Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pear Tree Greetings Review

If it’s time to send out your holiday greetings to all your friends, family and co-workers you best find something that will stand out and be unique. I always like to pick something totally different from years prior and really reflect our tastes as a family. I like to wow people with amazing and cute cards that they have never seen before. Pear Tree Greetings is a great website that you can order your holiday cards from as well as any other cards you may need throughout the year.

Pear Tree Greetings holiday cards are really fantastic. You can think far outside the box from your traditional photo collage cards and send out creations that nobody would otherwise think of. I really like the cut out ones that display a word on the front that is cut out and allows you to peak behind to your family photo which can also be seen when you open the card. I love adding a warm and friendly greeting and including our names so I don’t have to sign anything, just get the envelopes ready.

I decided to try out the kid’s party invitations on I pick a different place each year to order my son’s party invitations from. I like saving them and having a momento from each year that really reflects what his personality was like and what he was into. This year I chose the Green Friends alien card with the help of my little man. He loved that we got to put his face on the card and it looks like he’s in the spaceship. Very cute.

In addition to cards and invitations you can order address labels (Ours came out great- the paper was really high quality), stickers and more.

Visit to order your holiday cards today.

Lazy Lizards Yoga Mat Review

Every Sunday I head to yoga class and a number of times my son has begged me to take him along. Unfortunately I don’t know that the other people in the class would appreciate my giggling four year old who finds extreme humor in downward facing dog. He also meows and moos for cat / cow pose and something tells me this might be distracting to others. Anyhow, I came across a local yoga class that a mom can take with their child and we signed up. It turned out to be an awesome activity to do together and now my son loves to do yoga at home with me. He had the privilege to try out a Lazy Lizards Yoga mat of his very own and he loves it!

Lazy Lizards Yoga has an eco-friendly mat that they sell which comes with kid friendly yoga poses posted right on the mat. Along with that you can purchase the Lazy Lizards Yoga DVD to allow your child to practice this energizing, centering and focused activity. My son is total high energy 24/7 but I was amazed at how focused he can be when doing yoga and the effect carries on through the evening. I also love that we’re able to do something together that is something I am very passionate about. I love that he shares that passion at such a young age and I was thrilled that he got his very own mat to practice with until he’s a grow up master yogi and needs a big mat of his own!

What’s great about kids doing yoga is that they are born with all of their flexibility. As we grow we lose it so starting out young ensures they will be able to move freely and easily as they grow older. Yoga comes naturally to a child and it’s a great way for them to learn about themselves and develop spiritually.

The great thing about the mat is that the poses they feature are very common poses but they illustrate them with animals and give the great names. My son absolutely refused to do corpse pose at first. I think it was just too still for him and he didn’t quite get the concept. After seeing it labeled as the ‘Lazy Lizard’ he was thrilled to do it and didn’t budge.

The mats are high quality and they come in some great colors. I can’t say enough about these mats and think they’re a wonderful idea for all the little yogis of the world.

For more information or to purchase a Lazy Lizards mat you can visit

Sleepy Pod Review

I have three wonderful fur babies in addition to my son and they are members of our family as well. Unfortunately it seems one of them always has to get to the vet and I am usually the one who has to pack up my son and one or two cats and go on a short road trip to the vet’s office. I think it’s important to have a good quality carrier for trips like this or if you travel by air with your pet or pets. Sleepypod Air is a fantastic carrier that is perfect for small animals (not just cats) and it is the only airline approved animal carrier for in-cabin pet travel. Not only will your animal be comfy but they will be safe and you will know that they are alright.

A great feature of the Sleepypod Air is that when it’s not in use it’s collapsable. You can stow it away in your suitcase, closet, wherever and it doesn’t take up the room one of those larger hard case carrier does. When it’s in use and put together it’s incredibly sturdy and holds it’s shape. I had a couple of soft carriers we used for awhile and unfortunately they always collapsed on themselves.

The Sleepypod Air can be secured to both your luggage and to your backseat for travel.

The fabric on the outside of the Sleepypod Air is really lovely but it looks like it would be easy to wipe clean if need be. The inside is a pet’s dream as it’s cushioned and fur-lined. There’s plenty of air flow and space.

For more information you can visit There are also other versions of carrier available from Sleepypod that might better suit your needs.

Blurb Photo Books

Photo books are a great gift idea no matter what the holiday. Everyone loves a complete hardcover book filled with photos of their loved ones. It’s a great way to update family on everything your little one has done this past year and Blurb has some great options you can choose to make a memorable photo book.

We had some professional photos taken this past summer and they turned out positively lovely. I had a book made for our coffee table that included all of the shots and I noticed that my son was constantly looking through the book and loved the photos of all of us. He even loved looking at the funny ones of him. Rather than our big leather coffee table book of photos get sticky little fingerprints on each page I decided to make a book for my son for Christmas and he will have his very own copy (Shhhh…don’t tell him!) It will be nice for him to have his very own remembrance of him with his Mom and Dad and it’s something he can always have to look back on from when he was a child.

The process of using Blurb was relatively easy. You can choose a number of ways to create your book. You can enter photos yourself or you can have them automatically placed into the pages. You can enter text, create a cover and more. The binding even has a title on it depending on the style of book you purchase. I chose the hardcover option that lets you put a photo on the front and back of the book. The title of my choosing is on the binding and in the beginning of the book is printed a nice message from myself and my husband to our son. Blurb really allowed us to make a special gift for our son.

You don’t have to choose a photobook. Blurb also allows you to publish your own story or poems, you can create a family cookbook including photos and much more. Prices are very reasonable considering the final product and the types of products you can make. The options are endless.

To make your own book or browse through the samples you can visit

DHC Skincare Review

I read in an article that once you turn thirty you should start creating a routine skincare regimen to ward off the effects of aging. After I got over the fact that I felt like an old woman after reading that article I figured it couldn’t hurt to start using one or two products religiously in hopes of looking fantastic by the time I’m in my retirement years. I tried out some products from DHC skincare and I was immediately hooked. This line of products is based off of Japan’s longtime belief of olive oil’s wonderful properties for keeping the skin looking healthy and young. DHC leaves out all those other unnecessary ingredients such as fragrances and chemical additives which is what I always look for in a beauty or skincare product.

I like a product that is multi-purpose. I don’t like having 25 different bottles around my bathroom. Not only does it make for a cluttered bathroom but I feel like my shower and morning routine become impossible. I tried out DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil and I’m a fan for life. This product helps reduce the effects of free radicals and it moisturizes without clogging pores. I typically have oily skin which makes it tough to find a moisturizer I can use if I’m a little dry from the sun without breaking out from it. I was able to use this product with ease. This is literally the purest form of olive oil you can find anywhere in the world. A few drops goes a long way. I don’t ever want to waste any so instead of washing the residue off my hands when I’m done applying it I rub it into my hands really well and even run my fingers through my hair for a quick shine-boost. DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil retails for approximately $39 which really isn’t bad considering the price of some other products on the market. A small bottle really goes a long way too.

Another product that is nice to add to your repertoire is the Deep Cleansing Oil. I don’t like using a product that is going to dry out my skin but I need something to get rid of oil. This sounds counterproductive; using a cleansing oil for oily skin. I was a bit skeptical myself but found that rubbing a few drops in my hands and then using it to wash my face left my skin feeling really soft and healthy. If you want to stay away from oil-based products there are tons of other options to fit your skin type in the way of cleansers, moisturizers and more.

After using these products I definitely feel like my skin is much healthier. Customers of DHC have claimed that in addition to keeping their skin feeling and looking great it also helped fade existing scars and discoloration.

For more information you can visit

ReUsies Product Review

Another great brand of reusable snack bags! ReUsies are a great alternative to disposable sandwich bags. Just one household can prevent hundreds of plastic bags from making their way into landfills each year. The bags are made from 100% cotton with a nylon liner that won’t leak.

Two sizes of ReUsies are available. There is a snack size which is about 6 inches by 5 inches. It’s perfect for packing your child’s lunch with a snack or even a sandwich with it’s crust cut off (If your child is like mine, that crust better be long gone before they get to it). The full sandwich size can hold a regular sandwich, bagel or large snack.


