2 months ago, I ordered some natural laundry stuff off of Amazon. I ordered some Inco Little Helpers Wool Dryer Balls & some NaturOli Soap Nuts ( Soap Berries?).
I wanted to give them some time of testing before I wrote a little post. I do 2-3 loads of laundry per week, over about 8 weeks... I thought that was a pretty decent length of time.
So the Dryer Balls are a natural way to soften fabric without any chemical fabric softeners or disposable sheets. They come in a nice drawstring bag. I definitely feel my laundry has come out nice and fluffy and not static-y which is great! The listing says they don't make any noise during drying, but I kind of disagree. While the dryer cycles I can hear them hitting against the inside of the dryer. It isn't alarming or inconveniently loud, but it's definitely something I can hear. Just like if you have a big buckle or zipper that you hear clang against the door while it's drying... same kind of thing. My dryer is in an enclosed laundry nook anyways, so it's really not obtrusive.
One great idea to freshen the scent of clothes is toadd a few drops of essential oils to these balls before tossing them in. I loved this suggestion, but found that no matter how many drops of oils I added to the dryer balls, I still couldn't smell them by the end of the cycle! I'm not sure if theorange oil I used was not good quality, or if I need to add them in the last few minutes of the dry cycle only. Do you have any tips?
Overall I am very pleased with this eco-friendly laundry purchase and will absolutely continue to use these wool dryer balls.
Stop by tomorrow for a post on the soap nuts! :o)
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For the last 6 weeks I have been working my way through a new Serum by Seoul Ceuticals Korean Skin Care Line. I love that it is 98% natural land 72% organic. While I do experience periodic breakouts like most people and continue to battle with trying to fade a few old acne marks, I often get compliments on my skin which makes me feel really good because like most of us - I usually only see the random breakout or acne mark and focus on that. Anyways, I consider generally good skin to be largely due to living a clean lifestyle free of habits that are bad for health, eating healthy, and trying to minimize stress. In the last couple of years I have really improved my skin care routines and taken that more seriously as well.
Okay that was all a little bit of a ramble, sorry. On to this serum..
This is a thin-consistency serum featuring Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid among other good-for-your-skin ingredients. I have been using it at least once daily- in the morning after showering/washing my face. Some days I add it in my night time routine also even though it is called a "Day Glow Serum" :) It has a light citrus scent which comes from the Orange Stem Cells within the serum. I have been applying this serum along with some oils (a mix of jojoba and rosehip oil I have in a glass bottle) on a clean, damp (not dripping) face. I find it absorbs quickly and the added moisture on my skin helps me to distribute the serum/oils more evenly. My skin needs those extra oils to feel properly moisturized, but yours may not. After a couple of minutes this absorbs totally so that I can proceed with applying my makeup for the day. I have no issues with this affecting my makeup application which is great!
I still have 2/3 of this 1 ounce bottle left and I will definitely continue using this product until I reach the end of the bottle! Loving it! :)
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Last fall I posted about a DIY toothpaste recipe I was trying and promised to update on the whole DIY oral care from my perspective. I feel like It's been long enough that I can give you some updates!
The original recipe included coconut oil, baking soda, trace minerals, and peppermint essential oil. First thing to note is that this is not meant to replicate the standard commercial toothpastes in texture, appearance, or flavor. Because of the baking soda and trace minerals it has a salty type taste and the baking soda gives it a grittier texture than the toothpaste you are used to. Some may dislike this, but I didn't mind at all after the initial adjustment.
Modifications & Additions
Last night (sorry, I wrote this in June but never posted it!) I made what is either my third or fourth batch of this toothpaste and along the way I have added bentonite clay to the mix. It gives it a more grayish color, but the clay has some really good benefits for your teeth and is said to help remineralize them. Last night I made one more addition... 2 dissolved calcium tablets. I am excited about this addition because of my results with DIY mouthwash, which I'll write about below...
Does it whiten? Do I have any tips?
Does it whiten? Yes, I believe so. Baking soda helps to remove surface stains from your teeth. (PS. I'm not a doctor or dentist, this is all my opinion or generally accepted knowledge online. Because anything online *must* be true. Hahahaha) If you brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, you will be keeping on top of potentially staining food and beverage particles on your teeth and since you're not having to brush through all kinds of gunk, the paste can work on what's underneath. I think the whitening power will be increased with the addition of the Calcium!! We'll see.
Also, one tip I can think of at the moment: If you melt down the coconut oil for ease of evenly mixing etc, just be aware that there is a little fizzing of the ingredients and the coconut oil will expand as it comes back to room temp. In other wards, don't fill your container to the brim, or it will later overflow in your cabinet, causing you a mess. Not speaking from experience or anthing... *cough, cough*
I haven't perfected the texture to be perfectly squeezable, and have turned to just scooping out of the container with my toothbrush. This is fine because I am the only one in my house using this toothpaste.
I decided to test DIY mouthwash out too! Listerine is expensive if you use it as often as recommended and why is it so vibrantly colored?!! Who told them we want to rinse our mouths with blue and purple and green liquid?? So confusing..
