Monday, July 25, 2016

Help me!!! I need some input!

It's time to get GEEKY, my friends!! 

I received a SunShade for my car from #AlphaShades to review. (I think I got it for free, but it would have been totally worth it if I had to pay for it!). It works fantastically for keeping my car cooler than a million degrees in the summer. My steering wheel doesn't try to ignite my hands on fire anymore, so that is pretty stellar! The shade fits very well in the Yukon and stays up really well (unless you have the windows open, in which case, all bets are off. It comes with a little baggie thing you can fold it up into, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure it out. 
That doesn't really bother me, though, because I don't know how well acrylic paint would hold up and THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!!

Here is a shot of my SunShade in action:

Totally exciting, right? Yeah, it's a little..... silver..... for my taste, but that will soon change. I mean, the thing works like a boss, so I'll DEFINITELY keep using it, but it needs some GEEKING!!!

I had a few thoughts- one- I had drawn out a "COEXIST" in all geeky symbols, originally intending for that to be a sticker at the back of my car, but it was way too complicated and needed a lot more color than I could get with car sticker vinyl. It would be HUGE here, though, so I'm really thinking it would be a good fit.

Another option is if I do a pattern, say, a paisley pattern and in the big part of the paislies, put little geeky symbols- the Deathly Hallows, a Vader Mask, a Starfleet insignia, Mr. Pointy, etc......

Or do I just straight up GEEK IT and just put random geeky symbols and words all over it?

Please, please, leave a comment and give me your opinion!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sleepy Sounds and Measuring Spoons

Hey folks! I've got a couple reviews for you today. I should note that I do not get paid to review these, nor do I get paid for the affiliate links, but I am kind of thinking I should sign up for that program.... Please leave comments if you have anything to say about that.

I got BOTH products today for free in exchange for my honest review.

First one is this Lullaby Sleep Sounds CD. It is a CD of beautiful music mixed with nature sounds. We tried this last night for me. There had been a fire in our small town and I had been up super late trying to see if there was anything I could do to help. My stress level was high, body exhaustion was through the roof, and (I think due to my meds) my body has been feeling very tense lately. I put this on just as Abraham came into our bed. We didn't even finish one song before we were out cold.
I am excited to take this with us on our trip. One thing I was really nervous about was rambunctious kids in a public camp. We'll probably put this on in the evenings when it's time to calm down and go to bed. I'm actually listening to it right now as I type and my grumpy boys (8 and 12) have both calmed down immensely since putting it on. This is definitely a treasure. GO BUY IT HERE. #WeDreamBabySleepCD


Second up- there is a story to these. They are measuring spoons. Did I NEED measuring spoons? No. Then why did I want to review them? My mom has this really cute set, very similar to these. Everytime we are at her house, I comment on how cute they are. She always asks me, "Didn't you get a set for Christmas from us?" and I chuckle because we have had this conversation a few times. My parents are AMAZING and they do a lot to help me and my family out. Sometimes I think they are trying to make up for the fact that my kids only get to enjoy one set of grandparents. I hope that in some way, I am helping them, too.

I digress. Spoons. Measuring spoons. We bake a LOT here! We make most of our own bread. We make all of our buns and rolls and marshmallows and graham crackers and cakes and cookies and brownies and everything else all from scratch. We have been having weekly bake sales to earn money for our trip and so we go through a LOT of dishes. I have 4 sets of measuring spoons. One set I got at the Dollar Store. Will you be surprised to know that they are fading and falling apart? One set, hubby got me for my birthday last year. They are super cute and colorful and even have a 2 TBS measuring spot. I LOVE them, but the numbers are fading. This makes me so sad. So for Christmas last year, Roger got me this REALLY cool set- its' my favorite. The spoons are individual, but they are double sided, one round, one oblong. The words will not ever rub off. They are metal. AND! They are magnetic so they can stack. AND they have flat bottoms so they can sit on the counter. SO COOL!!
This set is that I am reviewing is super cute! And they are heavy, very durable. The words won't ever rub off, as they are etched in. I love these ones. Not quite as much as my magnetic stand alone ones, but a close second for sure. #lnkitchen BUY THEM HERE

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lauryn Janae Shot Glasses

I bought these for my son who has to take a powder medicine every day. He mixes it up with coconut milk so it's easy to digest. These have been so nice because then he's not getting too much and he can swallow it quickly. I like them because let's face it, they're pretty. :D I'm very happy with these and I hope to use them often for more exciting reasons than just medicine.




