Who stinks? Natural Deodorant by Routine

Oh, you know that scent…then one we all dread; It smells a bit like a stir fry, a bit like a raw onions and, depending on the person, it can be somewhat reminiscent of feet, Play-Doh or corn chips.
If you’re really lucky and trapped in an enclosed space with this person, you will get a combination of all of the above!

I know, personally, I never want stink like that and I was, up until recently, willing to sacrifice my health via antiperspirants in order to make certain that I did not. Then, I read a bit about it. Parabens? Triclosan? Aluminum zirconium and chlorohydrate, or propylene glycol? Does that sound healthy to you? It’s not! Google it- then avoiding trying not to stink after you’ve crapped your pants.

The harsh reality is that these cancer causing agents, proven contributors to Alzheimers (as if my husband doesn’t already have enough difficulty remembering to do things I have asked him to) and chemicals with a variety of other negative effects to our health are in our day-to-day products. They are part of our routine.

Sadly, however, it is very difficult to come across a natural deodorant that is effective, long-lasting and smells good. I mean, really, I want to smell like a dewy, fresh rose while sweating like a hog. Who doesn’t?
I am not that chick in the gym who pretends to wipe sweat off of her face while sneaking a pit sniff (yeah, I saw you lady!) but I want to make certain that I don’t stink to high heaven when I go to hug the hubbs once he returns home from work. As a result of the aforementioned facts, I also like doing that without a lot of chemicals.

Here’s where Routine De-Odor-Cream comes in, a natural deodorant, which I received free in exchange for this review;
It looks like icing, smells like cake and is not meant for eating but, considering the ingredient list, you actually could. You’ll be tempted, believe me. A very cool fact about this particular scent is that it’s comprised of flavour oils and not essential ones, which is completely safe for pregnant, or nursing, Mamas as well. Yay for that!
Now, I wish this stuff came in a handy, dandy stick but it doesn’t. Luckily, you need very little in order to get the job done and simply apply it with a finger tip. The jar pictured above lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how much you require each time. The initial investment may seem rather large but, when you consider how long the jar of natural deodorant lasts, it is worthwhile.
The Woah Blackberry Betty smells a lot like blackberry cake or the fruit itself mixed in with a vanilla icing; not that gross, synthetic vanilla smell either but one that makes your mouth water. It is very richly scented and stays with you for quite some time.
I found that it lasted through the day, although the scent did diminish and that was preferable to me. It was a bit strong for my liking at first but my husband loved my skin smelling of dessert. He said that he has never come across a deodorant that made him hungry before and thought I smelled like a jam-filled doughnut.

The above picture is the Maggie’s Citrus Farm scent option and this one was my least favourite, as well as the least effective, of all of the options that I received. I was not the biggest fan of the orangey aroma and I felt self conscious as the day wore on. It’s made of the same, beeswax base that the other is but I was just not a big fan.

This little, blue bird covers Routine Cream’s clay based option for deodorant, which I found kept me more dry throughout the day than the beeswax one. This particular kind is called Sweet Jane and it most definitely smells very sweet, with a couple of notes being similar to the Woah Blackberry Betty kind, with the hint of baking from the vanilla, but it includes pears as well. Sweet Jane is also scented with natural and organic flavour oils, instead of essential ones, and is my personal recommendation for the nursing Mamas.
I really loved this one and it was the sample that I went through the quickest, as I wore it daily.
I am not sure if it is due to the formula difference, or just the way the little trial sizes are packaged, but these ones were a bit more wet than the large, glass jar. I didn’t mind that but the one is decidedly more solid.
The pink bird above labels their Sexy Sadie scent and it is one of the best sellers from the brand. It, to me, is also one of the most complex but I actually thought it was slightly less pleasing than the others. This one includes patchouli, which is fantastic for skin conditions and as an antifungal addition but it does not appeal to me personally. I don’t like anything with herbaceous, musky tones and find it’s cousin, lavender, more pleasing. For ladies who wear perfume on a regular basis, you would be used to this and probably enjoy it. Just not my thing.
I use ylang ylang quite a bit in the household, in my diffuser or topically, so I was reminded of that from this one too. This scent is actually fantastic for uplifting moods, inspiring feelings of joy, relaxation or hope and for treating depression. If you happen to have any underarm irritation from shaving, this would also be excellent for helping to sooth and heal that due to the addition of ylang ylang to the ingredient list. I think the name may come from ylang ylang being used as an aphrodisiac but I could be completely off the mark with it. Either way, it’s fitting.
Speaking of the hubby, Routine Cream also sent along their Napoleon Dynamite blend for him to try out. The bitty, birdy buddy on that one is black, although I do not have a picture of it because he took it to work for his locker.
Now, when I first opened this one I did not enjoy the way it smelled in the slightest, then it grew on me once my husband applied it and it mixed with his own scent. It was similar to the Maggie’s Citrus Farm, only even more reminiscent of oranges or grapefruits, and then included some undertones that I figured were more feminine. This one includes bergamot oil, however, and you can wear that on it’s own as natural deodorant so it’s duplicity in scent makes for a great deodorant for the ladies who are more worried about odour. Try the men’s line! Bergamot is proven effective and, as an inclusion in the ingredient list, it helped to make sure my husband could wear a natural deodorant without smelling like part of the wild. Considering he’s a sexy, albeit occasionally stinky, beast and this one kept the latter at bay- it earned my approval.

