Fairy Tales Hair Care is great for Winter!

fairy tales hair careWe’ve already been using Fairy Tales Hair Care products for about a year now. We “met” the brand with their Rosemary Repel line- an all natural lice repelling hair care line. With 2 kids enrolled in our local elementary school, this is something I like to keep on top of.  Now that all three of my kids also have hair, I also have to keep on top of managing their hair and keeping it as healthy as possible.  My oldest has long hair now, it’s about half way down her back.  My 4 year old has “hair” for the first time in that he’s not buzzed- so I’m finding that I need to condition his hair a few times per week as well…and now that my youngest has visible hair, as little as she has, it gets just as dried out and frizzy from the winter as the big kids’ does.

fairy tales hair care

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Adding Essential Oils to Homemade Cleaning Products

essential oils for cleaningI love to make my own cleaning products.  The only thing is, they often don’t have any real scent to them….that’s one thing I miss about purchasing cleaners.  Or one thing I did miss, until a friend told me about adding essential oils to my cleaning products.

My go-to All Purpose Cleaner (APC)  is really easy to make:

1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda mixed into 2 liters of water.

Which cleans well and naturally helps to disinfect, but if you aren’t a big fan of vinegar, may not be pleasing to your nose.  (It isn’t to my husband).  [click to continue…]

The Perfect Bum Reusable Cloth Diaper & T-Shirt Set #Giveaway

Here at This Mama Loves Her Bargains, we just love a cute cloth diaper! Between both of us Mamas we have tried A LOT of diapers, and I think that we can both agree that cuteness is a must. Back when I first started cloth diapering 3 years ago it was mostly about functionality. There weren’t a lot of “cute” diapers out there. There has a been a growing trend in cloth diapering that allows you to diaper your baby in style. I love a diaper with an applique or design that I can match with a cute onesie or t shirt. So, when I had the chance to try out the Perfect Bum Reusable Cloth Diaper and T-Shirt Set I was game! The Perfect Bum set comes with a cute diaper cover with a tri-fold insert and an adorable matching t shirt. They have a lot of cute designs to choose from, and offer 3 sizes to fit your baby. [click to continue…]

Johnson’s Natural Baby Care

johnsons naturalLiving more naturally is something that so many of us, myself included, are trying to do. I have to confess that before I had children, I wasn’t really concerned about what I put into my body or onto my body. Motherhood changed that.  In so many ways.  Where before I loved the smell of chlorine  bleach throughout my house, I suddenly felt ill at the thought of those fumes being breathed in by anyone in our family.  Over time, I changed to cloth diapers- full time…even had all 3 kids using cloth in one way or another at one time.  I made my own laundry soap.  I make my own cleaners.  We started recycling.  No more individually wrapped packages for us- I got some quality food containers and cute snack bags…reusable water bottles were the only thing I’d let into the house.   Compost?  Yes, please.  Rain barrels?  Let’s see how much rain water we can collect!  I am far from 100% natural, in fact, I stopped making my laundry soap (it didn’t work with our cloth diapers and the water in our well) but am hoping to start again now that we’re done with diapers.

One thing that’s always been kind of out-of-reach for us is natural and organic skin care products.  I would love to use all natural, all organic things across the board but it isn’t financially possible.  So I’m always glad to see when mainstream companies respond to the masses and start changing for the good.

Johnson’s Natural Baby Shampoo, Baby Lotion, and Head to Toe Foaming Baby Wash are a more natural version of a brand that’s been around for so long it’s definitely a household name, and one that many parents rely upon.  I was so happy when I heard that Johnson’s was working to include more natural elements in their product line, because we, as a family, strive to live a more natural lifestyle as a whole.  Natural and organic products are wonderful but are often cost-prohibitive to many families, including my own at times, and it isn’t an easy choice for parents (or anyone, for that matter) to have to weigh the cost before the benefits.  I love this line because it’s natural, gentle to my kids’ sensitive skin, smells wonderful, and AFFORDABLE!!

Johnson’s is a household name that has so many years of quality behind them, and they offer us a more affordable line for more natural ingredients.  I am glad that they are recognizing the need for more natural inclusion and I hope they will continue to rework their formulas in the same manner.

Johnson’s Natural line recently won the 2012 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award! [click to continue…]

Homemade Laundry Soap

I am going to preface this by saying that not only have I made my own soap, I loved it. I stopped for the past 2 years but am going to go back to it. I love it.  I love the homemade laundry soap powder anyway- the liquid was way too messy for this mama!!

how to make your own laundry soap

Have you ever wondered how to make your own laundry soap? Well thanks to reader Rachel, here is a recipe she shared with fans! Let us know if you try the recipe or have one of your own!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (It has to be the Super Washing Soda, baking soda or just Arm & Hammer will NOT work!)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Empty laundry containers or any kind of pour container

Directions:

  1. Grate your bar of soap into a sauce pan with the 4 cups of hot water.
  2. Stir continually on low-medium heat until all the little flakes of soap melt.
  3. Fill your 5 Gallon bucket halfway full of hot water and pour in the borax, the arm & hammer, and the melted soap mixture and stir until all the ingredients are completely melted. Then fill the remainder of the bucket full with hot water.
  4. Stir the mixture once more, just to ensure everything is mixed well. Then you need to cover the bucket (if you have the lid to the bucket, let it have a little bit of breathing room, because it will expand since it’s full of hot water) and let it sit overnight to gel, it will gel HARD. Then take your dispenser (old tide container for me) and fill half with your laundry soap (I have to use a funnel) and half full of water and shake well each time you use. Will be very liquid-y but works great!

This recipe makes 10 gallons of laundry detergent so if you want to make less simply reduce the ingredients by half, etc.