Anyway, I basically took an empty glass iced tea bottle, cleaned and sanitized. I added filtered water, trace minerals, peppermint essential oil, and lemon essential oil, and some calcium tablets. When they dissolved in the liquid I shook it all up. And I shake it before each use. This leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and I swear super bright. I really think the rinsing with calcium brightens your teeth. Rinse as long as you want/can. I'm a fan of a lengthy swish, and not just a two-swish-and-spit. These ingredients have remineralization benefits for your teeth, antiseptic properties, teeth whitening and gum strengthening. All great things!
If you feel you want an extra whitening booth, you know Listerine's Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse? Look, its basically just peroxide to swish around. So carefully (at your own risk, I'm not a professional) swish some peroxide before brushing for the same results with less added junk and way lower cost. Just beware that your teeth can often be sensitive after this, especially if your teeth are usually sensitive as it is.
I am still loving my DIY toothpaste and mouthwash. I still see no reason to turn back ever. My teeth look and feel great and I'm noticing in photos that my smile looks really bright and that makes me happy. Do you have any DIY oral care tips, tricks, or recipes to share? Leave a comment and let us know!
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Behold! The Best Ginger Beer.... Everrrrr!
This is just a quick post because I am dyingggg to share this with you!
If you love a good Moscow Mule, Dark & Stormy, or just Ginger Beer on it's own, you must try Q Ginger Beer. It is hand down **the best Ginger Beer** I have ever tried. It is perfect for mixed drinks but I also crave it on it's own which I can't generally say about any other carbonated pop/soda. It has a real kick to it between the ginger and a hint of cayenne. I loveeeeeee it!
The only downside is that it is a tad pricey. :( But it is such quality ingredients and taste that I find this to be an item worth the splurge. (after all, it's not like I'm drinking them every day....)
One way to save a little bit is to add it to your Subscribe n Save items on Amazon which can give you up to 15% off on the purchase. You can also buy the cans which are cheaper than the glass bottles. But if you love a glass bottle like I do amazon currently has a20% off coupon on your first shipment that you could take advantage of. -->
Either way, I really recommend it. Or if you can find it in your local stores (I can't which is why I'm ordering from Amazon. Plus Amazon brings heavy things to my door. Thanks USPS carriers!) then definitely try it there and see if you like it!
If you don't like Ginger Beer, they also have some other options. I'm curious to try the grapefruit, myself!
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Most people are not especially interested in modest swimwear, but if you are you know how difficult it can be to track down. Even a one piece is often cut in multiple ways that can make it quite showy.
I have lovedswim skirts as an option, but it can be annoying how the flowy skirt portion floats up to the surface of the water and besides, some of the skirted parts aren't even long enough to cover anything, but are more of a decoration!
If you want the convenience of two pieces with modesty and functionality I recommend the swim short... or swim pant? or swim Capri?
I wasn't sure how this would go so I ordered 3 options from Amazon that had free returns:
I found all three to be suitable options (pun intended)... :p
But I decided I liked the weight of the material best on the two from Private Island Hawaii Brand.
It took me a while of deliberating. But since I plan to wear these with tankinis that adjust to swim dress length, I decided I liked the longer length ones. These also give me the option to easily go from pool and beach to shopping, traveling, touring, eating, etc without totally screaming "Hey Y'all, I'm in swimwear!"
If you're looking for a modest, comfortable, and versatile swimwear option I think this style is a great bet!
I have to tell you I was skeptical when DH told me he signed up forHP's Instant Ink program. Basically you pay a certain amount of money per month to HP to print a certain number of pages. They automatically send you new cartridges as needed. I thought we were legit going to be getting ripped off every month.
(I was pleasantly surprised)
"Supposedly" there was a substantial savings to this.
We have never gone over our printing amount, and in fact when you have extra pages leftover, they are in a rollover bank, so you don't ever lose out on pages you've paid for, if you will.
I used to be scouring the deals at Staples, our local office supply store, trying to see when ink was on sale and how to use my rewards to get a discount and I definitely got some good deals, but it also took a lot of time, mental energy, and work planning when to purchase and driving to the store etc.
Now that we haveHP Instant Ink, I love it and I wouldn't look back. Based on what HP is telling me, I'm getting a good value. But even if I wasn't, the sheer convenience of this program is worth the cost to me. But I really do think I am getting a good value.
At $5/month x 12 months thats only $60. To buy a package of ink for our printer (1 XL black and 1 each of cyan, magenta, and yellow) would cost around $100 on Amazon or Staples. And I know we used to replace ink more often than once a year. So I think I am genuinely saving cash, time, effort, gas, mental energy, and more with this program.
I highly recommend it!!!
Do you want to try HP Instant Ink? Get one month of HP Instant Ink for free!
About a year and a half ago I tried my first reusable makeup removing cloth. Prior to this I often used samples of makeup remover that came from brands like clinique or estee lauder as gifts with purchase. Sometime after that I started the sloppy, but effective, coconut oil method. But when I first tried this cloth method I was so pleasantly surprised that I haven't looked back!