ReUsies can be thrown in the washing machine and even dried. You can also put them in the dishwasher but in between heavy washing I like to simply rinse mine out and air dry them on the counter. They are also completely safe to use. I stress about constantly using plastic that could be potential leeching into our food so ReUsies is a great option that is free of BPA and phthalates.

Place your order at The majority of order ship out within two to three days.

Swimming Healthy This Summer

My son and I are both pretty sensitive to chemicals so swimming poses a challenge for us. I don't have too much trouble swimming in a public pool that is chlorinated but my son gets pretty sick if the pool is overly chlorinated. Unfortunately most pools around here are. My son is six and he has not yet learned how to swim so this year we decided we needed to figure out a way to get him in the water and get him learning. We came up with a few options that other people can use to swim healthy this summer. If you do have to venture out to a public pool there are some other ways you can stay healthy as well.

Backyard Pool

If you want to invest in a pool for your own yard then you can control what kind of chemicals are or are not used in the pool. You can invest in an in-ground pool, above ground pool or easy set pool. Easy set pools are gaining popularity because they can be removed at the end of the season and are far cheaper than a regular pool. We attempted to purchase an easy set pool and set it up but your yard needs to be perfectly level to get it just right and it just wasn't working for us.

You can choose to minimally chlorinate your pool when you are in control. You can also purchase a salt water system that keeps your water clean without the use of harsh chemicals. There are also UV light systems that clean a pool with UV light rather than chemicals. The pool we chose to go to locally used UV light along with very minimal levels of chlorine. This is the only pool in the area that has this kind of technology so we were lucky to find it and get my son into lessons there.

Swim Spray

Because the pool we are attending uses chlorine in minimal amounts we still wanted to be safe and wash our son off immediately after exiting the pool. Soap normally won't cut it when you have chlorine on your skin. I discovered Swim Spray and was immediately intrigued. Swim Spray is simply a vitamin C spray that you spray onto your skin when you get out of the pool. It neutralizes the chlorine on your skin and you can immediately wash up using your normal soap and products. You can spray it on your hair, skin, face, etc. It could burn a bit if you get it into your nose or eyes so steer clear of those areas. You could even get this product in your mouth and all you'll notice is a sour taste. It isn't harmful at all. We tried this product out and it works beautifully. My son used it while mu husband did not. My son didn't have any traces of chlorine smell on his skin after showering and my husband did have a bit. My son never suffered any reaction to the pool so this is a great product to keep on hand for the summer.

J.R. Watkins Foaming Soap

Public pool and water areas can be pretty germy especially by the end of the season. There are plenty of people passing through and this moist environment is the perfect place for bacteria to grow. Even if you are stopping by the beach for some swimming you'll want to clean up before snacking or having a meal. J.R. Watkins has a great lemon scented foaming soap that is perfect to keep in your summertime bag. You can use it wherever you may be to clean yourself and the family up before heading to your next summertime adventure.


Public pools, beaches and more can all leave your skin and hair feeling dry and gross. After a long day of summertime fun you should keep some good quality products on hand to shower with and freshen up. Alaffia makes a great Virgin Coconut & Shea daily shampoo and conditioner that will get rid of the effects of the sun, salt, chlorine and more; leaving your hair feeling hydrated, clean and fresh without the use of harsh chemicals. I like to keep a bottle of their Authentic African Black Soap in my big swim bag so we can wash up after the pool. It smells great and lathers up beautifully. Alaffia's products are pretty affordable considering they are very high quality.

Summer 2014 Toy Releases

Playmates Toys just came out with a new line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys that go along with the new movie that is coming out later this summer. These toys are a must-have for any TMNT fan. My son tried out action figures for each of the characters. They come with weapons and are very realistic. They have more of an 'adult' and modern look than the other action figures that we have from the TMNT. There are a variety of action figure sizes available beginning with very small figures and moving up to large turtles that are about one foot in height. You can also get role play toys from the Playmates Toys line including masks, weapons, shells and more. I was impressed with the pricing on these latest toys. Normally action figures can be quite expensive but this new line of turtles is pretty affordable. You can get the large figure for under $20 at some retailers. The smaller action figures can be purchased for under $10.

A popular toy release that many kids were waiting for this summer is the Wubble Bubble Ball. We originally saw this product in a commercial on TV and my son was intrigued. The product boasts the Wubble is like a bubble but won't pop like a bubble will. It bounces, moves and behaves just like a bubble. In each package you receive the Wubble Bubble and a special air pump to inflate the bubble. It took us a few times to get the pump working but we finally got the Wubble Bubble inflated. It expanded to about 3 feet in size and did what it was supposed to. It bounced, rolled around the yard and was fun to play with. Unfortunately our Wubble popped within about an hour of inflating it. My advice is to play with it very gently. If you want to keep your Wubble functional you should stick to bouncing it gently or rolling it around your yard. Keep it away from plants with thorns, fences that have sharper parts, etc.

The Lego Movie

Late June brought the release of the Lego Movie on DVD and Blu Ray. We had ours preordered awhile ago and now it's a regularly played video in our house this summer when we're taking a break from the heat or other activities. Lego released a number of sets for The Lego Movie and there are plenty of other books and toys related to this popular 2014 summer hit.

Ingenuity By Bright Starts
For the summertime babies in your life you can look into the Ingenuity Swing by Bright Starts. The InLighten Cradling Swing is a great product to have on hand to keep your baby happy all through the summer months. This is the most modern swing I've seen yet. This product allows you to customize the music that is played while in use and you can even choose the photos that are displayed on the clear display on the swing. You can adjust the swing to a number of different positions and the best part in my opinion is that it comes with an AC adapter. If you use your swing a lot you won't have to worry about constantly keeping fresh batteries on hand. You can take this swing wherever you need to go thanks to its compact size and shape.

Summertime Fun Activities and Products

Here is a review of some fun products you can use this summer to provide some summertime fun.

Spatter Blaster

Everyone remembers running around attacking their family or friends with silly string when they were a kid. It was a pretty mess-free way to goof around and have fun. You simply had to pick up the string when you were done. Spatter Blaster makes top-of-the-line silly string that is super thick and shoots incredibly far. It comes in all different colors and one can is pretty big; it lasts for about a 15 minute silly string fight if you are using it the whole time. It retails at about $10 and is totally worth the money for some summertime fun. We used a couple of cans in our backyard to have some fun and we literally covered the whole back lawn with Spatter Blaster, that's how much there was to go around. Cleanup was relatively easy; those who shot the string had to pick it up. You can get Spatter Blaster at Walmart, Toys R Us, online and other retail stores in your area.


How To Train Your Dragon 2 just recently came out and it's a big hit with the younger crowd, especially the boys. My son was really into the movie and was interested in getting some sort of toy to go along with it. He's obsessed with Legos and blocks in general so I was excited to come across Ionix blocks that have a number of different sets pertaining to How To Train Your Dragon 2. Ionix blocks are compatible with Legos and they are nice because they are more affordable but a good quality. We've tried some other Lego-alternatives only to find that they didn't click together as nice but Ionix work great. A couple of Ionix sets can keep your child occupied for an entire summer day!


For the little babies in your family you can pick up a Taggies toy to keep them happy and busy. Tags in general attract babies because of their movement, their feel, etc. Taggies began as blankets and now have blossomed into toys. Taggies has a big line of baby toys that feature the small tags on them in all sorts of brilliant colors. They are affordable and will give your little one hours of pleasure.

Bright Starts Having a Ball Count N Roll Buggie

Another great toy for the toddlers is the Having A Ball Count N Roll Buggie by Bright Starts. Your child can drop balls into this cute bug and watch as it moves around. There are plenty of songs and sounds that make this toy intriguing and educational for all toddlers.

Root Suit

What is a Root Suit you ask? A Root Suit is one of those full body spandex suits that you may have seen some kids wearing this past Halloween or around town. They cover the body from head to toe. Don't worry, you can see through the mask portion. This is a fun item to use as a costume or to use for a day of summer fun and goofing around. We laugh a lot in our home so a Root Suit is a good way to get a lot of laughs and fun.

