10.21.2014

Sustainable Suds with Wisdom Natural Brands Eco-Friendly Soap

I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.

Between a 3-year old, a husband that likes to work outside, and me going to the gym multiple times a week, we go through a lot of soap in our house. Finding a good all natural product isn't always as easy as you would think. While I love using liquid soap on a loofah, my husband much prefers a bar soap. Despite the simplicity of a bar of soap, it's surprisingly difficult to find one that is all natural and without parabens and artificial fragrances. I was excited to learn that Wisdom Natural Brands was re-releasing their Cream of Coco soap because I knew it would be the perfect fit for my husband.

The hand-cut, Cream of Coco soap is made from an edible nuts from Mbocaya trees - only grown in Paraguay. It is a sustainable soap that gives people a cleansing experience and also provides an earth-friendly, cruelty-free option. The combination of Mbocaya nut oil with three other simple ingredients creates a unique soap that cleans effectively without aggressive chemicals, perfumes, or dyes.

My husband was worried he was going to smell tropical, but was pleasantly surprised by the light, soap scent. It lathers up fairly well, especially given that it is all natural. Typical soaps always make his skin feel tight and stripped of moisture, but the Cream of Coco soap left his skin feeling soft and clean. This soap can be used on the body and face and is a great gentle cleanser that I think would work well with all skin types and for any age, from baby and older.

Connect: You can connect with Wisdom Natural Brands on their website and Facebook.

10.20.2014

Make It Monday: DIY Glitter Pumpkin


I love sparkles and all things pumpkin. It's honestly amazing I have not ever put these two together because when their powers combine - amazing. I've been trying to get some more Halloween decor up in our house and decided to buy some pumpkins today and it dawned on me while strolling the aisles of Walmart that I should glitter these things up. 

This is seriously so easy and way better than scooping all of the goo out of a pumpkin. All you need is fine glitter and spray adhesive. I decided I wanted designs on mine so I had some circle stickers left over from Nugget's birthday invites last year and I picked up some chevron Frog Tape.


Tape up your pumpkins first. I didn't want the stems with glitter so I put painters tape on them. I originally wanted the chevrons to around horizontally, but it's just not that easy to make the tape go on evenly on a round surface, so I went with up and down instead.

              

Shake the can of adhesive and spray on. Make sure you're doing it in a well ventilated area. Once you've sprayed the pumpkin, pour on the glitter!


Do it over a newspaper or something so you can fold the paper up and pour the excess glitter back into the container. After you're done glittering, remove the tape or stickers and you're done. 


There are seriously the best pumpkins ever. Aside from looking like a just left a Ke$ha concert, I'm in love and plan to keep these babies around through Thanksgiving.

10.17.2014

DIY Mod Podge Halloween Mason Jars


DIY Mod Podge Twine Halloween Mason Jars

Is it terrible to say I've never "done" Mod Podge before? Well, I haven't. I mean, I guess I have if you count a homemade balloon piƱata when I was 7, but other than that, no Mod Podge for me. I've had this terribly cute Halloween scrap book paper that I had no clue what to do with and a whole box of Mason jars just calling to me to use them, so I took the plunge into the world of Mod Podge. Except I didn't have any so I made my own.

To make the homemade Mod Podge I used 1 part white glue to 1 part water and applied with a sponge brush. This whole project was incredibly easy and took almost no time at all and now I have these really fun candle holders.


See - crazy cute paper just asking to be cut up and used. I picked these two for the jars:


I thought they needed a little something extra. Thank the Lord for the $1 bins at Target because they had this cute twine I picked up the other day that added the perfect finishing touch.


I just wrapped this around the top and that's it. After everything dried I popped some electronic candles in them and they look great :)

            

Working on any fun Halloween crafts? Feel free to share, I'd love to see them :)

10.14.2014

One and Done... or am I?

For the longest time I never gave thought to how many kids I'd have, but it was always plural. Even after I had just had the Nugget, like fresh out the womb, and the OB told me I'd have to have another c-section next time, I was devastated - because in my heart I just assumed there'd be a next child. All throughout the newborn and infant phase and even early into toddlerhood I always assumed we would have more.

