My Gratitude List

I saw this on the Alphabet Salad blog and decided to join her linkup with my own list of things that I’m thankful for this week, or pleased about. They are not in any specific order but just a few tasks that I have been able to accomplish or some instances that I could reflect upon with appreciation. I plan to list 5-10 and do this whenever the mood strikes, or once a week if I can.

My Gratitude List;

– Some of the Facebook groups that I am part of, as silly as it sounds, and the friends that I have made through them. Support is encouraging, regardless of the form that it comes in.
– The ability to Pay It Forward and letting a few people know how special they are to me this week.
– My husband and the fact that he let me catch up on some sleep this weekend, while he rose early with the kids (he received baked goods and no junk punches in exchange), and I snuggled up in our down-filled duvet.
– My youngest daughter dancing to every single thing that sounds remotely like music. It’s adorable.
– The fact that I have been able to overcome depression in my past. I am especially thankful for this on a day like today, when I learned about the death of Robin Williams.
– My “new” couch, received from a kind friend. It looks great and makes me very happy, as I hated the old one.
– I have lost two and a half pounds in the last couple of days. It is not much but it is a healthy loss and I am on my way to my 30lb goal, which would bring me down to the weight that I was before any of the babies.
– Today’s rain and thunder. It has cooled things down immensely, which is fantastic.
– My oldest son’s behaviour this week.
– The fact that my blog seems to be doing well and gaining steady readership. Thank you!!

 What’s on your gratitude list today? Please share and link up!

 

To all of my Toronto area readers….

The band, Xprime, has worked their butts off for years in order to perfect their sound, hone their talents or, more, just get them realized in that “big break” kind of way. These guys come from a hokey part of Niagara but have a sound far more diverse, upbeat and kickass than you would think our sleepy town of Welland permits. They have fought to the top six of The Edge 102.1’s The Next Big Thing contest, taking the lead as voter favourite, and are on their way to clinching the title with a little luck and a wicked performance at a concert that you most definitely need to attend. Xprime plays for the top spot at the Sound Academy in Toronto, on August 22nd, and will be the band to end the night- also providing us with an excellent opportunity to start an encore chant for them!

Check out one of their newest releases here, which was featured as part of their entry into the contest;

 

I would love to see any of my area readers there and will organize ahead of time what I’ll be wearing, as well as update this post with a photo so we can meet up, say hello and “Dish” for a while. This is an incredibly important event for me and I will be on edge until the very end, in the hopes of watching them win the recognition that they most definitely deserve. I would love the additional support for these guys so, please, BE THERE!

EDIT;
They DID nail it and it was a fantastic show! Please help support the very deserving band, Xprime, by Retweeting this!!

@the_edge @XPRIMEtheband is clearly The #EdgeNBT! Amazing #Show last night! @soundacademy crowd went completely crazy for those guys! #ftw
โ€” MyDomesticDish (@MyDomesticDish) August 23, 2014

A Wild Soap Bar; B. Y. O. B.

I came across A Wild Soap Bar while doing some research for My Domestic Dish and, lucky for me, the company consented to sending me some natural handmade soap bars for review, on the house. I say, “On the house” while thinking of Maggie Hanus, the owner of the company. Her title in the family company is “soap bartender” and I found that rather endearing. I sat there thinking for a second about a sad scene, with some lowly guy shambling up to the bar and telling Maggie all of his woes, while she slides across the remedy for his backne via way of the Black Willow Bark charcoal soap. Gross, I know, but this is what a lady might think up at 2am when she is not fantasizing about husbands that do housework or considering the floors that still need to be washed. Ya know?

I have that particular bar and it looks darkly enticing.