I would ration out the one cloth to last all week. (Note: Some days I do not wear makeup) By laundry day it needed washed for sure, and it worked perfectly. But I was thinking it would be so nice to have more than one so I could just use one a day and toss it in the hamper and avoid it awkwardly hanging in my bathroom or getting stinky by the end of the week.
I couldn't decide which to order so I ordered two different products.
1. Miracle Face Erase 2 Pack Microfiber Make Up Removing Cloths ($11.97)
2. S&T Always Off Make Up Removing Cloths 3 count ($2.97)
I was astounded at the price difference and figured you might be also. Here's what I think:
Miracle Cloths look and feel more luxurious and plush. The microfiber is more substantial (is that an oxymoron?) and the quality is clearly higher, as you would expect. It has nice features like one side is to "erase" and the other has longer fibers to "Exfoliate". It also has a loop for hanging to dry which is a nice feature if you have a hook in your bathroom.
S&T Cloths are much smaller in size and much thinner. Both sides have the same texture. They take off the makeup also. But I would venture to say they won't last nearly as long and will look dingy relatively quickly.
Who's The Winner?
I guess it just depends on your budget. If you want to try the cheaper ones to test out this method, I think it's a good place to start. If you want more surface area and for it to feel a little more luxurious, then go with the Miracle Cloths or the Love Alpha ones.
In all, I think they are all functional and a great way to take care of your skin without using a ton of disposable products.
Do you use a similar product? Which is your favorite? How do you remove your make up? Let me know if you have any tips!
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This month's ipsy bag is all about having a chill summer. It featured the Sanrio character Gudetama, a humorously lazy fried egg. The bag is amusing & cute - front and back. (hehe)
Delayed Delivery of Ipsy Bag
This is my second month of Ipsy. Check out my first month here.
Last month my bag arrived on time for the estimated delivery which was 4 days after the shipping date. This month the bag did not arrive for 5 days after the estimated delivery date. I know Ipsy can't really help it if the delivery is delayed. We don't want the monthly cost to go up so they probably can't get any better of delivery systems, but I was so anxious to get my bag!!! I had to avoid youtube videos and Ipsy emails which spoil your entire bag! I can never decide if I want to know ahead of time what I got or if I want to be totally surprised. So far I have been trying to use self control to not peak at my bag contents before it arrived!
Thoughts on July 2017 Ipsy
I am once again quite pleased with my Ipsy bag!
The Gudetama theme is so adorable and prompted me to watch some Gudetama on youtube. This made me more amused about the bag and I enjoyed the cultural aspect.
A lot of my makeup brushes I have had for a while, so I like the idea of getting some brushes in my bag and if I like them replacing some older brushes that have seen their day.
I don't use lotion or cream often. I hate when your hands are all greasy and everything you do after you put the lotion on leaves residue. I like that this lotion has dead sea water/minerals in it. Partly marketing, partly because I think there really is benefit to it. lol. This is a great size for travel. I don't love that it has added fragrance, but the fragrance itself is mild and doesn't bother me in any way. It actually absorbs quite nicely into skin.
The eyeliner seems interesting and is described as a "gel-kohl". I am hoping it will glide on smooth and be long lasting. It has a pencil at one end and a liner brush at the other. Good for smudging out but I can also see this being great to travel with as you could use the line brush for multiple purposes!
I have never tried any products from Ofra Cosmetics before. This shadow is a gorgeous color. It comes in a refill pan that you can put in a palette. Fortunately, I have a mac make up palette with room to add this in!
In *love* with the adorable packaging on this little blush palette. I think this will be great for traveling. It offers a nice range of shades to pair with various eye looks which is ideal for me because I like to mix things up! The size is quite small, but I have been using with no trouble myblush sample from last month from the Balm and it has a similar size
If you wanna try Ipsy, this is my referral link. I think we both get points if you sign up for this link? You can use points to buy products from the ipsy website!
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It's been about 7 years since I first purchased a Vitamix. I did some odd jobs to save up a hefty chunk of cash to invest in this super-powered machine because of it's great reputation. On the day-to-day, I mainly use it for blitzing up smoothies and pureeing sauces and soups. I've also used it to grind whole wheat berries for flower. But I had never used it to grind spices (or even thought of it, or needed to) until recently.
I went on a muffin-making frenzy one day and after I was elbow-deep in dishes from the first round of muffins and started the second (two different varieties), I realized we had NO ground cinnamon in the house. NONE. How does this happen!?! How did I not realize?? I checked my backup spice shelf, but nope. Everything but cinnamon. How can you make cinnamon apple streusel muffins with no cinnamon? *sigh* To go out of the house at this point just felt painful. *double sigh* After all, there was probably muffin batter in my hair! You never know.. ;p
But just then I realized I had some cinnamon sticks and I've had a Vitamix for almost a decade! DUH MOMENT! I just tossed a couple of those sticks into the dry container and in a matter of moments they were blitzed to powder. When I opened the lid it was the most gloriously intense cinnamon smell I have ever inhaled! The muffins were amazing and, while it was never in question, this justreaffirmed my love of my Vitamix. <33
Do you grind spices fresh or buy them already ground? I usually buy them pre-ground, but this has inspired me to do some spice-grinding of my own in the future!
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