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September 2016

Natracare Review..Tampons, Pads, Liners and Baby Wipes.

Natracare… I am a huge fan of this brand. Not only are their products certified organic, but just going to their website, they are 100% all about educating their customers. They give 9 different reasons on why to choose Natracare, and back up every single issue and reason. Love it. Some companies can care more about making a sale, so seeing that they put so much into educating meant a lot to me.

One of the main graphics that you will see when getting to their website here is…

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This speaks volumes to me and is a pretty good wake up call. So one woman alone uses 11,000 pads or tampons in the lifetime…. take that times the 130 million adult women that live in the U.S. alone for example…  now think about the landfills and what we are doing to our earth. All the toxic plastic and the effects on our world…  let alone your health!   Let that sink in a bit..  If you need to know what can happen and the issues conventional tampons and pads can cause overall… check it out here..

 

I am pleased I was able to try out a few different products from Natracare..  They didn’t disappoint one bit! I tried their pads, tampons, liners, and baby wipes.

 

First, I’ll start with the pads.

I was and always have been a tampon user. I really didn’t get into using pads until my oldest child was born. I don’t know what made me make the switch. I think it was the over sized pads from the hospital and the sexy netted underwear you had to wear after child birth. I guess it got me out of my tampon comfort zone, because I had no other choice. Thankfully it was around that time I started looking for more natural options. It did seem though that no matter what kind of pads I would try they reminded me of those thick pads from the hospital, making me feel like I had a bigger diaper on than my daughter.

This was one huge plus for me with Natracare… their pads are thin BUT absorbent!

 

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I was able to wear it with no leaks, no issues until the next change when I would go to the bathroom.  They have wings to help secure it, so I had zero bunching issues. It’s extra absorbent, so you don’t feel yucky when you wear it.. you know what I mean.. like when you can feel the wetness from your period sitting on top on your pad and not absorbing into it..  It stayed slim even when it was time to change it. So many positives to this pad.

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It comes in a biodegradable wrapped. The back of it is waterproof that is plant based. Chlorine free, plastic free, certified organic cotton cover, no perfumes or dyes and just overall great!

INGREDIENTS Pad: Certified organic cotton, ecologically-certified cellulose pulp, corn starch, non-toxic glue.
Wrapper: Compostable starch film.
Next, I tried the panty liners.

I was unsure if I’d really get to see how absorbent they were, because I only use liners on my heavier days with tampons. However, I put one in my underwear when I was trying out a new menstrual cup. By not inserting my cup correctly, it leaked and luckily I was wearing a liner. My panties were safe! As thin as they liners are, they are perfect for a back up or a really light day.

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Just like the pad, they have a certified organic cotton cover, no perfumes, dyes or chlorine, they are individually wrapped with a biodegradable wrapper and not made with any type of plastic! Thumbs up in my book! 

INGREDIENTS Pad: Certified organic cotton, ecologically-certified cellulose pulp, corn starch, non-toxic glue.
Wrapper: Compostable starch film.

 

Tampons..

can get a pretty bad rap, which in most cases rightfully so. Conventional tampons are horrible.. mixing rayon and non organic cotton that is chlorine bleached, surrounded in toxic plastic..  yikes! Plus, have you ever noticed when removing a tampon on a lighter day, how it kinda just shreds apart? Well, don’t ya think some of that cotton and rayon is left behind? Toxic shock, infection and it can even dry you out! Natracare had a great photo representing this!

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See what I’m talking about now?

Anyway, the tampons worked great for me. No more or not less than other brands.. However knowing that it’s certified organic is a big deal. There is no plastic, no dyes, no chlorine bleaching..Overall, if you are a tampon user.. I’d highly suggest Natracare!

 

INGREDIENTS- organic cotton…  that’s it.

 

Lastly, the Baby Wipes..