As you can see, the Black Willow Bark soap definitely lives up to it’s name in shade. This fantastic, little activated charcoal soap is great for acne and all kinds of skin conditions, on top of being really cool to look at.
It leaves skin very squeaky clean feeling, although not horribly dry, and I definitely felt as if this was an effective soap to scrub with. It is also quite substantial in size, as were the other bars (all the same) as you can see by the bar-in-hand photo below;

The scent is very much like that of a pure charcoal art pencil and I greatly enjoyed fond memories from high school art classes being brought back as I lathered with it. Surprisingly enough, the lather was alright- more than what I would expect out of a natural soap like this, especially when considering the organic ingredients. One is advised not to use more than twice per day, as it can leave you dried out, and I wouldn’t choose this for my every day bar, as I have relatively normal, problem-free skin.
The main downside to this product is, if you use it in the bath, you need to expect that it will turn your bathwater black and, if you get a ring in your tub, you need to count on some very dark soap scum. Now, that could also be seen as a plus if I count the kid in all of us, as I quite enjoyed seeing the water change colour. It was like using one of those Crayola bath tablets, only as if Tim Burton had made it.

Next up, is the Wildflower soap;

This one is lovely to look at and smells just the same. The scent is extremely fresh, clean and reminds me of a spring morning in a dewy garden. The blend is made with wildflowers, floral essential oils, organic oats and little bits of multi coloured soap, that they call “soap-pourri”. which you can better see from the top.
Using this bar was quite a pleasant experience, which left my skin feeling more moisturized than the charcoal soap and I found the scent actually stayed with me for longer than anticipated. I used it on my two girls as well, including in their hair, and could still smell the flowery freshness the next day. The only downside was that I actually found it shrunk a bit quicker than I hoped it would and I got less use out of it than I would have liked. That was a shame, considering this one is my favourite and the scent rivals those that are filled with chemicals.
Last, but certainly not least- check out this unique find!

Texturally, at first, the sea salt scrub was not something that I wanted to wash myself with, as I thought it would be scratchy.

Surprisingly enough, it was not the least bit unpleasant but did help exfoliate my skin incredibly well. I found, when using this bar as a prep scrub and then a lather for shaving with, that my skin stayed smoother for longer and I did not have the little “pickies” on my legs the next morning. I got a closer shave because the exfoliation was fantastic and I actually really enjoyed the scent. It’s very natural, reminds me of the ocean, and is topped with lots of little pink bits of Himalayan sea salt; Very exotic and I highly recommend it if you are looking for an excellent organic soap that will leave your skin radiant and smooth. 

If you are interested in getting sidling up to the Wild Soap Bar, contact the bartender here;

The Great Polish Giveaway of 2014

Hey you! Guess what I did today? 
THIS!

I just chose an absolutely gorgeous shade of polish to include in this giveaway, where one lucky reader is going to walk away with up to 200 different polishes from Nail Polish Canada! How fantastic is that?
I chose the NFU Oh 56 and, as I have never swatched this one before, I am thrilled about the idea of seeing your pictures if you enter here and win!

http://www.nailpolishcanada.com/products/nfu-oh-56-flakie-by-nfu-oh.html

Super easy entry form (which is rare nowadays, isn’t it?) and you don’t have to jump through a billion hoops to participate. If, however, you want to hop through a bunch of blogs on top then you can earn even more entries here, there and everywhere!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jester or Specter?

This will be a bit more of a personal post, as I was prompted to recall this experience due to a blog entry on 113Tidbits that I just came across.

I used to have an imaginary friend.

It’s strange. I realize that. I embraced my inner weirdo years ago. 

Now, that being said, I consider myself of relatively sound mind and don’t believe that was something that I grew into. I do not experience these kinds of things in adulthood but, I admit, I used to have an imaginary friend who was quite real to me.

I know I am not the only person to have had one, although I hear less about this from other parents nowadays. I wonder if it is that we are embarrassed, as adults, to disclose that our child talks to a person that only they can see or if it is simply such an infrequent occurrence that I have yet to come across a parent who has experienced this.