Routine De-Odor-Cream can be found online here and you can also check out their Facebook page for more information.

 

Parenting Win; Pure and Natural Bubble Bath

DISCLAIMER; I received this product at no charge in exchange for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links which, if a purchase is made using those links, assist in supporting my bloggie endeavors and my family. Much appreciated!

My children, like all others, love bubbles. However, being the worrisome Mama that I am, I’ve removed nearly everything that suds from our household in an attempt to go a more natural, organic route. I felt bad about it though because, not going to lie, I would sneak a bubble bath once in a while and bask in my chemical soup. I didn’t want to throw out all of our old products and giving away opened bottles of bathroom products just didn’t seem right to me- or at least that’s my excuse anyway.
Everyone loves a fun, relaxing bubble bath though and my little ladies had actually requested bubbles previously, having seen them on TreeHouse or something along those lines (probably that damn Caillou) so I had been on the hunt for a safer alternative for them.

When given the opportunity to check out Bubble Therapy Pure & Natural Bubble Bath, 3 in 1 (it doubles as a shampoo and body wash, as well as the natural bubble bath), I jumped at the chance and I’ve got a lot of pictures to help demonstrate how much fun was had as a result.

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“Ah, for real? The Mum paparazzi is here…”

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“We’ll work it”

I loved being able to provide them with a fantastic, sudsy, super foaming bubble bath but still stick to our chosen approach to products with an all natural and organic option. It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, harsh detergents and a slew of other ingredients that are unwelcome in our household.

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Bubble head!

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Always a comedienne, always a charmer.

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I was surprised by how thick the product is, similar in consistency to honey, and it doesn’t take much of it to fill a tub. It had a pleasant scent, more citrusy (to me, anyway) than anything and I didn’t find it to linger on the girls’ skin for very long, which is what I want out of a natural product. It’s great for those with sensitive skin, like my hubby and his eczema, or little ones with delicate skin too. I actually liked the inclusion of oat in there, as it’s a natural remedy we like to use often in our household for skin flare ups. Calendula and chamomile, both included in this natural bubble bath, also help with that.

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One sis dipping, one eyeing up to copy her.

You can find the Sweetsation Therapy 3 in 1 Bubble Therapy Pure and Natural Bubble Bath by following this link or you can order on Amazon via the link below (which helps out yours truly and costs you nothing extra to do so) .

As you can see by the abundance of photos, the girls had a blast and this is definitely a product that I recommend, endorse and plan to buy in the future. I was very happy with this find!
If you want to check out Sweetsation’s Facebook page, found here, you can keep tabs on all of their discounts, promotions and giveaways.

Hope you have as much fun with this natural bubble bath as we did!

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Not the best picture but I’ll include it at the end, as Chicky’s face is priceless!

Garcinia Cambogia with green coffee bean.

As some readers may know, I have written a garcinia cambogia review previously, found here, and did not have the best luck with the product.

I was recently sent a bottle of GloryFeel’s brand free to review, which I have used my affiliate link to connect you to further down in this post, and decided that it couldn’t hurt to add the weight loss supplement to my daily regiment. I figured it would be much the same as last time but accepted the opportunity anyway, as there’s no risk to trying these- they’re natural, GMO-free and don’t include any fillers, cholesterol, fat, dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, wheat, peanuts or shellfish. I’m not worried about any of those ingredients but the GMO-free, U.S. made, FDA inspected qualities of the GloryFeel brand are a definite plus for me. Often times, I worry about things coming from overseas where I have no real idea of the authenticity of the ingredients, how things are regulated and how safe the product itself would be.

weight loss pill, diet pill, miracle pill, green coffee beans

With my mind at ease, I have been taking the supplement for just over a week now and it has added green coffee bean extract, potassium and black pepper (the last two are said to be for absorption). Now, I’m sure you’ve probably seen the online buzz surrounding garcinia cambogia but I was more intrigued by the green coffee bean, which is a controversial, widely used ingredient that’s been marketed as a weight loss supplement since the early 2000s. Dr. Oz, of whom I am not the biggest fan, supports this even under FTC scrutiny and reportedly gives this to his family members. Green coffee bean has also been a Health Ingredients Europe conference award winner for Best Ingredient and there are no known side effects relating to its usage. That’s enough to perk my interest!
I started the Isagenix program a week before adding the garcinia cambogia supplement and have been drinking plenty of water but, otherwise, have not changed my lifestyle and exercise routine whatsoever. It has been only dietary additions, yet I do still enjoy a glass of wine or a snack when I want one. Regardless, I have noticed dramatic results; In less than two weeks I am down 9 1/2lbs! I’m thrilled.