Having 2 children, I go through a lot of baby wipes. A lot of the time, I’ll make my own wipes using organic soaps and essential oils, but having the convenience of them being in a package and not have to take a whole 5 mins to make them ( I know,pathetic right? However, I know moms out there agree..5 mins is 5 mins..you could be getting something else done)..  Anyway, the convenience is nice.. I used to buy any kind that was on sale. Which really made no sense. I was so worried about not using disposable diapers to where I used cloth, but yet I still used conventional wipes… haha.. I was trying atleast.

Seriously though, conventional wipes are a whole mix of who knows what on a mystery cloth. Parabens and formaldehyde releasing chemicals, fragrances and dyes, and a whole bunch of irritants. Think about if you child has a diaper rash and they cry or complain when you use a wipe to clean them off.. Most think it’s because you are touching the irritated skin..but a lot of the times, it’s burning and irritating the skin even more. Poor baby bums..

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The Natracare brand is actually award winning and I can see why. They are super soft, gentle and smell great. The cloth is 100% organic cotton and the overall make up of the wipes including all the ingredients are 82% organic.

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I went through and looked at the ingredients. Most of them I was familiar with and the others I ran through the EWG (Enviromental Working Group) for their ratings of toxicity. I am happy to report I found no issues. All rated a rating of 1, besides the Limonene, which rated a 6. On the label they noted that the Limonene is something that naturally occurs in citrus essential oils and the side effects were only for irritation and nothing major. So overall,  a fantastic brand of natural and organic wipes!

 

So, there you have it! Natracare! A pretty stellar organic brand that I highly suggest. If you’d like to check out Natracare, go to their website or check them out on facebook!

Have you tried Natracare or have any other organic brands of feminine products.. please tell me down in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 



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Intimina Menstrual Cup Review

I have to be honest for a second…. up until about a month or so ago, I never knew menstrual cups were even a thing! Yes, I knew conventional tampons were not the way to go and buying organic was obviously better.. If you need reasons then go HERE. However, I never knew there were these little cups that would catch what your body would shed and that you could wear it for like 12 hours.

I remember seeing a BuzzFeed video of girls trying a menstrual cup for the first time. Some were reading the instructions and some were just going for it. Either way, their faces were hilarious. It’s that video alone on why I looked up the benefits to using the cups.

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When my Intimina cup came in the mail, I was stoked. My period wasn’t for another 3 weeks, so until then, I would anxiously wait.

The day that Aunt Flow came, for the first time like ever.. I was so excited, but yet extremely nervous! I could finally try this bad boy out! I remembered back to the video I watched and thought that this was gonna be a piece of cake! So, I went for it.

After it was in, I felt pretty confident. Plus, I won’t lie.. I might of done some crazy bending and twisting, maybe a jumping jack or two, just to make sure it wasn’t going to fall out.

After about an hour, something didn’t feel right. I felt like it was leaking. So, I went to the bathroom, forgetting the instructions on how to remove it and just pulled. Uhhhhh yea, that’s not how you do it. I..about…died…  I seriously thought my insides were going to be pulled out. It was stuck. I had it suctioned to my cervix, granted it’s what it is supposed to do, but somehow with the way I inserted it, it didn’t have that much air inside. It was squeezed, so getting more air out to break the suction wasn’t an easy task.

Count this as a lesson learned… READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

 

I should of just gotten up to go get them, but instead I continued to mess with it in a panicked state of mind. I thought maybe I could break the seal with my finger and if not, I swore to my self I’d just drive to the hospital. Luckily, I was able to break the seal, slide it back and get the cup out. I looked in it expecting to see that it caught at least a little bit. Nope! That cup was dry as a bone! I was bummed, but it was a given considering it was leaking.

So the whole if you fail, try, try again motto rang clear. I had to try it again. So, I washed it off and tried again. Followed by another round of weird squats and lunges. I had confidence this time. Plus, if by chance, I suctioned that cup to my cervix again.. I knew the trick to get it off.

I wore it for about the next 5 hours, then curiosity struck…. I needed to know. So, into the bathroom I went. After a much shorter struggle, what do ya know.. it worked!! YAY!