 I did receive these for free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Keeva Body Wash and Conditioner Review

This review has been... interesting.... to say the least. As most of you know, my family is very aware of what goes into and on our bodies. So when I saw these two products, I was CRAZY excited!!! Reading the description, you are under the impression that these are going to be SO good for you and totally natural. However, reading the reviews and the ingredients are a little bit disconcerting. What the company says doesn't exactly match what their label says.

Here's a photo of the product- (they are linked to the item on Amazon for purchasing) #keeva


I decided to dig a little deeper.
First, let's talk about the body wash.

When you see that bottle, you think WOOHOO!! I'm going to get a great dose of those three fabulous oils, right?
Here is a list of the ingredients:
Water, lauric acid, palmitic acid, potassium hydroxide, glycol distearate, lauryl,, alcohol, Cocoamidopropyl DEA, menthol, sodium chloride alcohol, vegetable oils, xanthan gum, citric acid, NMF50, essence, tocopherol acetate, salt
So, which of those ingredients mean Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, or Coconut Oil? Probably only in the "essence" which is super frustrating.

That aside, let's talk about how it works. My husband is greatly relieved that it doesn't smell like tea tree. It is a very gentle soap and we have been using it for the whole family. The smell is very pleasant and the foaming is fabulous. I don't know that I'd pay full price for it just because the differentiation between Claim and Ingredient. 

Alright, now the conditioner.
I feel like this is a game of Good/Better/Best
Before this, I was using Herbal Essence.
Ingredients for Herbal Essence: 
Water/Eau, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance/Parfum, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Sodium Citrate, Cocamide Mea, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Polyquaternium-76, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Red 33, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1
Right off the top of the bat, the colors really bother me. As does the Fragrance, esp since it's so high up on the list.

Then I reviewed a shampoo

It was fabulous and here are the ingredients:
Distilled water, Argan (Moroccan) Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Botanical Keratin, and Almond Oil,Coconut oil, acyl sarcosine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium lauroyl sarcosine, GRECAT BTMS-350
There is no doubt whatsoever that the main ingredient, Argan Oil, is IN the product. It's ingredient #2 and clearly labeled. I SO love and appreciate this!!!
Now back to the product we're reviewing today.
Water, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, isohexadecane, Isododecane, stearamidopropyl, dimethylamine, fragrance, dicetyldimonium chloride, panthenol, argania spinosa, Kernel oil, hydrolyzed keratin, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, Quaternium-91, cetrimonium, methosulfate, benzophenone-4, NMF50, citric acid, diazolidinyl urea, lodopropynyl
Nowhere are the words "coconut oil," "argan oil," or "tea tree oil." Legally, I'm sure they are present somewhere in the "fragrance" or something, but this really bugs me. I feel like labels should be clear and honest. The Keeva conditioner IS by far, better than the Herbal Essence. It leaves my hair crazy smooth and very healthy feeling. It smells great and works well. But honesty means a lot to me.....

I won't say whether you should or shouldn't buy these products. They work well. They smell good. Those are great things.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Activated Charcoal?!

I have 5 kids. My oldest is 12 and my next oldest is 10. They ALWAYS pronounce charcoal "Car-Coal" and it makes me laugh so much!!!

They are, as am I, captivated by the blackness of this powder. I have heard lots of talk about activated charcoal and have also used Posh's charcoal soap and been happy with it, so I decided that of course I'd like to try it. When the opportunity came to review it (for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest review), I jumped at it.

Then it came and suddenly, I was scared and didn't know what to do with it. Pinterest had a few ideas, but none that I was super excited about. So I let it sit for a while before trying anything with it.

I did have a friend use it for a tummy ache. We followed the instructions and put it in very cold water. She was able to drink a good enough bit of it to sooth her tummy and even said that she'd try it again if her tummy hurt again.