Club W

Don't forget about us adults. For those of you that like wine, you might want to consider signing up for Club W. This wine club sends you wine each month for $13 each bottle. You can choose a higher price bracket if you would like to receive different quality wines. You fill out a questionnaire about your tastes and Club W sends you wine picks based on your likes and dislikes. It's a great way to try new wines at an affordable price. You can subscribe to Club W yourself or you can send it as a gift to somebody you know and tailor it to what they like.

Keeping a Healthy and Happy Kitchen and Home

Crispy Fruit

I introduced bags of Crispy Fruit to my son and husband and they LOVED them. These are totally natural freeze dried fruits that come in small, individual bags. They come in a variety of fruits like mango, apple, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana and more. The fruit tastes just as flavorful as it would have if you ate it raw. Best part is there are zero added ingredients to this product and no added sugar which I love.

Just Tomatoes Etc!

While we're on the topic of freeze dried products, Just Tomatoes Etc! makes some great pantry items that are freeze dried and healthy. I like the bags of freeze dried veggies. They are great to snack on plain, you can add them to salads or trail mixes or you can rehydrate them and add them to soups of stir fries!

Pomi Tomatoes
I like to keep a variety of different tomato products in the pantry. I like plain tomato sauce for pizzas, pasta, etc. Diced and chopped tomatoes are great for a margarita-style pizza or to toss into spaghetti. You can make chili, hamburgers, etc. all stewed with tomato products from the pantry. I like Pomi products because you get the basic tomatoes you are looking for and without any added harsh chemicals or preservatives. I also like the fact that the products are in boxes. Research is showing canned foods might actually be harmful for our health. The boxes also stack nice in my pantry.

Berry Breeze

If you want to keep your fresh food in your fridge fresh longer you can use the Berry Breeze to do so. This product is a small little machine that produces activated oxygen to keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer. The unit is battery powered and it has a cycle that it runs through so it isn't constantly in use. I was shocked at how well this unit works. I tossed it in the fridge thinking maybe it would keep our items fresh for maybe a day or two longer but it really kept them fresh much longer than normal. By the end of the week I usually have very minimal produce options because we've had to use everything up. This wasn't true once I started using the Berry Breeze. As an experiment I put it in our pantry on the shelf where I keep our non-refrigerated produce like avocados, potatoes and bananas. By the end of the week the bananas were much less brown than normal and we were actually able to keep avocados the full week without them being mushy and brown on the inside.

Rusty's All Natural BBQ

Barbeque sauce is a staple in our household. It's right up there with ketchup. My son slathers everything in it and we often have ribs, chicken and pork cooked with BBQ sauce. Because of this I always like trying new varieties to switch it up a little bit. Rusty's All Natural BBQ Sauce is different from other sauces we have tried and trust me, we have tried a lot of them. The traditional BBQ sauce has a Worcestershire flavor to it making it pretty unique. I used it for some pulled pork which I turned into quesadillas and it tasted great. There are also other sauces that are part of the line included a tasty taco sauce.

Sun Warrior

My husband likes to make himself a protein shake / smoothie every morning before he heads off to the office. He was conflicted for a bit about what type of protein powder to use. A lot of them has some pretty harsh ingredients in them. He ended up settling with Sun Warrior's raw vegan supplements. He uses the classic plain powder as we don't like to consume stevia. But if you are ok with that ingredient there are other flavors and varieties to choose from.

McClures Pickles

I love salty snacks. I am not a huge sweets person so if I'm craving something it is usually something salty. I love pickles plain, with sandwiches, you name it. I have never tasted pickles in my life that are better than McClures Pickles. These pickles are simply amazing. Each jar comes packed with pickles, whole dill and whole pieces of garlic. They are so flavorful and delicious I cannot say enough about them. There are some spicy varieties as well. I'm not a fan of anything spicy but I had my parents test these ones out as they love hot pickles and they said they were great as well. There are also relishes, bloody mary mixes and even potato chips that coincide with the McClures flavors.

Saffron Road

I like different cuisine and my husband is usually pretty good about going out for something unique with me. I got him to try Thai with me but unfortunately we are at a loss when it comes to good quality, local Thai food and plus, we don't get out much just the two of us. Saffron Road makes some tasty frozen entrees and their Pad Thai is actually really good. Typically you would get something like this frozen and it would taste more like a Lean Cuisine than authentic Thai. Saffron Road products have all the traditional flavors you are looking for and all the spices that should be used in a dish. The Lamb Saag and Thai Basic Chili are all good as well.

Wild Planet

Our local grocery stores carry Wild Planet tuna and this is pretty much our only option when it comes to a higher quality, canned tuna product. Wild Planet's sustainably caught seafood is really good. When you open a can of their tuna (There are a few varieties) you get a can of solid, high quality fish. It flakes apart and is really dense and tasty. I have used it for tuna sandwiches, tuna noodle salad, etc. This product really makes a difference in the quality of your dish. You don't get the feeling you're eating canned tun but rather fresh tuna you cooked and cooled.

Brianna's Dressing

I eat salad almost everyday and I incorporate it into our meals a few times per week. Because I eat it so much I like to change up the dressing we use; always trying some new variety. I also like to purchase all natural or organic dressings so I can eliminate the MSG and high fructose corn syrup that seems to be in the majority of store bought dressings. Brianna's Dressings are probably the best dressings I've ever tried. They don't have any nasty ingredients in them and they have the best flavors. I am a big ranch dressing fan but it's near impossible to find a non-MSG ranch where we live. Brianna's Ranch is fantastic and MSG free. I also like the Creamy Balsamic and the Rich Poppyseed. These dressings are great for salads as well as for dipping.

Manna Organics

I have been eating gluten free for almost one year now and the health benefits I have had as a result from this new diet are fantastic. I do eat certain foods that have gluten in them and I don't bother buying gluten free sauces but I stay away from gluten-based dough, pasta and bread. Manna Organics makes some good gluten free bread that I enjoy. It's always hard to find a good gluten free bread to make sandwiches on or eat as toast but this brand makes some good products. I like their plain bread as well as their gluten free cinnamon raisin bread. My son even likes the cinnamon raisin variety and he can usually pick out a gluten free product.

Stacey's Organic

I got two big packages of Stacey's Organic Tortillas in the mail as samples. I made my family a meal with them; I think it was tacos. My husband said they were the best tortillas we have had and can I buy them all the time? He was disappointed to find out they aren't carried in our stores but he concluded I should order them fresh each week online! These tortillas are flaky, simple, organic and delicious. They work well for tacos, wraps, quesadillas, etc. They freeze well if you make a meal with them and want to store the leftovers. They toast up beautifully under the broiler; truly delicious.

Henry Humdingers

This is a good raw honey brand to purchase especially if you are looking for a product that can be used for cooking purposes to make a glaze or dip. Henry's Humdingers are raw honey flavors such as Diabolical Dad, Phoebe's Fireball, Grumpy Grandpa and Naughty Nana. All of the honeys are raw and they can be used as a marinade, sauce, dip, spread, etc. This idea was created by a 12 year old boy named Henry who wanted to help save the bees. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Foundation for the Preservation Of Bees.

Primal Pet Foods Inc.

My pets are like my adopted children and I like to make sure they are eating a high quality, well rounded diet. Because of that I like Primal Pet Foods Inc. This brand makes wholesome, raw frozen foods that are human grade. The meats used in the products are raised without antibiotics or hormones and they are vegetarian fed. These products are also totally grain and gluten free. My three cats absolutely loved the freeze dried liver chunks. This product can be used as a treat for cats as well as dogs. It's probably the most amazing pet treat I have seen. You open the bag and there are actual large chunks of liver in the bag. The chunks tend to be a bit big and two of my three cats have dental issues so I break the pieces up a bit for them. There are tons of other products available from Primal Pet Foods Inc. including regular hard food to base your pet's diet on, raw meaty bones and raw foods.