My friend was a clown, in a wheelchair, who had been run over by a bus. Creative, I know, but that was the story that I told my parents, or anyone else who had inquired about him. His name was Binky and he had been crippled in an accident on the corner directly out front of my house. I talked to him every day, he followed me around my home in his wheelchair and he sat at our dinner table. He was so real to me that, if I was messing around at the table and spent too much time talking to him, my mother would wheel him outside as punishment. Mothers; we can be such jerks.
We spent many days together and, although he was a quiet clown, he was my best buddy at the time.
I decorated my room for him and, unlike most children, I embraced all kinds decor that may have otherwise been considered a bit on the creepy side; with a growth chart in his image and little, porcelain clown dolls, in order to make Binky feel more welcome.
I actually even begged my father for a photo of the Joker that said, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?”

Image from www.quotesforbros.com

At two, it probably ought to have been princesses or something from Disney that I wanted displayed on my walls but I was pulled to Jack Nicholson as the most infamous Batman villain.

Although I spent many days with Binky, I eventually grew up. I stopped playing with my clown pal and I forgot about him as the years passed.

Fast-forward to nearly two decards later and my 2 year old son was talking to thin air in my mother’s kitchen. I said, “Who are you talking to there buddy?” My sweet, pudgy angel looked up at me and replied, “Binky!”, with a smile. I had never mentioned the crippled clown to my child, as he had faded from my mind years before. I had no idea where the name came from and found it pretty amusing until he followed up his response with, “You know, the guy with the blue hair…and the wheels….”

I got the kind of chills where every hair on your body stands up on end and your eyes well up with tears. 

I have them now.

Image from www.spirithalloween.com



No Xenoestrogens for me, with Zero Xeno!

I am very, very proud of this entry as a result of the education and information it may bring to light, and due to the quality of the natural body and skincare products that I get to show you today. 
Although I am not perfect in my organic journey and, I’ll admit it, sometimes I think, “Maybe I can risk cancer for this indulgence” from time to time, I try to live the cleanest life possible and protect my children, as well as the environment, from as much as I can.  
Years ago, I read a book called Slow Death By Rubber Duck (I own a signed copy now) and it awakened something in me that helped to alter my daily life, change me as a consumer, and even bring this blog to light.
It also helped me get in touch with Bonnie, the founder of Zero Xeno and learn a bit about her story. 
Bonnie Penner, a home-schooling, active, young mother of four boys was suffering from multiple hormone related diseases, including fibrocystic breast disease, ganglion cysts, uterine fibroids, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, to name only a few. Sound familiar, anyone? She, like myself, ate primarily organic foods, baked the household bread, and cooked from scratch daily but could not be considered “healthy”, even with all of her efforts. As she networked with others in similar situations, she learned quite a bit about xenoestrogens and the havoc that the chemical additions to our daily personal care, laundry or household items wreak on our bodies and our environment. 
What are they, you ask? It’s put quite well on http://www.zeroxeno.com
All of Bonnie’s health issues, as well as many others including obesity, can be linked to these chemicals but we still include them in day-to-day products. I know so many mothers, suffering women, and so many family members who expose themselves to avoidable pollutants daily. There are dozens of offers a day that go up in my favourite Facebook group that include personal “care” items- and that term needs to be used loosely- ridden with xenoestrogens.

Zero Xeno includes none of those chemicals and this is what I am going to show you today; 
I was sent this natural personal care bundle for review, which includes the Zero Xeno face wash, the face cream, a body wash, natural shampoo and conditioner. The additional bottles were a toner and the sugar scrub but I will save those for a later review, once they have been officially launched by the company. I got a preview!

First up, the chemical free shampoo and conditioner!
I have been pleasantly surprised by how soft my hair has become in the last couple of weeks, after only using the Zero Xeno combo. The shampoo smells of lemongrass and is far more bubbly than you would expect from a product comprised of organic and food grade ingredients. It rinses completely away, which I find fantastic because some shampoos leave me with a build-up, and my hair is left feeling light but nourished.

What I liked most was not so much the shampoo, as it was fairly standard, but their conditioner;

If you are anything like me, you are out of conditioner before the shampoo is gone, due to a runny consistency and having to use an exorbitant amount in order to cover your locks. I am unsure how I can demonstrate this adequately but, if it helps at all, you can see in this picture that my hand is tilted and the conditioner is still holding it’s shape.
It is thick, very rich and provides excellent coverage with only a small amount. My hair is half way down my back and I can use the amount in my palm to distribute it through my hair, cover the tips and wrap it up to wait for 5 mins or so while it works some follicle-friendly magic.