I lost 3.2lbs in the first week and the rest of it came off during the second, with the addition of the garcinia cambogia. I didn’t think to measure my waist line because I had not considered that there may be a noticeable change so quickly but my tummy is smaller and my upper thighs are definitely shrinking as well!
I do think Isagenix played a role but GloryFeel’s Carcinia Green Coffee has helped make the journey so much easier for me and I am getting faster results than what can be expected on average with the program. I am a big eater, especially for a lady of my size/stature, and struggle with having only a shake for a meal as part of the plan. I’ve found that the supplement, as noted with previous use, helps suppress my appetite a great deal. I don’t feel hungry and, therefore, don’t have slip ups and “cheat” like I was doing before I started taking the pills on a daily basis. My husband has also noted that I haven’t been “hangry” (his term for being hungry and angry about it, which has happened to me since I was a little girl) at all since starting.

I can genuinely say that this product is working for me, keeping me energized and feeling full. My weight is down, my mood is great and I’m beyond excited about being able to drop almost 10lbs in two weeks. I’ve been struggling to do that for a year now. Clearly, this was far more effective than other brands that I have tried.

Sadly, they do not ship to Canada on a regular basis so my readers from the States are the only ones able to take advantage of this handy weight loss pill for the time being.

(Affiliate link)
Use the discount code;
KZAHBDD2 TO GET $10 OFF! $9.99 PER BOTTLE!

Feel free to check out this video below for another lady’s opinion (not affiliated with myself or my blog) and add GloryFeel to your Facebook by visiting this link.
DISCLAIMER4

Probiotics- SUPERFOOD!

I am so excited about this review, as this is a product that I am truly in love with, interested in and I know I will continue to use it on a daily basis.
We all heard about the benefits of probiotics, right? Or at least you know they’re good for you- but do you know how good for you they actually are? Miessence InLiven Probiotic Superfood, which I was provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review, is genuinely one of the best products that you can get on the market if upping the intake is your goal. You can’t really know exactly what you’re getting within a serving of food so go with a straight source. Forget Jamie Lee Curtis and her yogurt/poop talks!

quickmeme.com

quickmeme.com

Probiotics are healthy bacteria and yeasts that assist with digestive health, as well as slew of other bodily issues and functions, as that silver fox on TV told us. There are various types that are better than others for specific problems, although Miessence InLiven Probiotic Superfood actually covers all 13 strains of the Lactobacillus family, is certified organic and the bacteria used is produced from fruits and vegetables. Did you know that some suppliers fast-track this step in fecal matter? So, Jamie Lee, maybe we ought to have a poop talk after all.

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This is also safe for babies and you can give 1/4 teaspoon to children, typically started around the age of two but my youngest is a year and a half and she started on hers this past couple of weeks. It assists with creating good gut flora, which ups your immune system, so I figured it was practical to start giving her probiotics with all of the ridiculous measles hype running rampant. Grown men at my husband’s workplace are running in to receive the live attenuated virus vaccines and, although I’m not worried about the virus, Chicky is a bit young to have it just now. In order to give their little immune systems an added boost, I have started mixing probiotics in with a small amount of fresh squeezed orange juice. This is a treat for my children so we have no problem getting either of the girls to take them. I am also happy to report that we are very rarely sick in this household and I attribute that, in part, to our regular use of probiotics.

It’s fantastic for babies or if you’re having a baby as well, due to the fact that researchers have found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a 30% reduction in the instance of giving birth to a child who would suffer from eczema, an early warning sign for allergies. More on that can be read here.

If you’re attempting to lose weight, Stanford University came out with a study that suggests one benefit of probiotics is that they’re responsible for assisting in lowering waist circumference in postpartum women. The study was reported by the Huffington Post, here. You can’t see this but that point itself is causing me to happy dance as I type.

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As you can see by the consistency, it’s fairly easy to mix in with any food or liquid. I take mine with my morning shake or any beverage throughout the day. I take 3tsp daily and, although it doesn’t look lovely- it is a bacteria, after all- I truly can’t taste anything when I take them.

Basically- probiotics are good for your immune system, digestive system, urinary health, women’s health, it’s great if you’re pregnant, not pregnant or maybe you just look a wee bit pregnant (like me). These healthy, little bacteria truly put the “super” in Miessence InLiven Probiotic Superfood and I suggest you get some. You can check out the business page by following the link in the top of this post, the Miessence Facebook page can be found hereor you can follow them on Pinterest here, if you would like.

What are you waiting for?!

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen- For Skiing or Swimming

It’s winter time now and, when I say “winter time”, I mean that you can’t see the ground where I live. Ever. For around 3 months straight. During these months, product reviews give me something to pass my time while cooped up- this one came as a result of a free product and it may contain affiliate links.

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I live in Canada so it’s snowing like a mofo outside but I at least get to bust out all kinds of boots. Short ones, high ones and super clunky crappola footwear for when the snow has reached a FML depth that vertically challenged individuals, like myself, have trouble slugging through.

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I don’t often don the big, proper winter boots because I choose to boycott the season by passionately displaying displeasure through coffee drinking and blanketed couch snuggling.

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That being said, once in a while I’m required to leave my cave home in order to attend pre-planned appointments, such as the recent eye test that I went to. Thankfully, my eye sight is fine (which I expected) but I found out that I have very little pigment left in the back of my eye. This explains why they’re already becoming lighter before I have even hit 30. I used to have deep blue eyes, which changed to a lighter blue in my younger years, then blue-green in my teens and they have turned a pale, light green this past six months. I figured it was genetic, as my grandmother’s, mother’s and uncles’ eyes have lightened up in their latter years but it turns out that we may all be losing pigment sooner than an average person. The solution? Protect what little pigment I have left by way of polarized, super sexy Versace sunglasses through my insurance company! Woot woot! I have to wear them every single time I’m in the sunlight because the sun is pigment’s enemy.
As a super pale person of British heritage, it’s not like the sun and I were great buddies to begin with.