Juliana was willing to be my guinea pig and try it as a teeth whitener. I still haven't had the guts to do it. Here's her video:
 


I did, however, sort of make some eyeliner/mascara. Unfortunately, I didn't follow the instructions very well and THIS

only looked that good for about 10 minutes. THAT WAS NOT THE CHARCOAL's FAULT. It was way too much coconut oil in the recipe and I'll DEFINITELY try it the right way soon because the color was spectacular!!! #saganofresh


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Prepping for our Trip

Hey friends!! So I wanted to tell you about our TRIP we are planning!!

I have 5 kids, so vacationing is not something we do often. As a matter of fact, last time we went on Vaca, I only had 3 kids!

Thanks to Pinterest, Google, Bullet Journaling, and my friends on FB, we have a plan!!

I'm not going to tell you the dates, but I will tell you the plan!

First I want to tell you about my Vacation Bullet Journal. This thing is fantastic! I love the way bullet journals are set up. Actually, to be honest, I don't know if this could technically even be CALLED a bullet journal because I've taken so many liberties with it, lol.

It's set up like this:

  • Table of Contents
  • List of Places that are Options
  • Official Itinerary (this is still blank)
  • Miles between places
  • What we need
  • What we own
  • What we are borrowing
  • Things to do in each place
  • Addresses of all KOAs, nearby WalMarts & Dollar Stores
  • Finance Planning Page
  • Things to do while camping
  • Recipes
  • Food to take
  • Food Prep
  • Food Shopping List for Along the Way
I know that without pictures it's not so fancy, but trust me, this isn't a cute bullet journal. Most things are written so quickly that I'm the only one who can read it anyway.

Right now, we are focusing on prep. One thing I LOVE about reviewing is that I have been able to get a lot of the things we'll need on our trip for cheap or even free. Not everything, mind you, but a good chunk. So far:
  • A Sleeping Bag
  • 3 Backseat Car Organizers
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Car Mirrors
  • Cast Iron Conditioner
  • Watermelon Slicer 
  • LED light
  • Mosquito Repellent 
  • Bento Boxes
Right?! Like, how blessed am I?

With this trip, we will be on the road for several hours at a time, several days. We are going to Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde. One thing I was worried about was space and entertainment. Although we have a DVD player in the Yukon, I did not want to rely on that or have it on for more hours than I'd normally allow at home (generally one movie's worth a day- tops). I plan on making several busy bags, grab bags, and packets of activities. During our vacation, the kids will have chances to earn Vacation Bucks. (feel free to right click and Save As to use them yourself!)

Kids will cash in Vacation Bucks for souvenirs, toys in the car, grab bags, and privileges (like going first, picking which book we listen to, etc). They can also use them for Busy Bags or other activities when we are at our campground. They can EARN them also by doing educational things. I'll have worksheets and activities that have to do with the places we are seeing. 

In the car, we plan on being organized. I don't know if you noticed that I said I'd received 3 BackSeat Organizers? Well yes! And I'm going to tell you about the last one we got because it it (so far, at least) our favorite!! It's by a brand called Tour Strong. Here's a shot of their Amazon Listing.

You can purchase it HERE and I recommend it for sure. That bottom pocket even has velcro on the back so you can take it with you if you'd like. Vaughn is super stoked to have this in front of his seat. There is room for several of his stuffed animals, crayons, coloring books, reading books, toys, and snacks. I wish I could express to you how much stress this relieves. It'll be so nice to have him and his brother not fighting over every tiny thing "THAT's MINE!"

Here are the listings for the other two, but like I said, we do like the #TourStrong  one the best!


All 3 of those were for free or at a discount for my review.

Anyway, back to Trip Planning!

Aside from getting our car organized and having games, activities, and adventures planned, here is my Pinboard that has a lot of the busy bags I'd like to make. Most of them will be geared towards Paisley and Abraham. 

I also have a Pinboard just about our vacation. This is where I'm getting a lot of my ideas and inspirations for what to take and what to do while there. You'll see that not all the pins are about Grand Canyon, Zion, and Mesa Verde- that's because that was not our Plan A. It wasn't our Plan B, either, but MAN, we're excited that it's the one we're doing!!