The conditioner itself has the added scent of sage, as well as the same lemongrass as the shampoo, and my hair smells fantastic after using the duo. The hubby has noted as much, when stealing my pillow the other morning, and it made me feel girly ๐Ÿ˜›

His personal favourite product out of the lot, however, was the liquid hand soap and the most note-worthy point about this comes from him. As I have mentioned in previous entries, he is a tool and die maker and does a very dirty job on a daily basis. My poor man is left with these mechanic-like hands that have a slick of grease, oil and grime that is incredibly sexy but not easily removed;

Now, although every lady would love hands like that on her body (don’t lie), they are not lovely in our homes. He regularly has fingerprints caked in dirt, like this, even after washing;

It is nearly impossible to get out of the tiny identifying crevices in his hands, no matter how frequently or hard he scrubs, leading to my household looking as if a slug made of newspaper trailed itself along some surfaces. He normally washes with a chemical laden soap that, more than likely, contains petroleum distillates and may very well end up giving him cancer. On top of that, it’s obscenely harsh on his skin and he suffers from severe eczema so we’ve already been dealing with work related skin issues since he took up the trade.
Anyway, I typically keep all of the products that I review separate from household items in order for me to be able to use them on my own and learn the products before they are used by the family members. With soaps, it’s harder to do that because they are not exactly moved from room to room with ease or purpose.

My husband, subsequently, used the above product and I heard, “What’s in this soap?!” from the bathroom a couple of days ago. I thought maybe he had some sort of reaction to it, as he has sensitive skin, or was wondering about the name (Kombucha). He asked me, “Is this a review soap?!” and I replied that it was, at which point he said, “You can add in there that it works really well. I can’t get that black crap out from my fingerprints and this stuff is getting it off! My hands haven’t been this clean in….well, I can’t even remember”. He then came and stuck his decidedly more peach palms in my face. Gotta love husbands.
I had him leave his hands dirty after work the other day and here are a couple of shots, just to show you how easily and effectively this natural hand soap cuts through the toughest of messes. You can see the contracts between his hands and wrists;

He has been thoroughly enjoying some of the soaps that I have been checking out lately, as he is used to using an orange, sand soap and it is awful on his skin. The Zero Xeno one smells just like the shampoo and is our new household favourite as a result of the lemony-clean fragrance and outstanding performance.

Here is the facial cleanser…

…and  is what the facial moisturizer, the treatment to follow cleansing, looks like; 

Now, what is with the funny name?
I have recently learned that Kombucha is an ancient, fermented tea, which can contain over 50 different kinds of probiotics, organic enzymes, amino acids and vitamins that help naturally balance your pH levels, as well as nourish and moisturize your skin. Regardless of the batch type that is used in these products, all would contain at least one beneficial yeast, advantageous bacteria, at least one pH neutralizer, anti-microbial acids, and several anti bacterial compounds. Talk about complex but, hey, if it cleans my face and leaves my skin glowing then I am happy to learn a bit about what it is! That is exactly what the face wash does and, although it is not the prettiest colour, coming out an icky brown, it feels wonderful and scrubs well! The additional benefits afforded from the Kombucha are a bonus where I am concerned, as it does the job and I enjoyed the process.

Now, I’ve never been the biggest fan of moisturizer for my face.

I have been blessed with pretty great skin. I have dark circles under my eyes, which is my main drawback, but I have a good complexion, my skin retains moisture quite well and I am not acne prone. (Knock on wood.)
As I am getting older, I have started to dabble in the world of nightcreams and preventative measures, to try to keep these sneaky crows’ feet at bay, so lately I have been trying them. More often than not, my experiment leads to clogged pores and a zit. I can not say that the Zero Xeno moisturizer feels as light as I would like it to, or that it absorbs quickly, but I can say that I have been using it for a straight week and my skin is still clear. It is not my all time favourite product but it is most definitely not the worst and I do prefer to take a chemical-free approach to my face. It’s the only one I’ve got, afterall. I would recommend it for those with dry skin and, if you have acne, it may be worth trying due to the anti bacterial properties in the Kombucha.