So for the next 3 days, I used my Intimina cup. I have to admit, I had a lighter period than normal. However, it didn’t fail me and it was easier than tampons! Nothing to throw away or worry about flushing. I think the only awkward time of using it is if your in a public room setting and you had to clean it. The whole walking out to the sink to rinse it off and worrying about yourself during that time, may cause some anxiety. Although, I think it turned me into a menstrual cup user.

The idea of not using disposable tampons or pads that can effect our landfills and futures, made me happy. I just really need to work on my technique, but menstrual cups are a win win for me!!

The one thing I really liked about Intimina was that they gave you options. Not only was the cup size based off of age and if you’ve ever had a child, but they gave you options of a compact cup!

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So, no more stashing tampons in your purse. Just this little pink disc holder! I absolutely love this.

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I was worried about the tip of the cup being too long since my cervix is tilted and my whole reproductive system is shifted to the left. I can usually always feel tampons, not enough to bother me, but enough that I don’t forget I’m wearing one. Sometimes I feel like they are resting lower. With the cup, I was afraid that the tip would bother me and I would of had to trim it back, but I didn’t! It was kinda cool!

So.. it all comes down to if I would recommend the Intimina menstrual cup to other ladies…..

Yes!! Hands Down!

 

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If you would like to check out Intimina and get your own menstrual cup click that pink box below!  🙂

Shop INTIMINA.com.



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Regrow Your Fruits and Veggies!

This week is pretty nutty.. My daughter turned 4 yesterday and her birthday is on Saturday. I have been blessed and cursed with a creative spirit. It is soo fun coming up with all of the ideas and making a big party, but…..  it’s a huge party for a 4 year old haha. I just can’t help myself though, so this week I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off making sure it’s perfect. Ill post pictures later!  2 words… Monster Trucks! Woo!!

Anyway, so I’ve read a lot about how to grow your own veggies from the unused portions that you usually discard! I’ve never tried though until the other night we were at my in-laws and she mentioned she was going to grow back her romaine lettuce!

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to track the results and share them with you! We went over there tonight and guess what… It’s growing!!

Here is what we started with.

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Just cut off the leaves that we used and set the base of the lettuce in water! This was taken on Sept 13th! We put it in the window sill and let it work its little growing magic!

2 days later… Today Sept 15, this is what we have..

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ITS GROWING!!!!  How stinkin cool is that!?!?

You can do this with other veggies too!

Lettuce- Any lettuce, bok choy or cabbage you can grow it easily. Take the left over scrap and place in water…Make sure it gets plenty of water and keeping the leaves misted with water a couple times throughout the week. Leaves will start to sprout within a couple days. You can grow it back in the water or you can transplant it into soil if you wish.

-Celery– Once again one of the easiest. Place the scrap in a bowl with a little warm water in the bottom. Keep the bowl in direct sunlight for about a week. Once you see the leaves thickening at the base, you can transplant the celery to soil and it’ll grow to full length.

-Lemongrass– Place the leftover root in a glass bowl or jar with just enough water to cover it and leave it in the sunlight. After a week, you will see the new growth and then transplant it into soil to grow like regular grass.

-Bean Sprouts– Keep about a tablespoon of beans and place in a jar with shallow water. Leave overnight and drain the water off in the morning. Place the beans back into the container. Cover the container with a towel overnight and rinse the next morning. Keep doing this daily until they start to sprout and reach the size you desire.

-Potatoes– Potatoes can be grown by just using the peelings! They just need the eyes! Cut the peelings into two inch pieces, just make sure each piece has at least 2 eyes on them. Allow them to dry out overnight and then plant them into soil about 4 inches deep. Make sure the eyes are facing upward! It’ll take a few weeks but your potato plant will start to grow.

-Sweet Potatoes– Cut the sweet potato in half and suspend it over water using toothpicks to hold it up in a jar. Roots will grow and sprouts will form on top within a couple of days. Once the sprouts grow to be about four inches in length, twist them off and place in water. When the roots in the container get to be about an inch, plant them in soil. Watch it grow!