Then nursing school started and I was like oh no. Just no. Toddlerhood was in full swing and I just resigned myself to be one and done. Nursing school was put on hold this year and Hubs and I started going out a lot with our friends and I was still like, nope. My parents live in the same town as us and they're ready and willing to watch him whenever we want to go out. Our closest friends also have parents in town so we go out all of the time. We're incredibly lucky to have them so close and quite frankly it's nice to enjoy adult life while still having a child. Then this happened...


Who is this big kid!?!? Where did my tiny baby boy go? Why in the world does he look so grown up? Wahhhh!

That's when my eggs started to sizzle and the fever really set in. Like hardcore. I started reading blog posts and forums and whatever I could on having just one vs. more. Not to mention I feel like I'm in a time crunch on this. I like the idea of an age gap between children, but not much more than 4 years. I want them to still play together as opposed to basically having 2 only children. He'll be 3 in December and I know I've got like 6 months to make it before the 4 year old birthday (assuming all things worked with the lady bits - and man bits).


I will admit that parenting a threenager is not my favorite. I was much better at the newborn and infant stage and I just kind of want a baby...but I also love our life as a family of 3. I never thought I'd be having this debate and I certainly never thought the decision would be so hard. The Hubs goes back and forth all of the time on whether we should have another. He tends to be in the yes camp whenever we see baby pics of videos of our Nugget. He's usually in the no camp any other time. 

I know we'd certainly never regret having one more, but sometimes I worry that we'll regret not having had another because we simply want to enjoy how easy life is now (and to be able to go out with friends, booze, etc). I know another child will certainly throw things for a loop, but it's in a good way. Sometimes I just want to experience all of those firsts again...and know I've made something no one else can. There's no right answer, I guess, but I certainly wish I felt more strongly one way or another.

Anyone else debate like this over having another? 

10.13.2014

Make It Monday: Cotton Ball Ghost


Now that Nugget is back in school, I sort of fell out of doing a lot of crafts with him. We were doing a few a week over the summer and we just haven't done many lately. He's been talking about ghosts lately so I thought it would be fun (and easy) to make a cotton ball ghost. Here's what you need:


  • Cotton balls
  • One piece of white card stock
  • Glue
  • Black paper or felt
  • Scissors
  • Yarn (optional)

First you need to cut out your ghost from the white card stock. I just imagined those little ghosts from Pac Man and it came out pretty well. I also cut out the mouth and two eyes from felt to be used later. 


Once your ghost is cut out, start adding cotton balls. I found it was easier for my son to dip them into a big glob of glue and stick them on. Gotta love the Santa paper plate :)


He did a really good job putting them on there and covering up all of the white space. I had a spread of few of them out, but once your ghost is covered, you're ready to add the eyes and mouth.


...and you're done :) You can tape yarn onto the back to hang this up if you want. My son wanted his in his room, so we hung it on his door handle. This is a cute, quick, and fun craft to make for Halloween :)

Happy Monday!


10.10.2014

The Cutest Cups for Your Toddler from Kupp


Now that my "Nugget" is almost 3, he's quite independent and insists on using "big boy" things and doing everything himself. As much as he's been trying to drink out of a regular cup, it just hasn't worked so well for him. We have tried so many different cups and I hate having the plastic ones because they just don't hold up well and they're not great for the environment. I absolutely loved getting to try the Kupp thanks to Moms Meet because not only is it absolutely adorable, but it washes well and now the Nugget can actually drink from a cup!