 

My True Nature Review and #Giveaway

 

With a new baby in the house and 2 older kids, we give a lot of baths!  I try to stick to all natural products as often as possible.  When I learned that the children’s bath products by My True Nature included 72% organic ingredients, I was eager to give them a try. Another thing I like about My True Nature is that  you can share the Tubby Town stories with your kids- Kids love the stories and sweet characters and it makes bath time so much more fun!

I tried out the kids gift bag which includes:  Stinky By Nature 2 in 1 Baby Shampoo and Body Wash (8oz).  Bubbly By Nature Baby Bubble Bath (12 oz.), an organic cotton wash cloth, scrub toy and a reusable lunch bag.  [click to continue…]

Beam Central Vaccuum Systems

When we bought this house, it already had a central vac unit installed.  When I say central vac, I mean an archaic version, with a well-used hose that barely had covering left, and a power unit that had long since lost its “power.”  When the unit finally died, I was all “honey! let’s patch the holes in the wall from the central vac and never have it again!!” and even tried some other vaccuums.  Then one day, we stumbled upon some reviews when looking at other home-related stuff on HGTV.com…and discovered Beam Central Vaccuum Systems.  Intrigued, I dug a little deeper.  Turns out, things have changed since 1970 when our central vac was installed (yes, I am serious, and yes we did check the date….the original owner’s manual had an image that would leave no question that the year in question was circa 1970).  I had to check more into the Beam, because I kept seeing as I researched just how good central vac units are for folks with allergies, and decreasing dust in the house.  The dust doesn’t recirculate like it does with other kinds of vacuums.  Prevention is an awesome thing. I decided to send an email and see if they’d let me give a Beam unit a test drive, and share my thoughts with you all.

Beam power UnitA few weeks later, several boxes arrived.  A “Power Unit” made to power a large one story house or a smaller multi-level home.  We fit the second description.  Interestingly, when my husband went to install the power unit, we discovered that while the inner workings of the unit were drastically different, the outer design hadn’t changed at all in 30 years.  That, or the industry has design standards that insist on inlet and outlet positions being where they were in 1970.  He was over the moon delighted to find that the new unit not only worked with the current fittings we had- but lined up exactly.  LUCKY US!! (And by “us” we all know I mean “him” because while I’m kind of handy with a screwdriver, I’m not much for installation of important things.  I’m more of a bring a beer down and give some atta boys kind of girl).   [click to continue…]

Saving money on organic products

organic shampooWith all of the chemicals and additives that are in abundance in everything, seemingly everywhere we turn, it can get overwhelming to try to find products that perform well, are effective in use, and are also safe to use.  There are sites out there to help us navigate, but I’ve found these are murky waters to wade through and often get frustrated.  More frustrating, though, isn’t necessarily the ingredients- but the cost.  I would 100% love for my family to be on

When I shop, I do try to find organic shampoo, conditioner, skincare products- I figure if it’s organic it won’t have harmful additives (like formaldehyde! GROSS!) and pesticides used on the ingredients used in the formula.    I’ll admit I’m a lot better about getting the safest products for my kids than for myself.  We have a budget, though, so I can’t do both most of the time.

OrganicShops.us is a price comparison site for organic products. Sites like this can help us  live healthy and use organic products without spending too much.  I get so discouraged that more times than not, we have to choose based on our wallets with organic products and that just shouldn’t be how things are!  Wouldn’t it be great to just find a product we like– and buy it- or even better, not have products made with harmful ingredients?   [click to continue…]

KOR Delta Hydration Vessel #giveaway

I have a lot of water bottles in my house. So many, in fact, I may have been asked to not get any more. I did manage to sneak just one more in- but in my defense- it’s pink…and I don’t have a pink water bottle for me. So it was a necessity. PLUS, the KOR Delta Hydration Vessel I received- it has a slim design- and I haven’t yet found a cupholder it doesn’t fit perfectly into. I have several other water bottles I’ve tried and they don’t always fit into cupholders…which drives me insane.

I like the look of this water bottle. I really like the cap design, because it keeps the germs at bay. The handle is actually a reference to the Greek symbol for change, which I think is unique and different. KOR bottles have “KOR Stones” that you can slip into your cap for inspirational words to see when you get ready to take a sip of your water. These are features that while aren’t part of the functionality of the product, serve to make the product stand out. [click to continue…]

Taking a moment to reflect and be thankful #crystalrollon #cbias

With the holidays here, I think it is important to take a moment and reflect upon what we’re thankful for- not just on Thanksgiving, but always.  For me, I am beyond thankful for my family, my friends, my health and theirs, and so much more.  We have been working hard with our children to focus on the blessings we HAVE and the many things we have to be thankful for, because these are the things that matter to us most.  I want my children to be able to look at the world and see it through the lens of what they do have, and not what others have and they do not.  It’s a tough concept but at some point, I understood it, as did my husband, so we have hope that our children will too.

I’m also thankful for my blog, my readers especially, and also the opportunities that this site has provided for my family that we may not otherwise have had.  I’m not simply talking about review products but, for example, without my site I’m not sure I”d have known that Walmart sellsCrystal Roll On Deoderant- nor that I’d have the opportunity to not only try some, but to know it exists.  The product is with the regular deoderant products, but on the top shelf, which is above my eye line and likely not to have been noticed by me.  I’ve also tried a few other natural deoderants and found they didn’t work for me in the past.  But I’m very thankful that my site has opened new doors and new paths in my life, especially when they allow me (and my family) to use more natural, safer products for our bodies, both internally and externally. (Hint: Check the Crystal site for a $1.00 coupon!) [click to continue…]