I And Love And You

This is another great pet food brand that I love for my three cats. You can get a wide variety of products from I And Love And You including high quality freeze dried foods, dry foods and even litter. All of the products are high quality and safe for the fur-children in your life. My cats love the cod chunks that I give them as treats from this brand. I also like the litter because it is a pleasant product we can use instead of the very stinky, dusty litter we buy from our local pet store.

Balloons for Heaven; Sharing the Life and Story of Larry Wells

It has been almost one year since a tragedy occurred at a Toys R Us store in Hamburg, N.Y. In the wee hours of the morning on June 29th, 2013, an intruder entered the toy store, armed with a knife, and made his way to the manager's office inside the location. It was there that this intruder disabled the surveillance equipment and ended up coming into contact with Larry Wells, the manager that was on duty at the time. Wells was tragically murdered that morning because of the events that unfolded during this encounter. Larry Wells left behind plenty of family and friends, a daughter, Madison, that he adored, and his loving wife, Jill, who was pregnant with their second child.

The tragedy that occurred inside that Toys R Us location almost one year ago affected not only a beautiful family but also an entire community. This story was an emotional one. Your heart just simply broke when you heard about what this family was going through all because Wells was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Larry Wells is described openly by his wife Jill as being "amazing". The two met when they were fifteen and remained a couple from that point on, marrying years later and starting their family together. So many people could relate to their love story and their growing family. It seemed wrong for this man to be taken away from the people he loved and the people who loved him so dearly. Larry loved spending time with his daughter, Maddie, and was thrilled about the arrival of his second child. Paityn Wells was born in December of 2013, months after her father Larry was tragically killed. Jill Wells rightfully describes the tragic event as being "So unfair."

Larry Wells has been described by many as being a caring individual who always went that extra mile to help someone in need. Pamela Zylinski, a supervisor at the Toys R Us where Larry Wells was killed describes Larry as someone who took a "genuine interest in your hopes, your family, your goals and your life." Zylinski reflects on Larry as being someone that was like family and was always smiling and happy. One of Zylinski's most fond memories of Wells is him giving her a hug on a bad day and telling her "It's okay, we're family, that's what we do". This is a memory that Zylinski will always carry with her to remember Larry Wells.

Local author and writer, Matt Chandler, covered a number of articles locally regarding the Toys R Us tragedy that occurred last June. He got to know the Wells family personally and even organized a toy drive of sorts to provide Maddie with extra Christmas gifts for the first Christmas that she would spend without her father. The local Buffalo community stepped up as usual, helping to make Christmas special for the Wells family. Chandler wasn't done helping just yet. A suggestion from one of Chandler's friends helped him create the concept of Balloons For Heaven; a children's book that not only helps children understand death a little bit better but also helps pay tribute to Larry Wells and his legacy.

Balloons For Heaven, written by Matt Chandler and illustrated by Vicky Free, begins with a little girl named Chloe. Chloe is quite sad because she is being faced with having to say goodbye to her pet hamster, Mr. Wiggles. Her parents explain to her the process of death and how Mr. Wiggles will be enjoying a new and healthy life in heaven. Chloe's Dad comes up with a way for her to talk to Mr. Wiggles even when he is gone. Chloe writes Mr. Wiggles notes and sends them up high into the sky on a helium filled balloon.

Chloe's friend Maddie is introduced next in Balloons For Heaven. Maddie's Dad was at work at a toy store very early one morning getting all the toys in the store ready for the boys and girls who would come shopping that day. Something tragic happened and Maddie's Dad was taken to the hospital where unfortunately, the doctors there were unable to help him. Maddie misses her father but recalls her friend Chloe sending balloons with messages tied to them up to her beloved hamster. Maddie and her Mom do the same, sending loving messages up to heaven for Maddie's Dad.

The story itself is very touching. What makes it even more of an amazing story is that Maddie Wells and her Mom, Jill, do this exact activity in real life to help Maddie deal with the loss of her father. Since the death of Larry Wells, Maddie has been writing to her father and sending up balloons to heaven. While nothing will bring Wells back to his family where he belongs, this way of communicating with him gives his daughter and family peace and comfort.

I had the privilege of speaking with Chandler regarding his current book release. Chandler has authored nine other books but this was the first time he took a true story and turned it into a children's story. He hopes to include the Wells family in other future releases stating: "anything I can do to bring a smile to the faces of Larry's family after all they have been through, is the least I can do."

Chandler is constantly impressed by the strength of the Wells family, especially with all they have been through in the past year. "I am in awe of the strength of this family. I truly don't know how Jill was able to pick up the pieces and continue to not only raise their daughter, but to give birth to their second child just months after Larry was murdered. I think it is a testament not only to her inner strength, but to the strong family she is surrounded by," says Chandler.

Jill Wells manages to smile through her grief in order to properly raise her daughters, now as a single mom. The family is excited and supportive of the Balloons For Heaven project as well as the memorial event. Matt Chandler feels that the Wells family likely sees this book as "just another way to make sure that Larry is never forgotten. By all accounts he was an amazing husband, father, son, co-worker and friend and the family doesn't want him to become just another nameless victim of violence."

The official release of Balloons For Heaven is set for Sunday, June 29th, 2014. This day will mark one year since the death of Larry Wells. Family, friends and members of the community are all welcome at Fireman's Park on Lake Avenue in Blasdell, N.Y. to celebrate Larry's life. Everyone attending is encouraged to share their stories, photographs and memories of Larry at this event to help celebrate who Larry was and remember him and his spirit. Activities are planned for throughout the day and a balloon station will be set up for people to write messages to Larry or loved ones that they have lost. All of the balloons will be released together at 3 P.M. Chandler encourages everyone to "purchase a copy of this book and support this amazing family that has been through so much in the last year." Presale copies can be purchased by visiting All profits go to Maddie and Paityn Wells.

Paw Patrol Toys; Released in the Spring / Summer 2014

My son is now six so he loves cartoons like Sponge Bob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spiderman. We have grown out of a lot of the cuter, little kid shows but he still loves the newer show, Paw Patrol. This show came out a little while ago but this summer is marking the release of Paw Patrol toys. My son has been waiting for his favorite pups to become handheld stuffed animals and toys so this is a big excitement for us. I even love the cute little pups that help save the day episode after episode.

On-A-Roll Marshall

Marshall is the firefighter pup on Paw Patrol that has his own fire engine. The toy surrounding Marshall, made by Spin Master, is the On-A-Roll Marshall. The fire truck can be pushed into itself to make it go without having to rev it up yourself. Siren sounds occur when you do this and you also get a cute little Marshall pup to play with along with the truck. This is for ages 3 and up. You can transform and roll this vehicle all in one little push.

Real Talking Marshall

This toy is a cute stuffed Marshall pup that talks when you squeeze his mid section. His collar also lights up when he talks. He says cute phrases like "I'm fired up" and "Ryder needs our help!" Chase is also available as part of this line of toys. This cute guy is for ages 2 and up.

Marshall's Fire Fightin' Truck

If you are looking for a bit simpler of a toy from the Paw Patrol line you can turn to Marshall's Fire Fightin' Truck. This is a battery-free toy that can be used as an action figure. A plastic fire truck has a moveable ladder and a detachable Marshall is included. You can also get Ryder and his vehicle, Rubble and his vehicle and Chase with his vehicle.

Action Pack Pup & Badge

You can get all of the pups from Paw Patrol in a small action figure form. The action pack pup comes with a small pack on their back that releases some sort of tool like a water cannon for Marshall, a police pack for Chase and a scoop for Rubble. They each also come with a snap on badge. These toys are for ages 3 and up.

Pup Pals

My son still has quite an extensive collection of stuffed animals and he constantly likes to pick out new ones. Pup Pals are simply stuffed Paw Patrol characters. They are nice and small with a stuffed body and floppy legs. They can easily be taken to wherever you need to go to keep your child happy. You can get all the pups as part of the Pup Pals line of toys.

These Paw Patrol toys are adorable and will get plenty of use from your child. All of the items are colorful, durable and affordable. You can find them in most major toy stores in your area as well as online.