Year round, I like to protect my skin from its rays and to make sure my wee ones have similar protection while outside. Sunscreen is necessary year round, even though it’s not commonly thought of during this chilly season. Did you know that the sun is actually closer to the earth during the winter while, at the same time, the ozone layer is actually at its thinnest? It’s true! The National Science Foundation Polar Programs UV Monitoring Network will tell you as much- so we’re actually at an increased risk for UV exposure, especially if you’re a winter sports enthusiast. According to skincancer.org, anyone hitting the slopes may want to remember; “Higher altitude means increased risk of sun-induced skin damage, since UV radiation exposure increases 4 to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice. This only increases the risk for damage.”

When heading out skiing or beaching, the above pictured is a new favourite for our skincare. The Sun ‘N’ Fun description reads that this;

  • Chemical free, non toxic, not greasy, no white cast, EWG Rating 1.
  • Natural with Organic ingredients, Zinc 20%
  • Contains fresh and inviting (natural) scent of marshmallow & chocolate, that kids love
  • Can be used by kids and adults alike
  • moisturizing with antioxidants

suncreen sun protection

The 1 rating means that this sunscreen has the lowest hazard rating possible, and when 75% of sunscreens and 90% of SPF moisturizers tested in the Environmental Working Group’s “2013 Guide to Safer Sunscreens” were found unsafe or ineffective, that’s a major plus. We typically use my homemade sunscreen for that reason but this one does appear to contain a fairly comprehensive ingredient list. It also includes the antioxidant tocopherol (from soy), which enhances sun damage protection.

When they say that it smells of marshmallow and chocolate, it smells EXACTLY like that and Peanut loved it. My husband loathes sunscreen and hates wearing it but he readily agreed to wear this one whenever asked as a result of the scent. He said, “I would be a walking dessert” and then many suggestive comments, full of innuendo followed. Men. Heh.

However, it is pretty chilly and curling up with him sounds fairly fantastic right about now so I will leave you to contemplate lying on a beach while I go and cuddle up in our bed. ‘Til next time.

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Slow Food For Fast Lives

I recently had such an unexpected, unique experience with a plain, old granola bar that I figured I would share. This is Slow Food For Fast Lives and they carry a few surprising flavors that you may want to check out; 

The company objective is to create innovative, delicious and nutritious options for people on the go, setting themselves apart from the standard, sugary or chocolate covered energy bars that are so widely available. As each of the three founders wears a variety of titles and has their hands in other companies, it’s no wonder they needed something quick and satisfying to boost their energy stores. Slow Food For Fast lives was born in the kitchen of an imaginative, healthy, home-cooking Mama and every bar is made around a central theme, such as “Thai” or “California”. 
Speaking of, I will tell you a bit about my experiences with each type. 
The first option that I tried was the Moroccan, the original bar. 

I have to admit, if you go into this thinking “granola bar” then you’re going to become quickly alarmed by the assault to the tastebuds. I did and did not initially enjoy the experience, as I am so accustomed to the chocolate drenched, chewy, Quaker-like “granola” bars that offer no comparable nutritional value. These do offer the same mouth feel, with added chunks of real nuts or whole pieces of ingredients. I was not a fan of the ginger in this, although I really (and surprisingly) enjoyed the way the carrot sneaks up in this snack. I took a few bites and shared this one with my daughter, who devoured it in it’s entirety quite quickly. I asked her what she thought and my little lady replied, “It’s yummy! Delicious.” Clearly, by the fact that my child who eats like a bird ate the rest of it, she approved. As a parent, I like the idea that she was eating something that offered diverse, new tastes while being full of nutritional value. 

My least favourite of the package was this one, Indian; 

I will start by saying that I absolutely love Indian food. In fact, if I was to choose any one regional cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, I would choose the culinary options native to India and I am extremely familiar with such dishes. I would not have chosen to combine these options in one palette for a snack bar, personally, and couldn’t get over the cauliflower, coconut and cumin combination. It just was not for me and the scent of the cauliflower, as well as it’s taste, was not my preferred ingredient. I think each component could have made for a unique bar but combined was not the best way to go. If coconut was being used then possibly cinnamon or cardamom instead of cumin and then rice, rather than cauliflower, may have been nice. Even a dessert bar inspired by India would have been delicious but not overly sweet, in keeping with the company theme. I don’t know, this one was just not for me but I like the concept and it may be of interest for others. 
The California bar and I have a love-hate relationship; 
I am a huge quinoa fan and I will eat it mixed into dishes or even on it’s own. I also love kale, almonds are a daily snack for me and pomegranates are something I enjoy immensely. All good things. The taste of this bar is especially great when you get a bit of fruit in there, or a whole chunk of almond. I asked my hubby to take a bite though and he could not get over the way it smells. Admittedly, it smells quite a lot like rabbit pellets and, as taste and smell are definitely linked, I feel that this is something that could be improved upon. After he mentioned it, I noticed the scent more so and became fixated to the point that it dampened my overall experience. 
This little bar here, the Thai, was like sitting down to dinner; 

