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Monday, April 14, 2014

Simply Soapberry

Cara received product for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Do you know what is in your laundry soap? What is it made of?

How many of you think it is possible to get your laundry clean with dried shells from a berry? Huh? Is that ridiculous or what?

No, it is not ridiculous. In fact, I think it is downright awesome. I have always been a huge believer in using what God gave us in nature in, on, and around our bodies. I can't stand chemicals in my beauty, home care, or food products. Why go chemical when you can have natural?


Simply SoapBerry agrees. They are the first to combine the naturally powerful cleaning properties of ancient Himalayan soap berries into a mainstream recognizable laundry detergent in a convenient pump bottle. You don't even have to sacrifice convenience for pure, clean laundry!

Getting back to what is in your current laundry soap...

In the world today, synthetic surfactants (the ingredient in soaps that separates grime and oils from your clothes) and most of the “natural” surfactants used in laundry detergents are typically made from monoculture plants like corn, coconut, and palm. These plants are often grown using unsustainable farming methods such as: genetic modification, toxic pesticides, and petroleum-based fertilizers.

These crucial issues inspired the creators of Simply SoapBerry to seek out a solution for a powerful and natural line of household cleaning products. Simply SoapBerry’s Laundry Detergent uses saponins derived from organic soapberries that are harvested in the pristine foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. They turned the soap nuts into an ultra concentrated, liquid extraction of the soap nuts.

You'll love that one bottle of Simply SoapBerry can wash 128 loads of laundry in a HE washing machine - effective and efficient! I have been using soap berries to clean our laundry for years now, and I love how clean my clothes are without any chemical smells or residue left behind on them to irritate my family's skin. Using Simply SoapBerry may be one of the smartest natural changes you make as a mom this year!

Kinesiology Taping How To

*Cathy was offered this book to review without any obligations; her opinions are her own.

A year or so ago, we ended up at Physical Therapy for my sporty teen (just a little shoulder injury).  We learned a lot in that process, one thing being taping.  I had forgotten all about it until now.  I just received Kinesiology Taping, The Essential Step-by-Step Guide by John Langendoen and Karin Sertel.  

Are you looking for ways to deal with bruising, cramps, headaches, sore muscles, poor posture, swelling, and strains and sprains without taking a pill?  If so, taping might be your new go-to remedy in your medicine cabinet or sports bag. 

What is taping and how does it work? Taping is the use of elastic adhesive tape to relieve pain.  Applied in a specific manner, to a specific spot on the body, taping has a variety of benefits. This book shows you over 160 remedies to relieve pain by taping. When you are hurting or injured, chances are, your mobility is limited. Getting back to moving normally, and feeling normal is a primary goal. Taping works with physical therapy to improve outcome and progress. The best part is what it works without: taking a pill to relieve pain.  

I found this book to be thorough, informative, and easy to follow.  The explanations of  the history of taping, where to get tape, what type of tape to use, and how to apply tape were all explained. There was also a great section on when not to tape. Take a look at this sample from the book:

In a home full of active teens, I love the idea of helping with soreness and injury before using a shot or pill.   Kinesiology Taping is my new go-to guide for pain management through good, safe, and healthy practice. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hot Deals For Spring!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

You know there’s a change in season when new, exciting products come in awesome prices and deals. At Beauty Encounter, you’ll never miss a chance to get firsthand details on new products as well as huge discounts at the Hot Deals collection. We know you’re just super excited to find out what’s new and what’s hot so check these out!

 find your beauty obsession

 1. Lucy B Stung Organic Lip Balm. I know how your lips have suffered through this long, dry winter. Now is the time to pamper them with this refreshing lip balm. It contains Australian flower essences to make your lips feel and smell divine. Get it for 18% off the retail price now!

 2. Aromafloria Organics Geranium & Cedarwood Bath Salts. Ahhhh...take a break from Spring cleaning to soak in a tub full of these soothing bath salts. They are completely free of chemicals and artificial ingredients, containing only the finest organic essential oils and botanicals. The oils of Geranium and Cedarwood help to improve and maintain skin health, while the natural minerals relax those tired muscles. Get this for 15% off the retail price now!

 3. Aromafloria Organics Sweet Calming Bath Oil. This calming bath and body oil is heavenly with its sweet scent of essential oils of orange vetiver. You can put some in your bath water or apply it to your skin after a bath or shower to make your skin feel silky smooth. Free of all chemicals, this is a must-have to pamper your skin. Get this for 16% off the retail price now!

Don’t miss these amazing deals and many more worth 40 to 80% off when you pay a visit to BE’s website. If you think these are major markdowns, wait until you activate beSavvy Instant Savings Pass. You’ll be surprised to get 20% more savings for these beloved items right at your fingertips.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

35 Awesome Ways to Use Coconut Oil

Cara received product for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

Oh, how I love coconut oil (preferably extra virgin organic coconut oil)! Let me count the are 35 of my favorite ways to use it!

