Have you heard of Grove Collaborative?
I order all of my household cleaning products from there – laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, etc.
Here's why I've chosen to use it as my go-to source for all of my household necessities:
Here is a picture of my most recent order:
Some of the products I liked, some I didn't, but I was trying some new things this time. Those Mrs. Meyer's fall scents, though! Mmm!!
Oh, where would I be without auto-ship? Out of laundry detergent, most likely. I'm one of those people that makes a shopping list and then forgets to take it to the store. I LOVE having my stuff auto-shipped where I don't even have to think about remembering it.
It's so easy to switch around my subscription too, so if I don't need something or I want to try out a new product, I can very easily change things around or even cancel the next month's order.
3. VIP membership
With a VIP membership, I get free shippng on every order, plus free or discounted products throughout the year. Every so often, they send me an email letting me know I can add a select item to my next order for free or at a big discount. I've discovered a lot of new products this way that I wouldn't have tried otherwise.
The prices are very comparable to what I would pay otherwise, and I love the convenience of having all my household needs shipped to me on auto-pilot. I also appreciate how easy it is to turn off a subscription if I can't afford it one month. They also remind me when it's time for my next shipment so that I have a chance to customize my order if I need to. No shady business or jumping through a lot of hoops to avoid unwanted charges on my credit card – I really appreciate that in a subscription company because that does happen with some of them!
If you haven't tried out Grove Collaborative yet,you can get a free $10 credit to use on your first order when you sign up through this link!
I'd love to know which brand catches your eye first!
My family's health has always been very important to me.
I'm always reading and strategizing about things that I can do to make sure they get proper nutrition and keep their immune systems strong.
There are many, many reasons why processed foods are toxic to the body, and I've done my best to eliminate them and only feed my family whole foods or foods with the cleanest ingredients.
But I have an embarrassing confession to make.
There have been a number of seasons in my life where, in spite of my particularness about the groceries I buy, my family has still not been fed in a very healthy way.
What I mean is this:
Lack of proper planning has caused me to feed them thrown-together meals that, though they might be better than genetically modified boxed foods, are still very much lacking in nutrition.
Sometimes I feel like the dinner hour comes upon us, and I have no clue what to make, so I resort once again to the gluten free mac and cheese.
When they want a snack, too often I depend on “organic junk food”, which is still junk food, organic or not!
All of that is fine and dandy once in a while, but when I find myself doling that stuff out far too often due to my poor planning, I realize that something needs to change or my family's health will suffer because of it.
(By the way, the budget suffers too! Pre-packaged and boxed foods, even brands that use ingredients I'm okay with, are not only lacking in nutrition, but they also cost much more than their homemade counterparts. And when I decide to skip the packaged foods and go with only fruits and veggies, I still end up grocery shopping aimlessly, just grabbing a bunch of stuff that may or may not get eaten because I don't have a specific plan in mind for it. Shopping that way costs so much more!)
For the past several months, my wonderful mother has done a good portion of the cooking for our family. She has been such a blessing, helping me out tremendously while I've been dealing with chronic illness and a difficult pregnancy.
But I don't want to depend on her to do that forever. That's a big job, feeding a family of 7! I told her that I wanted to wean myself back off from depending on her to make dinner all the time and try to start cooking for our family again.
I knew that I'd never be able to do that without a solid plan in place, so I went back to my old faithful meal planning service – Build a Menu.
While I love the fact that I can pick and choose the items I want to cook, what's even better for this difficult season of life is that they also send a pre-made menu to my inbox each week, along with a ready-made shopping list!
You can get this same deal too! Right now they have a special offer – buy the premium plan and get a year of Done-For-You menus free!
You can even choose menus for special diets if you like – such as gluten free or the super popular Trim Healthy Mama plan.
So, in a nutshell you get:
all of this for $40, or about 77 cents a week! I'm very happy to pay someone 77 cents each week to do the legwork of planning a menu and making my shopping list for me!
They even tell me approximately how much the groceries will cost so I can stay within my budget!
Already I've noticed that I am less stressed because I know exactly what we're having and I can plan my day accordingly. (That reminds me, I need to go get a roast put into the crock pot before it gets any later!)
My family is getting adequate nutrition. We're eating balanced meals instead of whatever I happened to throw into my cart at the store.
I love that I am getting their bellies full at each meal and that I'm filling them with protein, fruits, and veggies.
Interested in trying out Build a Menu for yourself?
(By the way, there is a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you're not thrilled with it, there is nothing to lose!)
I haven't worn makeup for almost 2 years.
When I was in high school or college I would have died to even go out of the house without makeup. Once I got married I relaxed a little bit, but I still would NEVER go to church without makeup.