I was very surprised by the complexity of flavor and how much I enjoyed this. The peanut is more peanut buttery but it melds nicely with the other notes and there is a hint of lime in there, just perfectly mixed in with the pepper as a citrus undertone. I think, of all of them, I enjoyed this one the most.
Overall, I think Slow Food For Fast lives definitely lives up to the company name- each bar provides an experience that is worth savoring and taking some time out to reflect upon. Check out their website here and their Facebook can be found via this link
They are definitely not something that you will have come across before and I recommend them for those who wish to branch out of their comfort zone.

Deserving Thyme Deserves Your Time

Hi all! I have some very interesting, incredibly different goodies to show you today and they arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Deserving Thyme, a Canadian based company that strives to bring a healthy approach to body care to the masses. 
I waited for the parcel with a bit of skepticism, as I had not used aromatherapy roll-ons previously and was not sure that I would like them. This is the first fragrance oil roll-on that I tried, called Be Sweet, and I was pleasantly surprised;

These little, organic fragrance sticks are blended with essential oils, or comprised of natural and organic scents, and they pack quite a punch. This one contains jojoba and I enjoyed that addition for the benefits my skin would reap as a result of it’s usage. Jojoba oil is quickly absorbed, not leaving any greasy residue and it’s absolutely fantastic for the body. Often referred to as “nature’s multitasker”, it’s great for a variety of topical uses and, when blended with this mouth-watering mix, it is perfect for date night too! My hubby has a sweet tooth and that was blatantly apparent as a result of his reaction to this scent. The aroma stayed a bit on the stronger side for a while but, when it dyed down, I found myself closing my eyes to inhale the remaining fragrance and I actually enjoyed it more at that point. The “Be Sweet” title is entirely appropriate, as the roll on is reminiscent of cotton candy or candy apples and smells a lot like pink sugars, without being sickening or overpowering. I found it much nicer than any spray of similar scent found in stores, which typically gives me a headache. I had no such reaction to Be Sweet and recommend this as a beginner perfume for a young lady or just for anyone who needs to boost their mood. I found the sweetness and candy-like notes instantly made me happy. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy smelling like memories of sticky fluff on a stick from the fair?

The second one I tried, pictured above, is the Clarity Oil Roll-On. This one’s made with jojoba oil, lavender and peppermint. I’m not sure what else it includes, if anything at all, but it is supposed to help you focus, or ease tension and help you to become inspired when necessary. I love lavender oil and I use it almost daily in the household so this was a welcome product and a nice treat to find in the parcel. I actually used this while suffering from a headache, finding it helped to provide distraction from the symptoms when applied to my temples, under my nose and to the pressure points on the back of my neck. The peppermint sensation is pleasantly warming and the fragrance is much more subtle than with the Be Sweet roll-on, lessening to that of just the lavender with a sweeter note than usual. 
My favourite part of the package was this little box of heaven; 

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not one for moisturizer. I just never use it, nor do I really feel as if my skin requires it. This product made me realize that I am a complete fool, I love being velvety soft and I ended up wanting to slather it all over my entire body, it’s just that good.

Upon first inspection, it doesn’t look like much;

Like with the organic roll ons, the Hand Revitalizer includes jojoba oil but that’s kicked up a notch by aloe vera, evening primrose oil and vitamin E. Added to the mix of oily goodness is rosemary, lemon and lavender, along with some little scrubby buddies. It smells a bit too herbaceous for my liking but, once I put it on, I stopped caring about that as much.

Application is much like that of a sugar scrub but the results are so much more satisfying, with my hands coming out baby soft and super silky. I never enjoyed this type of ritual previously, feeling that I would start moisturizing my hands once age crept up on them, but I wish I had started sooner and, after finding this, I won’t be stopping! Of all of the products I received, I can most definitely say that this one is quite unique and extremely enjoyable.

If you want to check out Deserving Thyme for yourself, you can find their website here and their Facebook page here

Be Clean Naturally Review

How to naturally clean is with Be Clean Naturally, of course!

A few weeks back, I was thrilled to receive a large assortment of little goodies from this company, based in Squamish B.C. (for those who have no idea what the heck I’m talking about and figure I’m speaking of a vegetable or a Bigfoot, it’s a place on the Western side of Canada) and have spent the past little while trying out their products. Of all of the soap reviews that I have done in past sudsy posts, I have to say that the scent coming from the Be Clean Naturally packages was most definitely the strongest in a very pleasant way. It smelled similar to laundry and lavender as soon as I opened the parcel, which was fantastic for me because it provided a scent that I have been missing after switching to natural products but it was still accomplished without synthetics. I was immediately impressed.