Last, but not least, we're also going to be camping the whole time. Sounds fun and exciting, right? Well, if you look at my Pinboard for Camping, you'll notice something.... we are BRAND NEW at this. I'm a little bit terrified and a lot-tle bit excited. This will be a GRAND adventure for our family and I can't wait!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Multipart Review

Hey friends! I'm back with a few reviews. On the docket today, I've got a book called Hohenstein by Didi Lawson, Cove Castile Soap, AYL SoundFit Plus Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker and Three Star Lion's Salt and Pepper Shaker!

Please remember that everything I'm reviewing I have received for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest review. Honest is what you'll get m'friends!

First up, let's talk about Hohenstein!! Available HERE on Amazon, this book is a Historical Romance.

I know, I know, Romance Novels are supposed to be steamy and cheezy, but this one is clean, I promise. I mean, there are a couple pretty intense makeout scenes, but nothing thing that would turn a movie PG-13. It was a bit on the quesolicious side, but I mean, what do you expect?
To the reader, the plots are pretty obvious and fairly predictable, but not to the protagonist who is a great person, even if she is oblivious.  I did feel like I was escaping while reading. I didn't EVER feel like it was a chore (trust me, I can't say that about all books!). The only complaint I have (aside from the fact that several times spaces needed to be between words that weren't there) is that everything resolved itself all at once. I'm not going to tell you how because I think it's worth reading, but I was flustered at how cleanly and suddenly everything was fixed. The actual answer to the problem made me happy,  I just wished that there was a way it could have been a little smoother. #hohensteinbook


Next up, Cove Castile Soap. Available here on Amazon. I am totally LOVING this soap!!

I purchased a different brand of Castile Soap for another review and I liked it and all of it's uses, but this time I have learned so much more and already had plans in store for this bottle! The first thing I had planned was face wash, which, admittedly I haven't made yet because it means going to the store for the proper bottles to put them in. This is the recipe I plan on using.
I did, however, make hand soap and foamy soap right away!
I'd also like to try this recipe for face wash wipes, but I'm not sure I'll ever get all the ingredients together at the same time. My favorite thing about Castile Soap is that there are no artificial colors orescents in it, so it's safe for my kids, who are uber-sensitive to petroleum to use. You can clean with it, too!! I'd like to try making this liquid laundry detergent. You can also use it to wash your floors. Just remember to NEVER mix Castile Soap with vinegar as it makes a mess. #CoveCastileSoap


We're not done! I can't wait to review this AYL SoundFit Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker. Buy it here on Amazon.
I have been wanting to review a BlueTooth speaker FOREVER!! My kids love audiobooks, but my phone's speaker isn't loud enough in the car for the kids to hear in the back and for some reason or another, using the cord to use the car's speaker's doesn't work with my phone. This speaker work's beautifully- for my husband's phone with Audiobooks and for my phone with Pandora.  For some reason, though, the book I'm listening to gets chopped up when transferring. Not sure why that's happening since my husband uses the same app I use (OverDrive) and has had ZERO problems. And, like I said, Pandora sounds beautiful from my phone! We haven't tried it with hubby's yet. #AYLSPEAKERS


Last, but not least, Three Star Lion's Salt and Pepper Shakers. Buy them HERE on Amazon.
Funnily enough, Pink Himalayan Salt was the first thing I put in mine as well! These are nice and sleek. The top has a lid that you just pop off and then you can adjust how big or small you want the grain to be. There is something SO gratifying about hearing that grinding sound as you turn the tube around. I'm very happy to have these. They are already and asset to our family! #saltandpeppergrinderset

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Bentonite Clay

I homeschool. I'm kind of granola, but usually more out of convenience than anything. Sometimes, I think some of the things my friends do are a bit on the strange side, but then I watch- and the things they do work!

For the last year, several of my friends kept talking about this stuff called Bentonite Clay. One friend said she used it in toothpaste. Another friend said that she used it in a healing salve. Yet another friend talked about foot detox baths and how amazing they are, but how gross the water gets when all those toxins leave your body. I was a bit skeptical, but realized that all these ladies were the kind of people I wanted to be like. Clearly, they were doing SOMEthing right.