Cooking and Eating
·         On Toast Instead of Butter - Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.
·         Smoothies - Add one tablespoon of coconut oil into your favorite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil's MCTs.
·         Fry Eggs - Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil to create a non-stick surface and delicious eggs.
·         Popcorn Topping - Instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn.
·         Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips - Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick.  Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown.  Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious!)
·         Replace Vegetable Oil for Baking - Next time you make your favorite brownie recipe, replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe.
·         Grilled Cheese with Coconut Oil - No need for butter the next time you are making a grilled cheese sandwich. 
·         Coconut Oil Coffee - Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost!
·         Homemade Granola 
·         A Spoonful in Tea - Allow some coconut oil to melt and mildly flavor your next cup of tea.
 -    Oil Pulling - I also use it every day for oil pulling. Check out what that is and how to do it yourself here!

Coconut Oil Skin Care

·         Shaving Lotion - Close shave and a moisturizer at the same time.
·         Body Scrub - Combine coconut oil and sugar.
·         Makeup Remover - Healthier, stronger and longer eye lashes are just a bonus!
·         Diaper Rash Cream - Apply regularly to the baby's bottom to improve skin health.
·         Sexual Lubricant 
·         Stretch Mark Preventer During Pregnancy - This safe, healthy oil can be applied multiple times each day to help moisturize your stretching skin.
·         Nipple Cream During Breastfeeding - Coconut oil is a popular choice for nursing mothers because it is a natural safe product.
·         Massage Oil - Coconut oil is the perfect choice for a massage oil. Not too greasy and with a relaxing scent.
·         Body Moisturizer - Apply directly after showering. 
·         Sunburn Care - A great moisturizer to use after you've gotten a bit too much sun.
·         Mix in Bath Water - Melt about 1/4 cup in the microwave and add it to your bath water and soak.
·         Dry Feet Treatment - Mix with salt to form a foot scrub.
·         Elbow Rub - Helps manage the dry skin on your elbows.

Coconut Oil Hair Care

·         Leave-in Overnight Conditioner - Looking for a deep conditioning hair treatment? Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at ends), comb through and put hair in a loose bun before bed, and wash out in the morning.
·         Hair Flyaway Tamer - Use very sparingly on ends or areas with flyaways.
·         Defrizzer of Split Ends - Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas.
·         Static Reducer - Rub your hands together with a little bit of coconut oil on them and run them through your static-y hair.

Other Healthy Uses for Coconut Oil
·         Wound Care - Although you may not be ready to give up your Neosporin, coconut oil can even be used as a topical protector for wounds, shielding them with a thin chemical layer from outside contaminants. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to small scrapes and cuts.
·         Metabolism Booster - 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism.
·         Thyroid Supporter - Regular coconut oil consumption has been shown to support healthy thyroid function.
·         Energizer - 1 teaspoon can give you a burst of energy instead of turning towards a caffeinated energy drink.
·         Oil Pulling - Swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes before brushing.

Coconut Oil for Animals
·         Feed it to your Dog or Cat - Coconut oil isn't just healthy for humans. Here is some good info on the benefits for dogs and cats.
·         Put It On Your Cat's Paw - Put half a teaspoon on your kitty's paw to keep a shiny coat and cut down on hairballs.

 You can find coconut oil at almost any grocery or natural foods store. But my absolute favorite is from Carrington Farms. Why? Well, because they have the most wonderful extra virgin organic coconut oil in a handy dandy tub. Most coconut oil comes in jars, and it can be hard to get every amazing morsel out. With Carrington Farms tub, you can easily scoop it all out without getting it all over your hands.

Check out Carrington Farms Facebook page for more good information and find all the “All Good April” Carrington Farms deals in a store near you! For those of you in the Twin Cities, there are several Byerly's and Lund's that carry them.

Can You Take a Stand Against Chemicals?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Seventh Generation. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating.
You know how passionate I am about living a healthy, natural life and sharing my journey and tips with you. Today, I cannot wait to share with you some shocking statistics that will change the way you live your life. Then, I am going to give you ideas on how YOU can easily make a difference in everyone's lives!

Did you know???

  • More than 80,000 (shocking number!!!) chemicals available in the United States have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health and environment. Of these 80,000 synthetic chemicals introduced into the market since the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed in 1976, the EPA has required testing on less than 10%.
  • Scientists have linked exposure to toxic chemicals to many health risks, such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, learning disabilities, asthma, birth defects, and various reproductive problems. 
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976, and unlike other major environmental laws, has never been updated. As it currently stands, tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals continue to be used in the marketplace since the 1970’s without proper testing and without disclosure by the companies that produce them. 
Those are some scary statistics! They sure have a way of opening our eyes to some of the dangerous chemicals that are lurking in our bathrooms, kitchens and in the air we breathe in our homes.