-Pineapple– Take the stop and insert some toothpicks and suspend the top over a container with water with the water just about reaches the base. Change the water every 2 days. Once roots start to grow, transplant it into the soil. If it’s cold outside, plant it indoors.

-Peppers– You can grow any peppers by just planting the seeds and keep the planted soil in direct sunlight. They grow pretty fast and don’t take a lot of care. Once you get peppers grown, save the seeds to plant again.

-Tomatoes– Just like peppers, you just need the seeds. Rinse your seeds and plant in soil. Once you notice growth and its a few inches high you can transplant them outdoors if you wish. They love plenty of sunshine and warmth. Water a few times a week.

-Herbs….Basil, Cilantro etc– Most herbs can be grown by taking a long stem with some leaves and placing it in a glass of water. Leave it in a bright area and it’ll start to sprout roots. When the roots grow a couple inches long you can transplant it into soil.

-Fruit– Most fruit can be grown by planting the seeds. However all take their own care on how to either germinate the seeds/pits or dry them out before planting. Either way, it takes years to grow fruit trees, but once they are grown and fruitful, you can have it forever!

There ya have it for just a few! Enough to get you started on your growing scraps! If you have any other tips or tricks on regrowing your food, share down in the comments!

Enjoy!



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Babo Botanicals Sunscreen Review

Well, Summer has come and gone.. sorta..  Here in Ohio, we’re still cruising in 80+ degree weather with raging sun. So, sunscreen is still a must. I’ve tried a handful of sunscreens this summer, but I was still on the lookout for an all natural or organic sunscreen that was a spray. I know, I know, aerosol usually means not so great ingredients, however I was determined to find something!

The convenience of a spray is nice, but the smell and sting isn’t pleasing to anyone. So, I started searching around for a fragrance free, natural aerosol and what do ya know… I found Babo Botanicals!

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It came at the perfect time too! The weekend of Labor Day! We had some cookouts to go to, that would include a lot of time outside in the sun. I knew I wanted to try it out! I get a little nervous trying new sunscreens. My husband and I both have really fair skin so, our children have been blessed with beautiful porcelain skin, but cursed because, if they even think of the sun…they will get a sunburn! It’s awful!

At our first cookout, I brought my girls over and sprayed them down. I did not spray it directly on their face though. I sprayed it on my hand first and rubbed in on the face. It absorbed quickly and didn’t bother them one bit.  Best part..It’s not greasy one bit!!

My older daughter can run around for one minute and be the sweatiest kid possible. Beat red face with sweat runs. This always makes me nervous with sunscreen. We have had incidences where she sweat and got burnt where the sunscreen dripped off basically. Babo prevented it! Yes she sweat, but she didn’t burn! YAY!!

Neither one of the girls got in the water, the sunscreen however is water resistant. I love that. With these hot days that were still having, we are still swimming!

Over the rest of the weekend, we continued to use the sunscreen as we played outside. Overall I am very happy! Plus, looking at the ingredients..

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I don’t see anything bad! WOO HOO! To top it off its for super sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, dairy, soy and gluten free and safe to use on babies and children. Hit every point that I was looking for. I am more than pleased by the way this sunscreen held up!

I strongly suggest you looking into Babo Botanicals for next summer season! Unless, you still have 80+ degree weather like we have here.. Then go check it out here… right now!  Babo Botanicals can also be found on Facebook!

Have you tried Babo Botanical sunscreen before? Share your thoughts down in the comments!



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Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles (No Canning)

Summer… oh how I have a love hate relationship with it. I HATE the super hot humid days, but I love and can not get enough of the cook outs. Just something about a flame grilled burger.. YUM.. Another thing that I love is that my 3 year old loves burgers as much as I do! So, what goes best with burgers?  PICKLES!