Last, but not least, is the body wash.

This is, again, scented like the shampoo and lathers just as well as any drugstore bodywash. Very little is required in order to get some great suds and I liked how easily it rinsed away, as well as the added benefits for my skin from the Kombucha. The smell is light and pleasant, coming from essential oils and ingredients that are not synthetic! I did find that, hours later, I could detect the faint scent of lemongrass after a workout and was all the more pleased with my experience.

Overall, I highly recommend the Zero Xeno line and you can find their products here. Even if you do not intend to purchase a single thing, you can also check out their Facebook site for the educational aspects alone. You will be surprised at what you learn!

Kaley’s Soap Nuts from Orgownic

If you read my blog on a regular basis, or have even previously checked out a post or two,  you may know that I use soapnuts almost daily in the household. I use them for my laundry, have taken to using the liquid to bath the pets and I have done a review on them previously. Have you heard of these little things before?

They look like this;
I was sent these by Orgownic, a company that specializes primarily in earth friendly medical products, to try out and tell you about. I stumbled upon their site during my search for soapnuts and thought that the values of the business are excellent so, if you want to learn a bit about how they are reducing paper waste and helping eliminate those horrible, crinkly hospital gowns that we all loathe,  you can find their page here
Anyway, back to the product!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with these little guys, they are actually a fruit and not a nut- so there is no need to worry about allergies in that respect. In fact, they are pretty great where some allergies are concerned, like sensitive skin or if you have issues with scented products. My husband has suffered from eczema all throughout his life and, on occasion, he will break out horribly as a result of us switching laundry detergent. Thankfully, we have been using these for a while now and will never have that problem again. The fruit shells are dried in the sun, naturally, without any chemical additions and the saponin in the shell coatings cleans our clothes without synthetics! I simply love them- and they WORK.

What I enjoyed about Orgownic’s offering in the way of laundry products is the fact that there are so many options when it comes to their soapnut bundles. You can choose a variety of bag sizes, they are launching the liquid soap (pictured above) and there’s also a little satchet option! This means no real risk to your wallet if you are simply wanting to test them out and not dive in to the soapnut scene headfirst. 

Now, the little bottle I have shown you can do approximately 90 loads of laundry. It sounds crazy but standard laundry soap is watered down so much that other providers basically sell you water and this is quite different. All that is required for a load of laundry is a capful of this size;  

Saponin is low-sudsing and this is what the water will look like; 
For some reason, I found that the liquid provided a scent upon our clean clothes that was very light and enjoyable. That is not normally found with soapnuts, as there is usually no fragrance whatsoever to the laundry afterwards, so it was a pleasant surprise. I am going to make the liquid from my next batch of used ones and see if that happens with all renderings because it was a new experience for me and I had not noticed that previously.
One other thing that I wanted to show you is this; 

That’s the little bag the soapnuts come in, which you just pop into your wash and leave in for the full cycle (it needs to be removed prior to drying). When I first saw the bag, I thought, “How is THAT going to stay sealed in the wash machine?” but it works well! 
In fact, this is a picture of my other soapnuts bag that I typically use; 

As you can see, it’s tangled, knotted and the string gets horribly twisted in the machine so it’s a bit of a pain to open it after every load of laundry. I was happier with the newest bag and prefer it now.
I could go on for ages about how much I love these little pieces of dried fruit and their many uses, although I think this caption from the Orgownic site sums it up nicely; 
Photo from; www.orgownic.com
From personal experience, this particular company is a pleasure to deal with and the ladies are extremely helpful. If you have not yet tried soapnuts, I can not possibly say more about their benefits!

Baby Products by Anointment

It seems like today is a baby talk kind of day, both in my household and on the blog! After posting the earlier review (that you can read here) about cloth diapers, I figured it was an ideal time to talk about some baby skincare products.