Products for the Moms, the Wives and the Women in Life

I like to head to the spa / salon for a day of pampering but for the most part that occurs maybe twice a year if I'm lucky. I'm usually stuck trying to color my hair, paint my nails and do my makeup on my own at home with two spare minutes that I can find here and there. When it comes to makeup I usually keep my look pretty simple unless I am going out to an event of some sort. I like a basic concealer, liquid make up and powder for everyday wear. Cat McNabb cosmetics are fantastic. I love the concealer stick. It's a super heavy product when you take some out of the tube but when you put it on it is actually a very lightweight product that covers amazingly well. A tiny dab covers any imperfections in your complexion and makes quick work of under eye circles. The powders and eye shadows cover really well and stay on all day. I was super impressed with these products when I received them and I have tried a lot of different make up brands in my day.

I am the only person in the house that does the laundry. It's not a glamorous job but somebody has to do it. Along with the laundry comes stain removal and all that glorious work. Laundry detergent is something we go through a lot of and it is a huge expense. I have made it myself in the past but that tends to be a pain in the butt and I am never thrilled with how the clothes turn out with homemade detergent. Also, we always use unscented detergent that is hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Eco Nuts is a great organic laundry soap that works really well. It's super concentrated so you literally need a tiny capful to do your wash with. You can get it in powder as well as liquid form. I like the liquid because it's just easier in my opinion. One tiny bottle does a large amount of wash and it doesn't take up half my laundry room shelf. Contrary to the name of this product, Eco Nuts is actually nut free so don't worry about that factor if you have nut allergies in your house. You can use this soap in regular washing machines as well as front loading machines.

I have been cleaning my house with natural-based products for quite a few years now. I made the complete switch when I had my son and was wiping down tons of surfaces that he was eating off of, chewing on, etc. I tend to use something vegetable based that does a good job. Freshana makes a great line of products for the home that is non-toxic and totally safe to use. Best part is that all the products are unscented which I adore in a product line. I like Freshana's all purpose spray cleaner. I have been using this daily to wipe down countertops, tables and more. They also have a laundry stain cleaner you can spray directly onto your clothing, an unscented air freshener, laundry soap and much more. The products are all really effective.

I have always hated those power strips that we have behind our televisions, computers and such. Sure they are useful because we can plug in more than two items at a time but really, they are gawky and unattractive. Invisiplug makes these power strips but they come in wood grain-like finishes that make them blend right into your flooring. When you take a quick peek behind your furniture or what not, you won't see a big gray or black strip which I love. I like to keep things neat and cords can be such an eye sore and such a mess!

Products To Purchase For The Little Ones

My little man is six now so I miss out on shopping for all the cute baby and toddler items that are on the market. There are still some great products out there that you can buy for the older kids though; it just takes some shopping around.

One of the more popular products that came onto the market recently, especially for Halloween is Root Suits. This product is that solid colored spandex-like suit that covers you from head to toe. Miraculously kids can breathe and see with those things on and they were popular in my son's school. Now, you can buy them in tons of different colors, different patterns and different sizes. This is a fun item for Halloween but you can also keep them on hand for plenty of summertime fun and giggles.

My son was sick with the stomach flu this spring and he watched a lot of television while trying to get better. He saw the Happy Feet commercial and just had to have a pair of puppy slippers for himself. He received a pair of the gray dog slippers and just fell in love with them. Happy Feet are actually really affordable and they are well made. The animals are very large, plush and durable. The slippers hold up perfectly in the wash and they are super cute and comfy.

Everyone always complains about losing a sock or two when they do the laundry. Who knows where those socks actually go but in the meantime while you are looking for a match you can purchase Throx to keep you organized and in order. Throx provides three socks per package that match. This way when you lose one sock you still have a spare. Voila, you now have a complete pair. Throx come in a variety of stylish colors and patterns. They are actually really high quality socks and comfortable.

We went through a bit of a phase recently where my son didn't like going to sleep in his room. It was a mixture of being scared and being stubborn. Fairy Tale Wishes makes some great products that help get your child to sleep in their bed and keep them there all night long. They have a variety of sprays that are non-toxic but smell yummy. The spray my child received was the Monster Spray which smells like bubble gum. A few quick spritzes of the spray around your child's bedroom and monsters are magically repelled by the smell! You can let your child use the spray as liberally as they want to.

For the littler ones in your family you can use Bibbitec bibs to keep their outfits clean. This bib covers the entire front of your child. The bib itself is stain resistant and very durable. You'll find yourself using this bib over and over again without having to spot clean or wash it. I had a few favorite bibs for my son when he was a baby and I always liked the oversized bibs that cleaned up quickly and easily. Bibbitec is one of those bibs.

I have a little boy who loves to roll around and get dirty. Because of this you'll usually find him in jeans and t-shirts but he does love to dress up and dress nice if there is a special occasion to attend. Rugged Butts makes adorable clothing for boys size 5 and under. They have onesies as well as two piece outfits. Some are more casual and you can also buy formalwear from there. I love the Wyatt Plaid Vest and Short set. It's adorable for a kindergarten or preschool graduation but it is also really comfortable for your child. The best part is Rugged Butts pricing; their clothes are super affordable and even if you're investing in an outfit for a special occasion, you will get a lot of use out of these clothes.

Staying Stylish And Safe This Summer

I love summer not because of the heat (Frankly, I hate the heat) but because you have the ability to be so much more fashionable in the summer. Where we live in New York I spend most of the year in long pants, boots and layers of sweaters, jackets, etc. As soon as the warm weather hits you'll find me in sandals, shorts and t-shirts. I started bathing suit shopping months ago in hopes that maybe we would have a freakishly early summer and I would somehow be swimming in New York in March. This never happened by the way.

I work from home as a writer (Yes, this blogging gig is just for giggles) and when it gets warm out I often like to take the laptop outside on the patio to do my work. I also like to read outside, garden and so on. This requires some good eyewear to protect my eyes from the sun and to keep me from having to squint for hours. Proof Eyewear makes some really great sunglasses that you can wear just about anywhere this summer. You can wear them by the pool, to a wedding or on a family outing. Here's the best part about Proof: Their eyewear (They make prescription frames too) is totally handmade and made from wood. Yes! Sustainable eyewear! I love the Turqouise Polarized Lenses. These sunglasses and other eyewear products are super cute, super fashionable and super functional.

We bought a pool this year and my little man is going to learn how to swim. There is nothing cuter in my opinion that an adorable 6 year old in coordinating swim trunks and a swim shirt. Not only do kids in swimwear look adorable but swimwear is functional as well. Trunks with a built in liner is comfortable and safe for little boys and a swim shirt is great because it protects the sensitive skin on the shoulders, back and chest from getting burnt by the sun. Swim Zip makes really cute swimwear from both boys and girls that is highly functional. Their shirts zip up the front which is really convenient. If you have ever tried to get a wet swim shirt on or off a child you know how crazy easy it would be to just zip one on. Their products are chlorine resistant and they have working waistbands. This is a huge plus on this mom's end. My son has a teeny waist and those fake waistbands do nothing for us over here. I end up having to sew or adjust all his pants.

This summer make sure you stay fashionable and comfortable by looking around for great products that make your summer successful. Of course, it is always important to find products that will protect your skin and eyes from the sun which can be pretty harmful. If you wear the right products you can focus on the more important things, like having fun!

Getting Craft During Summer Vacation

I like to get crafty once in awhile. I frequently visit Pinterest, I Google craft ideas every so often and I have some craft friends who are always posting their latest creations on Facebook. Unfortunately, most of what I try to create comes out looking hardly like what it did in my mind. I have created a few good items but for the most part it just doesn't work for me. I have kind of figured out however, that if you have good quality products to use, they almost complete the project for you.

I work from home as a freelance writer. I do this blogging gig for fun on the side but when I am putting in hours of work each day on the computer I am always sitting in this ridiculously uncomfortable desk chair. I think I got it at Walmart years ago for under twenty dollars and the wear and tear it has put on my back shows. Not to mention this chair is less than attractive. It's your basic black, fake leather desk chair. I decided I wanted to paint this random chair we had in our basement and turn it into a comfortable and attractive desk chair for my office. The problem was though, that I do not like using chemical-based products in the home. We had plenty of stinky, smelly paint in the basement leftover from various projects that I could have used but I didn't want to.