  • The Kupp’ is a six-ounce glass outfitted with a colorful silicone sleeve. It’s designed for kids ages 3-10.
  • The firm grip and silicon sleeve helps to protect the glass from damage while providing a safe, toxic free vessel to drink from.
  • The Kupp’ comes in four vibrant colors that represent the environment: blue for water, green for earth, orange for the sun, and red for warmth.
  • The Kupp’ is the perfect serving size for children, and allows them to become more conscious of waste and consumption.
  • The Kupp’ is made in the USA using imported glass, and all materials are sourced from environmentally-friendly manufacturers that adhere to EU and US regulations.
  • All glass is recyclable, certified lead and cadmium free, and is made from a pure soda-lime formula. It is also dishwasher safe!
  • The grip-friendly silicon sleeve is BPA/BPS free and made with medical and food grade silicon to prevent damage. The sleeve does not have to be removed when washing, which makes cleaning your Kupp’ very simple.
  • The adorable Kupp’ is designed to resemble a smile so kids are naturally attracted to it!
  • The retail price of the Kupp’ is $16.99 each. 

I honestly love everything about this cup. Aside from being so cute, it has held up really well going through the dishwasher and the size of it is perfect for my 3 year old. It's great that I don't have to remove it from it's silicon sleeve and my son has banged it hard on the table and the Kupp has come out unscathed.

We decided to take the Kupp challenge. Each week my son gets assigned a new color Kupp and it's his responsibility all week. We've just started having him set the table and he knows that he gets to put his Kupp there as well. When he's finished at meal time not only does he bring his Kupp back and put it into the sink, but he's even started bringing his dish (and sometimes ours) to the kitchen as well. He loves being responsible for his Kupp and I enjoyed giving him his own thing to do to help prepare for meal time.

Do your kids help with mealtime at all? Have a heard of Kupp before? Share your thoughts :)

Connect: You can connect with Kupp on their website, Facebook, Pinterest, and @TheKupp on Twitter.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the MomsMeetSM program,MayMediaGroupLLC,who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger,Iagreetousethisproductandpostmy opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

10.08.2014

Weigh in Wednesday: Low Carb Diets and Hormones


Weigh In Wednesday

So as most of you know, I've been following a ketogenic aka, very low carb, diet. It's been going really well. I adapted rather quickly and fell into a natural rhythm of my food choices, etc. I honestly didn't really miss carbs which sounds like a big fat lie, but it's totally true. Give me cheese, bacon, and butter and I'm sold.



The first month was amazing. I lost a ton of weight and I had a lot of energy. The second month was not too bad either. I lost about a pound a week and I still had energy. This last month I've just sat at the same weight. Despite decreased calories and even starting some light work outs, the scale just stayed the same. My clothes didn't fit any differently either.

I also started noticing changes in my cycle. Instead of my usual Shark Week of 3 ish light days, I was having 2 weeks of sharks chumming the waters, 2 weeks off, and back to chumming again. I honestly didn't think a whole lot of it until it clicked in my head that I wondered if it could be diet related. I found this great article and I'll be honest, it made me nervous.

I sure hope I wasn't screwing up my hormones, granted I probably was. This is exactly why diets are not a one size fits all. Some people do amazingly well on a Keto diet. I think I was at first. I know the importance of hormones in the body, so the thought of messing with them made me want to have a slice of bread.

I still like the idea of low carb because I feel better on it, so I did a bit more searching and decided to try a modified version of Chris Powell's Choose More, Lose More diet. He has some great carb cycling options and that's what I've opted to do. On my low carb days I'm eating around 75g of carbs and on high carb days I'm doing about 150g of carbs. At this point even 75g feels like a lot given that I was having no more than 25g, but I'm slowly getting used to carbs again. I'm also making this a Paleo carb cycling because I just feel better without wheat and beans in my life.

So let's see how this goes. Today Shark Week started, but here's my starting weight for this:


This time last month I was at 182.4...so 2.2lbs in a month. As you can see, my weight loss slowed to practically nothing (but still something - woot!) and I can tell you that when I weighed myself on Saturday morning and was around 181ish, so I'm thinking this little bit of loss is due to adding some carbs back in my life and I will hopefully see some bigger loses next month.

Hopefully this time next month I'll be in the low 170's...hell, let's get advantageous and say the 160's. I've added 3 days of body pump per week and running again! Woo. I mean, it's hardly running, but it counts :) A slow and steady 1.5 mile run last night felt good. Hoping to sign up for a 5k soon to keep me motivated.

Hope everyone had a great weigh in today!