Anointment Skin Care sent me the above bundle and, in that neatly packaged box, I found these goodies for review;


That is the award-winning baby balm, the baby oil, a calendula soap and their soap scrubbie. My first impression of the package is that the branding and boxing is enjoyable. The balm and oil are in glass containers, which I prefer to plastic in order to avoid BPA and BPS. If you are unaware of what I mean, click here. I appreciate the cute, little animals on the front of their products and, although I’m not one to judge a book by it’s cover, this cover is a nice touch. Look at the little bear on the balm!

I am incredibly lucky and my children are not typically prone to diaper rash. If I combine the infant years of all of my babies, I can still count on one hand the amount of times I have been distressed over a red rump, thank goodness! No matter what the baby booty situation may be, every parent needs a good barrier cream and Anointment’s strikes me as one of them. Everyone knows of the quality of beeswax products, which is part of what makes up the base for this balm, and the healing properties of lavender and calendula bolster results. Due to those ingredients, this is also a great cream for dry skin or to promote healing.
When used, it does not go on greasy or sticky, it wipes off nicely and leaves skin feeling even more baby soft than usual. I find the lack of zinc to be a major selling point for me, as cloth diapering means being unable to use most barrier creams. This is a perfect find!

As far as the baby oil goes, I never use it on my children. It is just a matter of personal preference but this one smells so fresh, faintly like flowers, and I took off my eye make up with it. There is not too much to say about baby oil, except that I loved the use of certified organic ingredients within Anointment’s take on a household staple.

Last, but not least, let’s check out their soap and the scrubbie that it can be paired with!

The calendula soap has zero describable scent whatsoever and not even the little petals within the bar can be detected. As you can see, it is quite a big bar and provides adequate, quick coverage when bathing a baby. That is always a plus. 


I did find this soap became a bit gooey after a few uses but it was not a bad feeling, just what is to be expected from something that contains olive oil as one of the main ingredients. I believe the use of the soap scrubbie would prolong the life of the bar and this is what it looks like; 

I thoroughly enjoyed this product, due to it’s versatility and the fact that it is so convenient. It is made of hand-sewn, unbleached cotton terry and flannel, with all being organic.
If your children are anything like mine, you probably wrestle with an infant or toddler where the wash cloth is concerned. Mine are always wanting to put it in their mouths, soaked with bathwater (gross!), and battling it out with me for possession of that coveted tub-time object. I can put a billion toys in the water and, surprise, they want the thing I am holding. Well, meet the solution! In the above picture, I have my hand slipped through the back loop and am wearing it like a material extension of myself. It will not become dislodged and I thought it was such a simple solution to a minor annoyance. I was crafty enough while washing the girls with it that they did not realize that their precious facecloth friend was attached to my palm.
Mum one, girls…far more than one…

Pictured above is the other way to use the soap scrubbie. I have the bar sticking out so you know how it sits in there but you fold the material over the exposed bit as well and have a little, hard, pillowy-looking soap holder. This was fantastic for lather, as well as when it came to letting “Peanut” take over and wash herself. Being a very independent toddler, she likes to do things on her own and I always allow her to do a little self scrub down once she is already clean. This has become an essential inclusion in our routine, as it ensures that she can grasp the bar and it saves me searching the water for one that has slipped from her tiny hands.

I have been quite impressed by the line, from start to finish. Production and packaging, right through to the lather of their scrubbie causes me to feel pride in the knowledge that they are based in my country. You will also find Anointment on Facebook here and can check out this great Canadian company yourself!

Your baby’s skin will thank you for it.

Cloth Diapers from Piddly Winx

Hey guys!

You’re all going to meet my “Chickie” today! This little model here is going to show you the Piddly Winx cloth diaper, with the overnight bamboo, hybrid soaker- and she’s a cutiepie!