Upon first impression, their site BeCleanNaturally.ca is very easy to navigate, beautifully designed and includes cute, little family touches on the pages with brief introductions from Kirstin, her husband and their children. It’s on the About Us page that we find out how the company began and I thought this quote from the founder was endearing;
I’m Kirstin, the founder of Be Clean Naturally Soap Products. I started making soap because my beloved Shone is allergic to EVERYTHING! I thought that a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, but it turns out in this case that it’s through his skin, with a little jasmine.”
Be Clean Naturally began as a labour of love and it shows within their products which, speaking of, check this one out;

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I think they’re quite pretty and this is, as the stamp would suggest, called “Love” which has added lavender oils, Himalayan crystal salt and flowers to the base- that’s what you see embedded in the top of the bar. This bar was my favourite of the lot, looks-wise, as I enjoyed the addition of colour and the stamp made for a lovely decoration. As far as the scent goes, it’s exceptionally subtle and dies down in the bar as time passes. I found that it seemed to have no discernible scent whatsoever after a few days, which worked well for me because I could get my husband to use it without claiming that I was trying to hand him “girl soap”.

After he grew to love a previous hand soap that I reviewed, he was quick to pounce on this bitty bottle;

Be-Clean-Naturally
I have to admit, I didn’t fall for this one as a hand soap. I think it may be the olive oil blend for the base because I prefer that for body use, which you may love just fine. It was a similar consistency to a dish soap, in my opinion, and a bit more runny than what would normally be found in the bathroom. It was not at all unpleasant to use but a pump is most definitely a more desirable vessel, which they carry if you go with a larger size, as then I wouldn’t have to worry about using too much at once.
My hubby enjoyed it, saying that “It smells like I just ate a candycane!” and following that by looking as if he wanted to eat one. Anything that reminds that man of food is great in his books because, unlike Kirstin’s hubby, the way to Bear’s heart is definitely via his stomach. I also detected an herbaceous note to it, which ups the peppermint to another level and it makes for a mouth-watering experience, so I was not at all surprised by his commentary.
I think that I would love this one as a shampoo, more than for hand use.
Speaking of shampoo, this bar below can double as that as well as a regular body soap;
Be-Clean-Naturally

What a segue, eh?! It actually can though- be used on hair, as well as hands, face and body. When I first received the soaps, I was not as fond of the scent of this one simply because it was so subtle while dry but it definitely comes alive when used. I had such a pleasurable experience with the menthol and eucalyptus, without feeling as if I was inhaling a vaporub, and breathing in the aroma of the lather left me feeling like I was showering outdoors in dewy freshness- without the criminal charges for exposure, that is. This bar is rejuvenating and refreshing in a way that standard soaps can not compare to and I had the most pleasant experience with this one where body lather was concerned. My skin felt awakened by the menthol, as well as smooth and nourished due to the saponified oils.

On the topic of menthol, or minty, additions to the household, this is the Be Clean Naturally Tranquil Room & Linen Spray and it smells a lot like peppermint;

Be-Clean-Naturally

I had been trying to find an organic, or natural, air freshener for ages and this one’s quite fresh. The soothing smell does dissipate fairly quickly and that is to be expected because the fragrance is natural. Things like Scentsy, or Glade, are filled with chemicals and they smell fantastic but will probably kill us at some point. It sucks, as the trade off is one that can cause some contemplation for myself (ah, hell, who cares if I die early if I can have it smell like Cinnabon in here?!) until I look at the babies and would prefer to refrain from using synthetics in the household. This provides the same type of pleasant, perfumed pick-me-up and allows me to run around in the same harried manner, spraying each room of the house for added freshness,  prior to company arriving. You do it too, I know it.
With this natural room spray, I would recommend using it when the little ones aren’t in the immediate area, as it could probably cause some eye irritation if little faces are looking up into the falling mist. The other spray options that Be Clean Naturally offers probably wouldn’t but I would suggest a better-safe-than-sorry approach to anything with peppermint, as it’s a very strong essential oil.
This blend of lavender, rosemary and peppermint is great for things like improving an agitated mood, or helping with insomnia. I went through nearly the entire bottle before I thought, “Duh, pain relief!”, as all of those ingredients provide relief for headaches, inflammation or pain, and I started using it as an absolutely fantastic muscle spray. It works just as well as A5-35 and I know what’s in it!

If you have other injuries and ailments to soothe, this is the wound balm;

Be-Clean-Naturally
Be-Clean-Naturally
Now, I have had no real reason to use this as part of first aid care since receiving it (knock on wood that I don’t, as my home is full of accident prone klutzes) so I can only speculate about the healing properties based upon the ingredients. You can do that kind of research just as well as I can and check out the page about this stuff here. I use some on the ingredients list for almost everything imaginable and firmly believe in the healing properties of essential oils; As such, I do think that a balm comprised of the best of the best of them would work well. It smells, to me, like beeswax and calendula, which is fantastic for rashes and other skin irritations. Texturally, it is a lot like beeswax but then goes on with a buttery-smooth layer that makes for an excellent barrier cream. I would go so far as to use this on baby bums, although diaper rash has not been a problem with our youngest two and I thank cloth for that!
Moving from soothing baby bums to washing bitty booties and bodies, this is the Baby Bar;
Be-Clean-Naturally
Would you like to know the ingredients? Of course you would, as a responsible parent! Olive oil. That’s it, that’s all. No dyes, scents, chemicals, parabens, sulfates and so on- just pure, natural, olive oil. It leaves skin soft (as if it wasn’t already), clean and moisturized with a rich and pleasing lather. Due to the composition of the soap, you really have to avoid leaving it in the water for too long and be sure to store it properly in between washes or it will become slightly more gooey and soft than other bars might. It is about half the size of the other soaps and not much cheaper, which does not make the most sense for our household budget. In all honesty, the rest of the bars do not contain anything that is not “baby safe” (although I would avoid mint for children and do not use tea tree oil on babies under 6 months) and I used the Love and Tea Tree bar on the girls too.
Be-Clean-Naturally
This was my favourite of all of ones that I tried due to the fragrance and the fantastic array of uses. Be Clean Naturally makes soap bars that can be used on the hair as well the body so this is GREAT for school-aged children as shampoo. Tea tree oil helps deter lice naturally, which has been pretty much my worst fear since my oldest started school, and has been added to our daily regiment. This tea tree oil soap makes for a quick, easy way to add the oil odour to my little ones’ hair without it being overpowering and it’s also an excellent solution for skin blemishes or acne. If you don’t have children to worry about, you could use it on the poochy to prevent fleas.