So when the opportunity came up to review some of this "Magic Clay," I jumped at the chance. 

Here is the clay I received:

While waiting for it, I asked my friends about what they do with THEIR clay. Answers included
Face Mask
Added to Deodorant
Drinking it as a Detox (disclaimer, this brand says external use only)
Bee Stings
Bug Bites
Abnormal Skin Spots
Detox Bath
Black Ointment
Toothpaste

Now, I did try it the foot detox that I found a recipe for on Pinterest, but I don't think I did it right. I know my water wasn't hot enough and I'm not sure I had my ratios right. I'm going to try it again eventually.

In the meantime, here are some other pins I'd like to try:
Toothpaste- now, I've tried one homemade toothpaste that used clay, but it wasn't my favorite combination of ingredients. I'm willing to try again, though, starting with some of these recipes.

Dry Shampoo- I LOVE Dry shampoo, but I hate that it is SO WHITE and I have dark hair. So I'm excited to try THIS VERSION

Makeup- I adore makeup, but it upsets me a little that FDA pretty much has no regulations on what people can put, so I'm starting to use it less. This makes me sad because putting on makeup is like an art project to me.


Deodorant Bars- this makes me curious. 

Sinus Relief Bath Bombs- though there are several versions of these I'd like to try, this is the one that calls for Bentonite Clay. Side note- do NOT use Eucalyptus for kids under 10!

For my husband, I'd kind of like to make these Shaving Soaps for him. He wears a beard about half the year, but the other half, he's going to want nice skin, right?!

This is the Foot Detox bath I told you about. I totally bombed it, but pretty sure the error was on my end. I'd like to try again.

I asked on a Facebook group what these ladies do with theirs, and I'm getting a LOT of answers saying
Face Mask
Wound Healing
Drinking for Stomach Issues
Sunburn
Slivers
Cuts 
Food Poisoning
Nausea
Tooth Powder
Skin Infections
Warts
Bee Stings
Skin Injuries
I'm betting most make a poultice like this one. 

I'm going to make a video explaining what I DO with this stuff in just a few. I'll post the link when I've got it!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ice, Ice Baby!!!

We all know by now that I love to do reviews. Most of you also know that we homeschool. I've combined the two in my latest adventure. Unfortunately, my review own't be as awesome as it COULD be because I haven't had time to do all the things I have planned.

I have gotten the COOLEST (pun intended) ice cube trays for review.

First up is the Bar Brat. This makes 4 round ice cubes that are SO COOL!!!! Purchase here. #barbratlove



Next up is the SUMPRI. This came with two molds, one for really big cubes and the other for round ones, just like the Bar Brat, except 6 instead of 4. Purchase here. #SUMPRI



We also reviewed these Star Wars molds, but found they were way more fun to use for CHOCOLATE!! Purchase here.


On top of that, I also bought hubby some fun Gun and bullet molds. Purchase here and here


Now, aside from chocolate and ice, what do I plan on DOING with these molds? We're going to have SUCH a fun summer!!!

We are going to PAINT with ice! http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/01/paintsicles-frozen-paint-cubes-for.html

We are going to PAINT the ice! http://playcountsdenitadinger.blogspot.com/2012/03/inspiring-imaginationsleprechaun-day_02.html

We'll RACE the ice! http://www.toddlerapproved.com/2015/06/ice-boat-racing-for-toddlers.html

We'll RESCUE the guys from ice! http://amypessolano.com/rescue-the-lego-men-ice-excavation-activity/

We'll EXCAVATE the ice!! http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/frozen-dinosaur-eggs-ice-excavation-sensory-play/

We'll MAGNATIZE the ice!! http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/magnetic-ice-science-activity-ice-magnet-play-kids-stem/

We'll SALT the ice!! http://www.sciencekiddo.com/salt-melts-ice-experiment/

We'll GLOW the ice! http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/09/glowing-oil-ice-experiment.html?m=1

We'll even just PLAY MARBLES with the ice!! http://www.readingconfetti.com/2013/07/frozen-marbles.html


Needless to say, these molds will get used a LOT and we can't wait!!!