I do have to say, I’m a pickle freak! 100% hands down, pickles are my thing. With burgers though, I need bread and butter pickles. One thing I can deal without though, is all the crap that comes in store bought, jarred pickles. Have you ever read the ingredients? Yea, no thank you.

So, I decided… Ill make my own! It was sooo easy! Check it out.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lbs mini cucumbers

1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp celery seeds

1/8 tsp ground tumeric

DIRECTIONS

Slice cucumbers into thing slices.

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Combine cucumbers and salt in a bowl and mix until thoroughly coated. Put the cucumbers into a shallow backing dish. Cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.

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Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

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Combine all remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved.

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Fill an airtight container with the cucumbers and pour the hot vinegar over the cucumbers. Let stand at room temp for 1 hours. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day.

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Enjoy! Will last in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

 



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Beachcomber Review

All summer long, I was searching for a great natural sunscreen. I did come up with some that did a pretty good job. Then, one day I’m looking online and come across a brand called Beachcomber Sun & Skin Products. I was pretty excited, I had heard great things and even referred to them as a natural sunscreen option in an earlier post. Even better, they are local to me in Lima, Ohio! I had no clue! So, I thought that was pretty neat since I love supporting local businesses!

Beachcomber offers all natural and organic sunscreen, lip balm and lotion that contain no harmful chemicals or preservatives, no parabens, pthalates or dyes.They make it all and package it themselves. They take a lot of care in their products and even helped educate me with some interesting facts that I’ll share with you in a bit!

The first thing I tried was the Beachcomber Beach Butter.20160901_221954

This is exactly what I was looking for. A natural and organic sunscreen that worked, that was safe for my children to use and that was strong enough to protect our skin without the worry while we were out in the sun. It was smooth and went on their skin quick. Usually my oldest complains since I have to really rub it in. With Beachcomber,there were no complaints since its more like a whipped lotion. As a mom, that couldn’t make me happier. It’s SPF 30. I did reapply every hour or so on their faces and shoulders like advised on the label and my babies didn’t get sun burnt, even in 85+ degree weather! Beachcomber nailed everything I wanted from a natural sunscreen.

Next, I tried was 2 different flavors of lip balm. Blueberry and Natural Cocoa.

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The first one I used was the blueberry. Unfortunately, I was a little too excited when I took it out of my mailbox and wanted to use it right away, I didn’t think of it being in the heat. Your regular non natural brand of chapstick wouldn’t of had this issue, but with this being natural, it was really soft and melted. However, it didn’t alter my opinion on it. Melted or not, it was smooth and smelled wonderful. It was very hydrating and I didn’t feel like I had to put more on a half hour later. The natural cocoa was just as great. Smells delicious and worked great. Since they were both a little soft when I first got them, I’ve actually been keeping them in my fridge. I thought this would make them too firm to apply, but the mix of being smooth and chilled, it’s pretty nice.

I have to add that every night before bed, my 3 year old asks to have some blueberry lipbalm! She is a lip picker. I’m not sure if it’s habit from being bored or nervous, but she would pick her lips until they would bleed in little spots. Since shes been using Beachcomber lip soothing stick, her lips have been looking much better! Gotta love quality ingredients!

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Oh, remember when I mentioned that the owner of Beachcomber helped educate me a little on lip balms and chapsticks? Well, most companies put natural or artificial sweeteners in their lip balms and chapsticks. By doing this, the flavor is more intense and is a little secret weapon to getting people to purchase more!  Not only are the sweeteners addictive, but they will make you lick your lips more, causing the membrane to become dry. Then, what do you do when your lips become dry? You apply more chapstick or lip balm… oh what a vicious, sneaky cycle! So, needless to say, Beachcomber doesn’t use any sweeteners!

So overall, Beachcomber products rank pretty high in my books. What you see on the label is what you get. They offer pure, quality ingredients with pure, quality service. They don’t have a ton of products, but what they have is wonderful! Definitely a case of quality over quantity for sure!

Thanks Beachcomber!!

Have you tried any Beachcomber products? Share your thoughts down in the comments section!



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