This, all around, is an excellent soap for value, skin, scent and suds. I most definitely recommend it.

Last but not least is the laundry soap;
Be-Clean-Naturally
Mhmm, lemony.
It smells a lot like lemons and a bit like tea tree oil so, of course, I had to quote and then impersonate Homer upon opening the bottle. I did not find that it was sudsy, which most natural laundry soaps are not, and was unsure about how clean our clothes would be until I opened the washing machine and could smell a lingering freshness. That set the soap apart from any natural product I have used to date, as there is typically no fragrance after a wash but this was noticeable, although light. Admittedly, the bottle was so little that I could only do one large load and do not have much experience with this but, at $2 for the small bottle, it’s worth trying on your own if it is something that you think you may like. I can not speak for stain fighting power, terrible grime or anything like that but it smells pretty decent and appears to do the job.
All in all, I had an excellent experience with Be Clean Naturally and enjoy the idea of supporting this family and their labour of love. I would have to pick the Tea Tree bar as my preferred of the lot, although so many on the webpage are incredibly intriguing for me and I would have a hard time choosing only a couple that I would love to bring home. The diverse line of products that Be Clean Naturally carries offers something for everyone and, if you’re wanting to do a bit of shopping but have a hubby who monitors the budget, bribe him with some Chubby Rubby if he keeps quiet about your purchasing decision. If he’s not confused enough by the offer to open up the webpage then I would be shocked. If he’s anything like mine, he would be immediately on board at the mention of the product name alone- aaand grinning like an idiot every time you looked at him for the rest of the evening.
Now you’ll have to head over to the site to read up on Chubby Rubby and see what the heck I mean by that. While you’re at it, be sure to stop by their Facebook page too.

Thieves Oil And It’s Many Uses

Hi, my name is Alysia and I am an addict.I have only just recently come to the conclusion that I am hopelessly, utterly addicted to thieves oil.
I discovered Marseille’s Remedy Traditional Thieves Oil via the Still Eagle shop because it appears that Deb, from the store, has a knack for sending me things to review that I end up loving. I had heard of it before, I’ve used components of it previously, and I was most definitely open to trying thieves once I smelled it as a complete formula. The scent is quite powerful, although not at all unpleasant, and the notes that come through the best for me are those of rosemary, clove and lemon as the finishing fragrance. There is also cinnamon and eucalyptus within the mix, adding to the powerful pungency but it makes for a lovely aroma overall and it is one that you will keep going back for, once you have used it the first time.

thieves oil

The picture and date of 1413 on the bottle was intriguing for me, which made me do a bit of research into the origin and I found out that thieves oil was originally used by grave robbers in France, who were stealing from the bodies of those who died of the plague. They had mixed a blend of spices in a recipe that allowed them to be among plague victims without contracting the disease, which they eventually traded for a lesser sentence from the judge when they were caught and tried for their crimes (they were hanged, instead of burned alive). It is said that their blend of spices and perfume mix is the reason why plague doctors would wear beak-like masks filled with the concoction, although one can only speculate based upon old tales. What I know for certain is that thieves oil is an excellent antibacterial solution and, with a simple Google search, you can find over 100 uses for the stuff. I particularly enjoy diffusing it to kill bacteria within the air, which I have read that it can eliminate over 99% of it within 12 minutes.

thieves oil
I think so!

I have also started applying it to the soles of my oldest son’s feet before he leaves for school, which is supposed to help prevent him from contracting any of the other germy children’s viruses. Here’s hoping, as I have two toddlers at home with me and sniffly, sickly toddlers are not fun housemates. Come to think of it, a whiny and sick husband isn’t either and he is not at all partial to oil of oregano. Luckily, thieves oil tastes much better to ingest (I would recommend a drop in some tea).

I have also used it on acne spots since I got the bottle a few weeks back. My oldest daughter is potty trained but she had an accident in bed a while ago so we put her in Pull Ups for a couple of days, just in case, and they caused her to break out in some spots on her bum. The thieves oil lessened the redness and actually completely healed the pimple within a couple of days. Admittedly, I can’t wait to experiment with that aspect more but it will be a while yet before my children require remedies of that nature on a regular basis. When the time comes, however, I will update again.