I looked on the internet for different zero-VOC paints. I had also heard of milk-based paints as well. I came across The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc. They make safe, zero-VOC paint that is milk based. Their paints come in a huge variety of colors. You get a small bag of powder, you mix it with water and voila, you have a paint that works great for unfinished wood and other porous surfaces. I wanted to paint a chair that was already finished before so all I had to do was use their Extra-Bond product to make the paint more adhering to the chair. The Extra-Bond is also non-toxic so no worries there. The consistency of the paint was really good. As long as you mix it well you are good to go.

Another milk-based paint is made by Real Milk Paint. They have a lot of colors to choose from as well and all you do is add water. This one took a little more mixing to get it to a good consistency but ultimately you are dealing with a safe paint that even the kids can help you paint with.

A great product you can keep on hand for small craft projects is Folk Art Home Décor Chalk by Plaid. This is an ultra matte acrylic paint that dries with a finish like chalk. You can use these paints to paint a picture frame, decorative box, flower pot and so on. The projects you can use this product for are endless. You can use the paints to give an antique look or a worn look. There's so many colors to choose from you can match your project to rooms in your house or what not.

If you are someone who is frequently crafty you may find yourself throwing away paintbrushes that are getting ruined or have dried paint on them. The Roller Cover is a neat product that allows you to cover up your rollers or brushes. You can cover them when you are taking a break from your project or when you are busy cleaning up. This prevents the paint from drying too quickly on your brush or roller and thus ruining your product.

Keep the kids busy this summer with a variety of great craft projects. You may want to take on a few of your own for your own sanity during these long summer days! Head to your local craft store or do some looking around online to find project ideas of your very own.

Having A Sustainable Graduation Party

Having a party can produce a lot of garbage and waste. Every time we have family over and everybody leaves I can't believe the amount of garbage we throw away. We're talking paper plates, paper bowls, utensils, napkins, containers and more. For awhile I thought it might save us some waste and some money buying disposable items if we just used the dishes we had but once I realized that took a lot of working washing all those items that didn't pan out. Plus, I have a six year old son and he likes patterned plates, cups and such when the part is in his honor (Which it usually is).

I decided to throw my little man a little pizza party next month to celebrate his graduation from kindergarten. Yes I like to entertain and look for any reason to host! I didn't want to do the traditional kids plates and such that we usually get for his birthday so I did some looking around. I wanted to decorate and keep things looking unique but I didn't want to go crazy with the items.

The items we are ultimately going to use are from Susty Party. Susty makes responsibly made party supplies with tons of different patterns and colors. All of their products are compostable and what I like is that their products don't come across as those 'green' recycled products that are on the market. Susty Party has sturdy, high quality products that you wouldn't think are eco-friendly.

We are using a bioplastic tablecloth which is gray and has stars all over it. It's actually more heavy duty than the cheap tablecloths I usually pick up at the party supply store. We have compostable dinner plates, cake plates and bowls. Recycled cotton napkins will be on the table as will compostable drink cups, wood cutlery and even compostable paper straws. Normally if I went through all that in my head I would picture really earthy looking, cardboard based products. Not at all! Susty seriously has some of the cutest party-ware that I have seen.

We'll be ordering pizza which comes in a cardboard box that can be recycled but that's about where the sustainability ends! Normally that big back of garbage that I take out at the end of the party would make me think about how much we are contributing to the garbage dumps. With this party I'll feel a little better about our waste consumption! Now to make sure I finish off that ice cream cake so there's no waste there...

Starting A Backyard Garden

I have never had much of a green thumb but I give myself an A for effort after many years of trying. I never know quite what I am doing wrong. My parents had a small garden in their backyard when I was younger and there was always tons of produce coming off of a few small plants. I blame it on the dirt where we live now which may or may not be correct but it makes me feel better!

In our household we go through a large amount of fruits and vegetables each week. I would say over one third of our grocery bill is fresh produce. We don't get a lot of summer weather where we live in New York but when we do I always take advantage of the local home grown produce. I freeze berries for the entire year, blanch broccoli and freeze it for dinners and I have made pickles and canned peaches in the past. In general, to me, there is nothing better than fresh fruits and veggies and I am proud to say our now six year old will eat a piece of fruit for a snack no problem and loves his broccoli.

Last year I attempted to start some seedlings inside the house with my son who was 5 at the time. We started them a bit too early and they grew quite big. We couldn't get them outside in the ground just yet because it was still too cold and that ended up being a bust. This year I decided to attempt seeds again but this time with some better timing.

I got a salad seed kit from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This included types of lettuces, peppers, radishes, carrots, tomatoes and more. Their packets of seeds are much higher quality than I encountered from local stores in recent years. Each packet contains a good amount of seeds and the directions on the back are very thorough. I also liked that the packaging gave a good description of the type of vegetable that would grow. I have a small garden right outside my office window and that's where I decided to plant the seeds. I envisioned my son doing this with me and making it a big of a lesson but of course he was distracted and wanted to play instead. If you want a cute planting idea for your child if they aren't interested in the veggies you can purchase a Tickle Me Plant kit for them. They grow their own plants from seeds and the plant actually closes and moves upon being touched. It's a cute idea and kids are definitely interested in this.

What I do know how to do with my garden is keep it safe. I have never used any kind of plant growth chemical, bug repellent or fertilizer. Ultimately you are defeating the purpose of growing your own garden if you start coating your plants with harmful ingredients. There are some at-home tips out there for helping your garden along. I have heard of using Epsom salt in combination with sugar to make your plants grow faster. I haven't tried this one yet so proceed at your own risk.

Ultimately you don't need a lot of space to start a garden. In fact, if you wanted to or you live in an apartment you could easily grow some vegetable plants in some nice large pots. You do want to keep your garden in an area that is suitable for most vegetable plants. I like a spot that gets some good sun but does receive shade for a portion of the day to give my plants a break. Make sure to water each day, preferably in the evening. You don't want to water in the hot sun because you can scorch your plants.

Keep large plants staked up so your produce doesn't end up on the ground where it will rot relatively quickly or get eaten by bugs or animals. Keep a good eye on things and pick your veggies when they are ready. Don't let them sit for too long. And keep an eye on the forecast; cover plants if there is dangerous weather coming.

Safe And Effective Treatments For The Flu

My son started kindergarten this past fall and I am pretty certain we got every illness that swept through our area this year. Of course every time that my son gets sick I end up catching the illness too. Unfortunately this year we suffered not once, but twice, from the flu virus. The first time my son managed to get over the illness within a few days but I was in bed for literally two weeks before I even started to feel better and I had to visit Urgent Care once and the Emergency Room once; both for dehydration issues. After that illness, which was probably the sickest we've ever been in our house, I decided to stock up our medicine cabinet and pantry with items that would keep us comfortable when we got sick again. I also wanted to find some natural remedies to help rid our bodies of the illness.


My husband and I both agree ginger is a gift from God. It's been used for thousands of years and for so many different purposes. We keep ginger in the house in the form of ginger tea bags and also a bottle of straight ginger drops. This natural remedy works for a lot of different ailments. I use it all the time for indigestion or acid reflux. When the flu hits the house the rest of us start taking ginger drops in a glass of water in order to try and prevent the illness from hitting everyone. Sometimes this works, sometimes not and sometimes it seems to lessen the severity of the illness. If you do fall ill ginger can help alleviate those awful stomach cramps and sometimes ward off nausea. The best part is that it can be given to kids (Always check with your pediatrician first though).


I haven't been able to find anyone who can actually pronounce this remedy but people swear by its effectiveness when flu symptoms hit. Oscillococcinum is made from the heart and liver of wild duck. This is a good natural remedy because you don't have to worry about allergic reaction to plant or herb ingredients. You are supposed to start taking these capsules at the first signs of the flu and it's supposed to reduce the severity of chills, aches, headache and more. You can give this to children over two years of age.


