my husband. He sees me when I'm trying not to pass out. He sees me when I grab my side or back and wince. When my migraines strike, more than once a week. He's the only person I can't, and really don't want to, hide from. Hard enough hiding from everyone else. Even my kids rarely see my struggle. And I do everything I can to keep it that way. For as long as I can. Lately, I've been avoiding going to the doctor. After all, the last time I went I was told that I would not get better. That surgery wasn't an option. That I needed to "learn to live with the pain". After that, I became legally disabled. And my husband permanently took away my car keys. I will not be allowed to drive. Ever. At 32, that is not what you want to hear. Not when you are insanely independent. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy. Shut in my home. May as well have bars on the windows and doors. So you can imagine my frustration at finding that feeling of something being terribly wrong hitting my gut. Somehow, I just know something isn't right. 

Sickness that just won't go away.

We started the year with a visit to the ER for a severe migraine. There was the flu. A sinus infection. Some allergies. More sinus infection. I haven't been 100% for the entirety of this new year. So I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that the doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis today. Yep. Inflamed lungs. She said it usually fully recovers in about 3 months, providing I don't get sick again. Yay me. The reason I made the appointment was to diagnose rib pain. A fizzy feeling in the left lung when I breathe in and severe pressure in the right ribs, usually when I'm sitting. Sometimes a stabbing feeling. And she finds bronchitis right off. That was just the x-ray. She's running a liver enzymes test and I have to go for scans to see if my gall bladder is to blame. If there is a malfunction there. But those scans aren't happening until the end of this month, so.... waiting game anyone? Shall we take bets on what body part will fail me next? (My husband hates that joke.) I didn't even get to ask her what is causing the daily headaches-migraines. That will have to wait until my next appointment. 

In the meantime...

She also says other things have to change. I have to take a high dose Prilosec daily while changing my diet. No more tomato sauces. No more fatty foods. No more fried foods. There goes my homemade pizza. Burgers are out. Mmm, hash browns on breakfast night! Spaghetti and meatballs has been banned to me as well as meatball subs. Egg rolls on Chinese night. Just a few of my favorite things that I will no longer be eating. I take this as a sign from God that I wasn't losing those extra pounds fast enough. He's thrown me a way to do that. A way that I can't talk myself out of anymore. 

So how do I wait?

Not easily. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41) One of my favorite verses to go to is:
- Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Waiting is not easy. It is hard. The hardest. I know I'm not the only one feeling that way. Someone I love dearly is waiting for an important test result that will determine... well, life or death. And to think that they have had a longer wait than I do. So, I wait. I have kids to tend to. A husband to love. Some editing work to complete. And I need to figure out the new me. Who am I? What more do I want from this life? And how do I accomplish it? These questions used to be so easy to answer. Now, they need time. Patience. Prayer.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Time to Party With Restickity!

I love decorating our home with pictures and posters. But living in places that we rent makes it tricky. You never want to put too many holes in the walls. Hanging frames requires being able to find the stud and lining it up just right. Overall, it can be quite the hassle. Which is why I jumped at the chance to try out a new product by Restickity!
*Disclaimer: I was sent these products free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I hosted a party, giving out the coupons. All opinions are my very own. I was not otherwise endorsed.* 

Who is Restickity?

A brand new company that was started by a mom and daughter team! They saw a need and came up with a great solution. They created restickable photo stickers. Redecorating means things move. As you rearrange, you might decide that even the pictures need to be relocated. But that means more holes in the wall, more leveling and in some cases, more frustration. Well, not anymore! 
How does the service work? 

Quite simply. You go to their website HERE, upload your photos, choose the sizes, add in the desired edits, and voila! Order your photos. They will get them printed and shipped to you. Now, here is something you need to know. They are a brand new company. Just getting on their feet. So they print only 1-2 times a week. However, the plus side is that they ship via Priority and comes with tracking. They will email you as soon as they are shipping. They will also update you when it is delivered. 
What next? 

The fun part! Hanging your photos are easy now. Unpeel and stick. Not happy with it? Unpeel and restick! Move them whenever and wherever you want. They are printed to last. Make sure you hang on to those backs though. The paper the stickers were on are reusable. When you are moving or heading back home from your dorms, just unpeel and restick to the backings for easy transport. 

The Party
I had a blast sharing information with my party guests on Restickity. They all got to take home restickable calendars, coupons, and information cards. I was able to demonstrate the great photos they had sent me. And even better, I was able to raffle off a gift card! Our family teacher will be able to make something awesome for her classroom that is easy to take down when she has to make changes or when school breaks occur. 

 Are they affordable? 

I think so! And shipping was only $2.25 for all of them. I got an 8x10, 2 5x7 and a 4x4. 
I highly suggest you check them out! Whether you rent, live in a dorm, have a classroom, or just don't want to damage your walls and deal with hanging frames - these are perfect for you! Give them a look and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Scrape-A-Round Makes a FUN-ctional Gift Idea!

Winter brings a lot of challenges. Especially when you are located in a place that has snow and ice. How many times have you gone out to your vehicle, only to find that you can't see out the windows because they are frozen over? Having an ice scraper is your best way to deal with it quickly. But only if it works well. Which is where my latest review comes in! 

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.* 

Scrape-A-Round ice scrapers make getting the windows clear so much easier! We have been using ours for a couple winters now. They come in a 3 pack. And the best part? They are the only ones that are cone shaped and made in the United States. The softer plastic conforms to the windows curvature. 
They also function as funnels!
 They stack easily, are designed to get your windows cleaned as quickly as possible and even come apart to create funnels! Multi-use tools that deserve a place in your car. 
Perfect gift idea! 

You can create quite the gift basket with these. Functional and cute. They had ideas on their blog. We chose to give some to family members with a gift card tucked inside.What do you think? Are these useful where you are? Let me know in the comments below!