My usage of choice is the headache remedy; I have suffered from something called “cluster headaches”, aka “suicide headaches” (as people who deal with these will kill themselves), since I was 19 years old. They come on out of nowhere, last for days on end and are like nothing that I can possibly describe but they are similar to a long-lasting migraine that has been sent straight from Satan. When they come on, I will be sick as a result of the kind of pain they cause and used to take pills that would cost upwards of $100 for 6 of the silly, little things. Now, I have not had a full-blown episode since I received the thieves oil but I have had a normal headache, or a preceding type of migraine, and the thieves oil took care of it quickly. I was absolutely shocked over how fast the remedy lessened the pain and had better luck with this than any over the counter medication; I put a drop onto my thumb, then rub it into the roof of my mouth. When I dealt with more severe pain, I also put some oil onto my temples and the pressure points in my neck. I actually found that to instantaneously relieve my headache, although it did also cause my eyes to water for about five minutes until the scent died down a bit. Worth it? I think so.

I have also used it to combat mildew in the bathroom, scrubbing my tub surround with it, and adding it to the Zero Xeno descaler. I also use it in my laundry and am going to try the stuff as a stain remover, as I have read great reviews for it online, tonight on my son’s grass stained pants.

My husband’s preferred method of application and use would be via massage, when blended with coconut oil, lavender and peppermint. It smells absolutely divine, helps to relieve muscle tension and pain, and is so relaxing to inhale that I end up falling asleep before he attempts to seduce me- or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I am a firm believer in the benefits of thieves oil and love the organic blend offered by Still Eagle, due to the size of the bottle and how long it lasts. I suggest it for a multitude of remedies in the advice section of the Frugal Mommy Facebook group all the time and needed to write this post so that people finally know what the heck I’m talking about, as I genuinely do love the stuff and use it for everything. In the interest of an honest review, I must say that shipping costs are quite high if you are not placing a large order so be sure to stock up and make it worth the postage. Talks are presently in the works for a possible discount for readers so stay tuned for the next Still Eagle review.
If you want to check this awesome, germ fighting oil out for yourself, click here. If you want to connect with the store via Facebook, you can find their page here.

 

Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review

I have talked before about Matcha and I keep bringing it up, I suppose because I love the stuff. I am a weirdo, however, and enjoy things like brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach and kale. I like the earthly, leafy flavours and was probably a rabbit in a past life.

Most people do not feel the same way about veggies and I am seeing an increasing trend among friends, or their children, who are steering away from greens. Now, that is a completely different blog post in itself and I hate that idea,  but nonetheless I may be alone in enjoying the matcha flavour. I know that is the case in our household, as I have introduced my husband to it and he nearly gagged when trying to drink the tea previously- and he’s one who will eat greens without fuss! He tried it as a result of the energy boost provided though and that benefit alone outweighs the taste for him. Dr. Oz recently did a show that featured a segment on matcha, which you can view here, and discusses the fantastic health benefits of using this product.
matcha
With the Kiss Me Organics Matcha, you’re receiving something that is USDA certified organic and they test their leaves in the lab to make certain that their tea is of the highest quality. This is important to me because it means that pesticides, chemical-laden fertilizers and herbicides have not been used on the plants, on top of the company taking steps to make certain that the tea was not exposed to unsafe toxins as a result of the geographical location.

With matcha tea you’re getting about 30mg of caffeine per cup, an excellent source of amino acids, 1/2 tsp is equal to 8-10 cups of regular tea where antioxidants are concerned and it improves focus, as well as memory. Very important point here for any other Mamas on the reader list; it also blocks fat from entering your cells! Oh yeah baby! I wouldn’t care if it tasted like gym socks, which thankfully it does not, I would be drinking it daily.

In all seriousness though, for me personally, I enjoy the calming ceremony of whisking matcha green tea and sipping from my ceremonial bowl. I’m a nerd, I know. This particular brand is not one that I would drink directly like that, however, as it tastes a bit muddy to me and I do not find it to be of the same vibrant, gorgeous green colour that ideal matcha is. The straight drink is not something I would recommend for this one but it works out alright as I do not always have time for that anways. I simply wish to include it in my diet, regardless of the rush that I am in. For that purpose, or so that my husband can enjoy the benefits without the flavour that he does not enjoy, we make a matcha smoothie. The value provided from Kiss Me Organics is excellent for the smoothies, as you can still gain the benefits from green tea powder but don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to include it in a wide variety of recipes.

In a smoothie, you can include nearly anything you would like, with any mix you so choose. I typically add in organic soy or almond milk, a tsp of matcha, some frozen berries, 1/3 of a cup of North Coast Naturals fibre and half of a banana. I say only half because my one year old daughter eats the other and I toss the remaining end in to use it up. Here is the result;

matcha

With Kiss Me Organics, you can find a multitude of uses for the matcha green tea powder with their recipe booklet, like matcha rice or lattes, and the product itself is of Certified Organic quality. It’s absolutely delicious in a smoothie and, if the mood suits, I add in some coconut oil for the additional health benefits.

How do you fit healthy choices into your busy lifestyle?

 
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.