The one thing that always stresses me out about the flu is the potential for dehydration. My little man is only six so he dehydrates quickly when the stomach flu hits. I have health issues that make it hard for me to stay hydrated on an average day so when the flu hits me I dehydrate in a matter of hours when your average person might take a full 24 hours to get that dehydrated. Drinks like Pedialyte and Gatorade are great to help replenish fluids but sometimes during a really severe flu you may need something more effective. DripDrop is a medical hydration product that provides hydration therapy with a great taste. My son hates the taste of Pedialyte no matter what the flavor so a better tasting product is always welcome. DripDrop provides sugars, salts, potassium and more. The ingredients in DripDrop provide rehydration faster than any other product you will find on the market.

Rice Sock

A friend of mine brought us two rice sock heating pads the first time we were sick with the flu. I'd seen them before but never actually thought of making one. I must say, in the few months we've had these rice socks they have gotten used dozens of times and not just for illness. We microwave ours for 3.5 minutes and apply them to our son's feet for growing pains, a pulled muscle, and they work amazing for flu-based stomach cramps. If you have a sock that is long enough you can actually heat it up and wrap it around your waist so you provide heat to your back and your stomach up front.


While it's definitely not a natural home remedy it's a life saver and I always have some on hand for myself. You need to obtain a prescription for this medication but it's worth the effort when the flu hits. For me, being someone who dehydrates easily, I can't spend 24 hours throwing up. Zofran can be dissolved under the tongue for fast and effective nausea relief. You can typically take this drug once every 8 hours and it works amazingly well with really no side effects. Most pediatricians aren't going to provide this script for a child because they like to let the illness run it's course but certain adults can obtain a prescription for themselves especially if they are in a higher risk bracket upon contracting an illness like the flu.

Ideal Foods To Stock Your Pantry With

When we decided we wanted to build a brand new home about five years ago I had a few items that I really wanted to make sure went into our dream home. In addition to a first floor laundry room I really, really wanted a pantry in the kitchen with plenty of shelves for storage. I got my wish and our beautiful home has a nice big pantry in it with plenty of shelving. My favorite thing about the concept of a pantry is that I would have the room to stock up on items that we use a lot of and I could purchase items that were on sale, store them and save money. Plus, who doesn't love a nice big pantry to stay organized with? Now that we have our pantry and have for the past 4 years or so, I have some great items that are perfect for stocking your pantry with.

Garvey's Gourmet Baking Mixes

I'm a terrible baker. I love to cook and I like to think I'm good at it but ideally I should stay away from baking from scratch. I have a few items I can do with ease like my homemade chocolate chip cookies, a scone recipe I acquired from a B&B in the Finger Lakes and biscuits. Other than that, it's best I don't bake on my own. I do love warming up the house in the winter with an awesome smelling baked good though so I always keep some good baking mixes in the pantry. Garvey's Gourmet Baking Mixes are great products to keep on hand for company, as a gift or as a quick breakfast or snack. Scones are hard to make so when I don't want to take on making my own from scratch I like a good mix. This is a perfect one that tastes good plain but you can add your own additions to it if you want like diced apple, an orange glaze, etc.

Crunchmaster Snacks
I eat gluten free but the rest of my family does not so I like to keep snacks on hand that are safe for me but also that my son and husband will still like and be able to enjoy. This prevents me from having to stock the pantry with tons of different kinds of snacks for each person in the household. Crunchmaster makes really tasty snacks that are gluten free but still taste great. You can get simple multi-grain crackers or something more unique and tasty like the Cheesy Crisps or Grammy Crisps which are made for kids but honestly I love them myself and gobbled them right up!

Simple Mills

I eat gluten free and since I do all of the cooking in our house I make a lot of gluten free foods. I know a gluten free product is good when my husband doesn't say: "Is this gluten free?" Simple Mills makes baking mixes that are gluten free; made with almond flour. Muffins go over well in this house. They're a quick breakfast, a healthy snack and they disappear quick. Simple Mills makes some great flavors like pumpkin and banana muffins. You can make the chocolate muffins for a treat as well!

Cow Wow Cereal Milk

We almost never eat cereal for breakfast in our house. If there's a bowl of cereal on the table then you know Mom is either tired or sick. I do keep a few varieties on hand for an evening snack and a nice way to spruce up a plain, basic cereal is by using Cow Wow Cereal Milk. Fruity Trudy, Cinny Minny and Chocolate Chip Cathy are small milk boxes perfect for one bowl of cereal. You can take them on the go for a school breakfast, on a road trip or use them simply as a milk box in a lunch box. You can skip the cereal all together if you want; that's how tasty this product is.

Mix My Own

I like granola as an afternoon snack and I like to sneak it into my son's favorite snack which is a tortilla with peanut butter on it, a banana inside and I sprinkle some granola in there to make it more healthy. Mix My Own lets you create your own granola using a base oat of your choice, you can add dried fruit, nuts, sweets and more. You can even choose spices like cinnamon.

Florida Candy Factory

Peppermint has long been known to soothe tummy troubles and it's a great way to freshen your breath as well. Angel Mints by the Florida Candy Factory are large, soft mints that are great to keep in your bag to freshen your breath but you'll also get the benefits of their natural peppermint oil. They are also gluten free and contain no harmful preservatives or chemicals.

Sleeping Bear Farms

Honey, especially in its raw form is good for a number of ailments such as illness, allergies and inflammation. Sleeping Bear Farms makes a number of honeys that are great to stock your pantry with. I keep a few different varieties around. Some for tea, some for baking and I even drizzle some honey on our roasted carrots for dinner.

Justin's Peanut Butter

We go through a lot of peanut butter in our house. It's such a quick and easy protein boost that it's hard not to use it for everything from breakfast on a waffle, spread on an apple for a snack or baking it into cookies. Justin's Peanut Butter is natural, healthy and good for you. In addition to their basic peanut butter you can get alternate nut butters (Which my husband loves!) and they even have peanut butter cups. The peanut butter cups are so rich and delicious!

Tree Hugger Bubble Gum

I used to chew gum as a kid but have since stopped because basically every gum you find in the checkout aisle at the supermarket is made with aspartame. Aspartame is a huge no-no in our house so I was thrilled to find Tree Hugger Bubble Gum. This is an all natural gum that is made with ingredients such as brown rice syrup, citrus, beet juice, lemon and more.

Yonanas Dessert Maker

The top shelf of my pantry is all small appliances like a juicer, mixer and a Yonanas Dessert Maker. This awesome appliance is great for someone like me who loves ice cream but probably doesn't need to be eating it on a daily basis. You simply freeze bananas and then put them through the machine to turn them into a frozen dessert that is just like ice cream. You can add other ingredients to make your own varieties. Best part is the end result is healthy!

Lovely Candy Company

I' m more of a cookie, ice cream kind of person myself but we do keep candy in the house as a treat for my son. Lovely Candy Company makes gluten free caramels, fruit chews and licorice drops. The caramels are delicious. They're the perfect mix of sweet and chewy. All the products have good shelf lives as well so you can stock your pantry full of these sweet treats for any occasion.

Element Bars

Element Bars are a great granola bar alternative and you can actually pick your own ingredients to add to each bar. Each bar is made from all natural ingredients, they are fresh and jammed with tons of healthy, energy-providing ingredients. I like to keep bars like Element Bars in the pantry for a quick afternoon snack, a compliment to a healthy lunch or for on the go nourishment. The different ingredients in some of the classic Element Bars boast an antioxidant boost, immunity boost, etc.

Elaine's Toffee

While I do like to keep candy in the house for our own use I also like to keep some around as a quick gift or thank you item. Because of this I like to know of a few high-end candy companies that provide a high quality and tasty product. Elaine's Toffee is a delicious, crunchy and sweet treat that is perfect for an after dinner snack or as a gift. You can also grab Toffee Sauce, Fudge Sauce, Toffee Nuggets and more to make an entire gift basket. I like these products because the basic boxes of toffee are beautiful and have an elegant black bow right on the front. It's like the product is already wrapped and ready to go for me!