No one wants their son getting asthma from breathing in these dangerous toxins. No one wants their daughter to have rashes on her skin because of harsh laundry detergents. No one wants to suffer with allergies for years because their immune system has been compromised from an overload of chemicals. Unfortunately, it happens to millions of people every day.

For additional information to learn more visit the Natural Resources Defense Council website.

So....What can you do to spread awareness and get involved?

You can become a Toxin Freedom Fighter by signing Seventh Generation’s petition to urge Congress to reevaluate the Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time since 1976. I have done it, and it is so easy my 5 year old son could do it. You just type in your name, state and that is it! Just click on the badge above to sign the petition.

Help Seventh Generation reach its goal of collecting 100,000 Signatures by April 24th by signing the petition for chemical reform and urging your friends and family to do the same!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baobab Fruit Recipes

Have you heard about one of the coolest, "new" fruits around - Baobab(pronounced bao-bab)? If not, it is high time you know about it.

Baobab is known as the perfect fruit - a fruit so nutritious, so packed full of goodness, that people have been nourished by its bounty for centuries. (So why don't we all have Baobab in our kitchens?)

One of the things that makes it so special is that this fruit is so well designed that it requires almost no processing while maintaining maximum nutrient potency and synergy! That is something to celebrate in this day and age of over processed, nutrient-devoid food! Kaibae Baobab powder is USDA organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, vegan, nut-free, and Kosher. Baobab contains six times more Vitamin C than an orange, twice as much calcium than a glass of milk, four times the potassium of a banana, and six times the antioxidants than berries and twelve times the dietary fiber of an apple!

After finding out how awesome Baobab is, I just kept wondering why I hadn't heard of it before. Well, it turns out that it simply hasn't been imported into North America until recently. It's well known in Africa, and very much depended upon, but only now are we getting the chance to learn about it and try it. I raise a big glass of Baobab Fruit drink to that!

So, how do you use it?

Easy - “Mix,Stir,Sprinkle.” You can add it in yogurt and granola or smoothies. It naturally has a sweet/citrus taste. I personally enjoy mixing about a teaspoon or two, along with my green drink powder, with a nice big glass of water before, during or after my workouts. Each glass of this tangy drink is jam-packed with antioxidants, fiber and electrolytes (magnesium and potassium to help you recover after a workout), calcium and Vitamin C.

Here are a few more ways to enjoy Baobab:

Kaibae Baobab Fruit Smoothie

1 cup frozen mixed berries
2 teaspoons Kaibae Baobab Fruit Powder
1 handful baby spinach
Water or non-dairy milk to achieve desired smoothie consistency
Combine ingredients in a blender, and add water or milk alternative until desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy and cleanse away!

Baobab Banana Smoothie
2 heaping tbsp baobab fruit powder, or more if a thicker smoothie is desired
1 banana
1c yogurt, glass of cold milk or non-dairy alternative –

Traditional Baobab Refresher
2 heaping tbsp baobab fruit powder 
1 glass of cold water, milk or non-dairy alternative
sweeten to taste with agave, honey, sugar or monk fruit -

I encourage you to try it. Find out more about Kaibae Baobab Fruit Powder and buy it here. Drink up!

A Simple Way To Get Your Daily Fruits And Vegetables

 Cara was provided products to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

How many people aren't getting the right amount of fruits and veggies every day? If you are one of the many who eats french fries, ketchup and iceberg lettuce as your vegetables, you definitely want to add in more fresh greens and produce of all kinds of different colors!

If you are thinking, "Well, I really try...but I can't get in the right amount of fruits and veggies every single day," then you may want to try a supplement like Total Fruit and Vegetable.

Total Fruit And Vegetable vitamins provides your body with the nutritional values found in 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. This complex blend of vitamins and antioxidants are primarily derived from organic produce picked at the height of their nutrient values. The amino acid chelated minerals facilitate absorption, and the proprietary blend of plant enzymes acts as an efficient delivery system. Together they prepare and distribute the highest quality of nutrients to all the systems of your body.

I personally love that Total Fruit and Vegetable also includes essential omega fatty acids that support heart health and 11 strains of probiotics that aid in digestion and strengthening the immune system. Omegas and probiotics are some of my best friends when it comes to keeping my body healthy! I feel so much better when I give my body the nutrition it needs to function, and even thrive, on a daily basis.

You definitely can't underestimate the power of fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are so jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to impact everything in your body from your hair and skin to your heart and vision!

Find out more about Cell Formula Nutrition Products and feel the difference fruits and vegetables can make!