Then when I began having all sorts of health issues (you can read a little bit about my journey in my book), I realized that I was having allergy type symptoms (sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, etc.), but only on Sundays.
I finally realized that the culprit was my makeup.
I stuck it out for a while, but the symptoms just kept getting worse. I was miserable any time I wore makeup.
I had already been eliminated as many toxins from my life as I could, and I knew this was one more step that I needed to take.
Since I didn't know of any natural makeup that would suit my needs, I was going everywhere with a completely bare face.
I never wore much makeup to begin with, but going with a completely bare face was making me feel so frumpy.
I really like the type of foundation that's like a cross between liquid and powder – like a cream foundation – but the only natural brands of makeup I could find only carried powder based foundations.
Finally I discovered Moody Sisters Skincare and they had exactly what I was looking for!
I wrote to them and asked if I could try out some of their makeup and blog about it, and they readily agreed.
They sent me some cream foundation, mascara, and lip gloss.
You can see the before and after results – nothing dramatic, but that is exactly how I like my makeup. Just enough to smooth out my face and give me some color.
(Looks like I had a little photo bomber!)
What I didn't like:
– The mascara will definitely run if you cry! There is really no way around that with a natural makeup, but it has a great consistency and offers really nice and even, non-clumpy coverage
– I had hoped to spread the foundation with a sponge, but since there are no preservatives in the makeup (that's a good thing!) the sponge molded overnight. I have found, though, that it's not bad at all to spread it with my fingers. It doesn't make my skin nasty and sticky and stain everything I touch afterward like conventional makeup would.
– The color of the lip gloss doesn't last terribly long, so I carry it in my purse to re-apply.
What I loved:
– The color of foundation was perfect, and the girls were so helpful at helping me pick a color that was just right. It goes on very smoothly and doesn't make my skin feel oily at all.
– The ingredients are all things I could eat if I wanted – no more sneezing and itching from toxic chemicals!
– Like I mentioned above, the consistency of the mascara is very nice. I would think that would be hard to do with natural ingredients, but they've done it!
– The lip gloss is also a nice consistency.
If you're looking for some makeup that doesn't contain toxic chemicals but that will still do a great job of offering coverage and color, you should check out Moody Sisters Skincare! They have lots of other products too that I haven't tried yet.
If you're looking for a quick and tasty breakfast, try this Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie. Kid approved!
2 T natural peanut butter
2/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, or vanilla yogurt
In a blender add in the banana, pb, and yogurt. Blend until smooth. If it is too lumpy, you can add a little milk to make it smoother.
Serves one. Enjoy!
*Dairy free option—omit the yogurt and use ½ C almond milk instead
1/2 C greek yogurt
½ C Old fashioned Oats
1/4 C Almond Milk (or other milk)
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
Fresh strawberries for topping
Empty the yogurt into a jar or Tupperware that has a lid on it.
Add almond milk and stir.
Then stir in oats a little at a time.
Sprinkle cinnamon and stir again.
Cover jar or Tupperware with lid and give it a shake.
Top with fresh strawberries and enjoy!
I've been using essential oils for cleaning for a long time.
But there are so many more ways to use essential oils!
My fellow blogger Virginia George also sells DoTERRA oils, and she sent me this lovely starter kit to review.
The thing I liked most was the sheet of 101 uses for Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint that came with it.
I read over the whole thing when I first received the kit, and have gone back and referred to it several times since.
A few examples of what I've done with the oils:
1. Lemon – added to my mop water to help loosen some of the gunk on the floor.
2. Lavender – used to help remove a splinter from my son's finger
3. Peppermint – put it in a diffuser to relax me when I had a headache
Seriously, there were so many practical uses for just these three oils! I can't imagine what all you could do with more of the oils from doTERRA!
I'm pretty conservative when it comes to essential oil usage. I always want to make sure they're diluted properly, and I don't ingest (controversial I know, but that's my personal stance.) But even so, there are plenty of ways to use these oils.
One thing that impressed me in particular about Virginia as a rep. is that she is super helpful. She reached out to me several times to check if I had any questions or needed help using the oils. In fact, this is her business motto: When you enroll in doTERRA with Virginia, you don't just get a product, you get a friend. And step by step help to navigate the world of essential oils, natural health, and how to integrate oils into your lifestyle.
If you're wanting to get started with essential oils, I highly recommend hooking up with Virginia. She will help you get started and help you find the right oil to address your particular health needs.
If you know someone who enjoys a more “natural” way of doing things, this would make a fantastic gift. You can see how the starter kit is packaged in an attractive box that makes it perfect for a gift.
Check out everything Virginia has to offer here.
Disclosure: I received the starter kit free of charge to facilitate this review. However, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.