Here, have a look for yourself;

Now, all Mama bias aside, I know she is adorable. If you think she’s utterly squeezable at this point, you should see her when she’s actually happy and being a ham for the camera! On this particular day, however, she kept turning to me, modelling the diaper like a pro, turning away and crying sadly over being used for her good looks. Woes of women, everywhere- you tell it, sister!
See, she really did turn away and cry for a second in between turning back and showing off. I think it was because I giggled over how big her bum looks in this adorable “diapey”, as my toddler calls them, that I was sent to review. Again, the woes of women everywhere. The bodacious booty choir sings in my area, definitely, only I do not have overnight padding to use as my excuse.

Now that Chickie is striking a pose again, let’s look at her bitty bum (sorry sweetheart, these photos will be used at your wedding); 

This diaper is from the Piddly Winx collection, which I believe is an excellent company for first-time cloth users. Within your order, you will get a complete list of instructions, as all cloth needs to be prepped before first use. Basically, you soak your inserts until they prove absorbent, soak the cover in a vinegar and water combo to prevent colour bleed and then you wash all of them in your regular laundry cycle. The instructions provided give you a breakdown of steps, as well as reasoning behind them, and then a couple of tidbits of useful knowledge on top. If you are just starting out, it can be a very daunting pool to jump into and I believe the included paperwork would be very helpful.

That fun monkey pattern can be found on the Piddy Winx website here and comes with a variety of insert options. The little “Pink Monkey Love” diaper will run you $13 with the standard, 3 layer soaker and I find that competitively priced where other cloth diaper creators are concerned. An excellent perk to ordering with Piddly Winx would be their willingness to “give back”, so to speak. On the website, to quote directly, they have an appreciation package for anyone who chooses to refer a customer to their site;

“SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?
Tell your friend to mention your first and last name when ordering (ask them place a note on Paypal if it is an online order, or send us an email). Once the order is placed, we will send you an email, letting you know that one of your friends placed an order. You can choose one of the following rewards options:

1) 5% cash-back, payable by either cheque or Paypal.

2) 10% of your friendโ€™s purchase in the form of a giftcard towards any Piddly-Winx product or bundle package.”

I though that was fantastic! Considering how many mothers share word-of-mouth advice with others (I cloth diaper directly as a result of another mother’s crash course on the subject), this could lead to serious savings for some ladies! If you order, be sure to give a shout out to yours truly please ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

As you can see from the above photo, it fits just the same as any other diaper (cloth or disposable) but it adjusts to accommodate any weight from 6-35lbs. This means that my baby girl will be able to sport the monkeys for longer, at one third of the cost each change in comparison to the store bought brands. Hello savings!
Now, I’ve tried the polyester diaper and the bigger insert that you see in the photos is a bamboo and cotton combo. What I appreciate about Piddly Winx is their variety where patterns, colours and soaker options were concerned. They offer pocket diapers and this means that you stuff the insert inside the diaper itself, as well as unstuff at wash time. This also means that you can double up on inserts but I think the overnight soaker is the way to go! I had NO leaks whatsoever, after hours and hours of wear, and I can not say the same for every other day this week. This little peanut is a big eater and, subsequently, a big leaker more often than not so I typically have to add in extra inserts or face the damp consequences. The soaker within this diaper is the Piddly Winx 5 layer overnight, which includes a blend of 40% microfibre and 60% bamboo- and I highly recommend it.

For any of my readers, Angela from Piddly Winx has created the coupon code DOMDISHFAM5, valid until Dec 31, 2014! It will give anyone an additional 5% off any order and all products, including gift cards and bundles! There is an existing coupon code PWSUMMER14 and that takes 10% off of non-bundles until June 30th so you have some options and choices. Obviously, if you are a bundle buyer or just want a gift card then the Domestic Dish coupon works out better.

Feel free to check out the company Facebook page as well, which can be found via this link.

Just to end on a cute note; 
Have a great diapering day Mamas!

Rawganique Organic Bath Products

When I came across Rawganique, it was love at first sight and that was quickly followed by lust. To be completely honest- I would probably trade my left arm for many of their clothing items and was forced to close the window on their yoga mat and pants, simply to prevent drool from messing up my keyboard.
There are over 1000 products listed online here and it makes for an organic-lover’s paradise. Everything from children’s items, clothing, your bedroom top to bottom, all kinds of household decor, stationary, accessories, personal care and bath items are covered. It’s crazy!

Lurk the site, even just for a bit more knowledge about what we’re putting on our skin (I had no idea about how toxic my own bedding may be) and the plethora of chemicals we subject ourselves to on a daily basis. The website itself is full of useful, interesting and somewhat alarming information. Sadly, as with most organics, the items do run a bit pricey but you get what you pay for. In our home, we have decided to scale back in order to put quality before quantity and it is for this exact reason- sometimes less is more.
It is quite daunting when first starting out, as you never really know if the products will work as well, if they are worth spending the money on, and whether or not you will like what you have purchased or you will regret not sticking with the standard, cheaper (and chemical laden) alternatives. Hopefully, this blog helps a bit with that!

Anyway, back to the review! When the company opted to send me a few samples, I was more than thrilled. I received this bundle;

Pictured above is the Rawganiquie kaffir lime shampoo, their jasmine rice scrub, a charcoal detox mask, two hemp soap bars (left) and two lavender hemp shampoo bars (right). I reviewed the soaps separately, which you can read about here.

I’m going to start with the rice scrub, as it was such an odd experience for me. The bottle says that you can mix it with either yogurt, honey, milk or a few other options in order to make a face mask, apply it, leave it until dry and rinse it off. Of course, me being a frazzled mother of four that needs any reason to steal half an hour hidden away in a bathroom (for review purposes, dear husband!), I had to make a face mask out of it. Why not, right? So luxurious!

So. Not. Luxurious.

(Unflattering, make up-free picture but I figured you ought to see the melting-wax-figurine effect that was created)
I made it with honey and, as you can see, I made myself look like Mrs. Doubtfire after putting her face into a cake.

After scrapping THAT idea, I tried it as a scrub and had a much better experience. It is gritty and can be scratchy if not used gently but it does leave skin exfoliated, pleasantly pink and entirely clean. It smells very much like the rice it is made of and I enjoyed the earthy, calming scent.

Next up is this “pea soup shampoo” as my husband calls it. It really does look quite a bit like smooshed peas;

That is the organic Kaffir lime shampoo and this stuff is so neat! There are no preservatives in it, as the antioxidants and citric acid within the limes act as such, in order to keep the shampoo good for a year. It is supposed to correct the PH balance of your head, which can become alkaline due to the chemical additives in standard shampoos. According to the website (which you should check out here), it will even help to prevent or reverse thinning and graying hair! I would be interested to see some before and after studies where the latter of those two is concerned, as I am not exactly sure how it would work, but I am sold on the rest of it. Rawganique markets this as a shampoo, conditioner and toner all in one- as well as being an option for deodorant and a good topical remedy for some skin conditions. All of that makes sense.

The downside to this product is that I found I had to use quite a bit to have adequate coverage. My hair goes to the middle of my back so, if you’re someone with longer locks, the bottle may not stretch as far. At $13.95 each (less if you buy six or more), that can add up but it does compare with some of the higher end, standard, harmful shampoos on the market anyway. All depends on what floats your boat, really.

Personally, I would be happy to use this on a regular basis but it is a bit costly for my single-income family of six, mostly due to how fast we would go through it. However, I think it’s a fantastic weekly pampering treatment for myself and was pleasantly surprised by how smooth and shiny it left my hair after just one application!

Last, but not least, is their charcoal face mask;
Of everything I had been sent, I enjoyed this product the most. The charcoal mask goes on completely black, like ink, and this one is fine when mixed with honey! I think it is fun to look at, definitely.The way it smells reminds me of art class, sketch pads and days long gone when I would walk around with fingers that were dark from smudging lines and blending colour. I just loved this, everything about it. It tightens your skin, draws out toxins, cleans it completely and the active ingredients are fantastic if you have any sort of skin condition. I also found the pricing very fair, with a little of the powder going a long way too!

From Rawganique, I walk away with the feeling of being closer to nature as a result of my venture with their products, plus the knowledge that their line offers very unique experiences as well.