Keeping the House Clean with Natural Products and a Good Schedule

It seems that ever since my husband and I owned a house of our own I struggled with keeping things clean; Especially now that we have a new house that is much larger than our first house. Plus, I live with a six year old little boy, my husband, three cats and a guinea pig. There's always something that needs to be cleaned. I've developed a good routine that if I stick to, I can maintain clean house for the most part.

Daily Cleaning

It used to take a lot of my energy to clean the house from top to bottom once per week. The job got done but I was exhausted the entire next day. I found that cleaning a couple of rooms each day saves me a lot of energy. Even if it's as simple as wiping down the kitchen countertops or cleaning up the bathroom, the house tends to look nice longer and it's easy to keep things clean. To make things even easier I like to keep a cleaning product or two in each bathroom so I can do a quick cleaning of something without have to trek back to the laundry room or kitchen to grab a product. Better Life makes some great products that work in every room of the house and the best part is that they are all natural. One of my favorite products from Better Life is the Natural Cleansing Scrubber. It works on my glass stove top, my stainless steel sink and you can even use it on the shower, toilets and more.

Weekly Cleaning

While I have incorporated more cleaning into my daily routine there are some things I clean once a week to finish off the house and make everything look nice. I wash the floors in the house once per week. I gave up getting on my hands and knees every week and washing that way so now I have a host of gadgets I like to use like a steam mop, spray mop and more. I have a number of different types of flooring throughout our house so I like to find one product that will work throughout. J.R. Watkins makes some great products that work throughout the home. The best part about this brand is that they make everything from cleaning products to body products. What I like about J.R. Watkins cleaning products is their unique scents. I get bored with the same old natural citrus smell so I absolutely love J.R.'s All Purpose Spray that is bamboo and green tea scented. I use it on countertops, bathroom counters, floors and more. There are also great hand soaps, dish soaps and more from J.R. Watkins.

Yearly Cleaning

In addition to all the cleaning you do each day or each week there are other items that should be cleaned maybe once or twice a year. I usually wash curtains, wipe down blinds and clean baseboards once or twice per year. I also like to take a good scrubbing sponge or one of the great scrubbing products that Brillo has and I scrub all my stainless and cast iron pots and pans. At one time Brillo made a couple of steel wool scrubbing products but now there are so many great products to choose from that can help you clean things inside and outside. A stainless kitchen sink gets clean in under a minute with a standard Brillo pad and you can even head outside and scrub your grill down with the more heavy duty outdoor pads.

While I don't mind cleaning in general I don't like to do it constantly. I try to keep good products on hand to get the job done efficiently. I always opt for natural cleaning products and we actually don't have anything toxic on hand. Natural products made with essential oils clean just as good and they smell great too.

Great Products For Yourself And Your Family

Kiss My Face

Its been a few years now that there have been bad reports surrounding certain sunscreens and the chemicals used in them. I've always purchased more natural sunscreens for my son and husband (I don't tan or burn easily so I usually just limit my own sun exposure) but each year I'm on the lookout for an even better product than I used the year before. This year's product of choice in our household is going to be Kiss My Face's new sun care products that were released in 2014. Their products are not only effective but they are very safe. They block harmful UV rays by using vitamin C, vitamin E, Green Tea, Goji Berry, Olive Oil and more. The Bear Naked SPF 30 mist, the Cool Sport SPF 50 spray and all the other products in the line are highly hydrating so you can apply the sun protection liberally and you won't dry out your skin. My son tends to get pretty dry skin especially if he's gotten some sun or has been swimming so these products are great. They also are waterproof for a set amount of time (depending on the product).

Moby Wrap

I no longer have a baby in the house but I was a big fan of baby carriers and wearing my son around the house and to the grocery store. Moby Wrap makes some of the most popular baby slings on the market today and with good reason. You can pick from a ton of different colored fabrics, including organic cotton. I would personally stick with lighter colors if you're having a baby in the summer months and choose whatever you would like for winter. You can wear the Moby Wrap custom-fitted to your own body which is nice because it will fit you no matter what your size or shape. When you wear it correctly it's a very safe and comfortable method of wearing your baby. You can also change the way you use the Moby Wrap depending on the age of your child.

Build A Bear

Most of you will know of a Build A Bear location in your area. This is a store where your child will be walked through the process of creating their own bear using stuffing, love and much more. Each child can pick the bear of their choice and go from there. They get to name the bear and they can choose an outfit for him or her. When Build A Bear first opened they had a limited selection of bears. Now you can choose from all kinds of themes. My son loves his Spiderman Bear and Captain America Bear. He sleeps with them nightly and insists on taking them to school for rest time. They're really cute and a great quality.

Rowdy Sprout

I'm always on the lookout for unique and different clothing for my son. Everywhere you go you can find great clothing for little girls but the boy's selection is always very limited. Rowdy Sprout makes great clothes for babies, girls and boys. My son has their Beatles' Let It Be T-shirt and we both love it. The fabric is super soft, durable and washes awesome. The design is super unique and looks great. I like the little bit of 'coolness' that Rowdy Sprout gives to a child's wardrobe. There's a ton of great options to choose from and for a reasonable price.

Combi USA

I'm always amazed at how baby products have changed since we had our son. He's only six now but when I wander through one of our local baby stores or am looking around online I'm shocked at what I see. Combi USA makes some great products like walkers that double as a jumperoo / activity center. This wasn't around when I was baby-product shopping but I wish it had been. We opted for a walker at the time because we had hardwood flooring in our entire upstairs and it seemed like a better option than a jumper of some sort. For a product to be both items in one is a fantastic idea and I love this product. I've actually put it away and am saving it in case we welcome any other little ones into the family some day because I love the Combi Adventure Mobile Entertainer so much.


A Boppy was one product we used a ton when we had our son and they've expanded their product line quite a bit since then. They still carry their fantastic nursing pillows with removable covers but they also have newborn pillows and baby chairs as well. I like the Newborn Lounger because I know we used out Boppy pretty frequently as a lounger of sorts when we sat with our son on the couch and whatnot. It provided not only support while feeding but also support when trying to sit and keep our son comfy. Now the Newborn Lounger provides a safer way to let your infant lounge. Once your baby can turn over itself you'll want to do away with this product however.

Strider Bike

A Strider Balance Bike works better than a tricycle because it teaches your child how to balance properly. This sets your child up for their first bike much better than a trike will. Also, the Strider Bike can be used from quite small up until the point your child is ready to try a regular bike with pedals. You can choose from a variety of colors and there are two different versions available- even a balance bike that works with children from ages 6 until 12. You can allow your child to set the pace of bike riding and let them progress and learn on their own. There's no need to hold your child up on the Strider Bike, they will naturally learn how to keep it from tipping on their own.

The Bumble Collection

I actually just gave away The Bumble Collection diaper bag I used when I had my son. I used this for quite some time and it was great when we were going on a day trip or outing. The Bumble Collection has since expanded their product line and provide great diaper bags, accessories and now playmates for on the go use. Their Royal Ruby Montage Playmat is a great product that folds up, has a handle and can be taken on the go. You can open it up and lay your baby on the padded mat, allowing them plenty of room to move around and be comfy.

Mix My Own

I have a love of granola and I've tried to pass that on to my son seeing as how it's a great snack that is super healthy and keeps you full for a long time. It packs tons of vitamins and nutrients in it and it's great for breakfast or for a snack. My son loves to keep a granola bar in his backpack for a snack and we take them on the go quite a bit. I've been trying to get him into more loose granola and Mix My Own is a great way to do so. You can go on their website and basically create your own granola mix including whatever you want. You pick your base and them can add dried fruit, nuts, spices and much more. Their product comes in a sealed bag and remains fresh for at least 3 months if unopened. You can pick from a small bag to try out your flavor or order a nice big bag. I also like that they have a lot of gluten free ingredients including their oat base. My son doesn't have to eat gluten free but I do most of the time so it's nice to have that option.

The Best Personal Care Products In Our Home 2014

Many years ago I did a lot of reading and research and made many changes to what I ate. Eliminating chemicals, preservatives and other additives from what we eat can have a great impact on our overall health and well being. In recent years there has been plenty of talk regarding the safety of our personal care products including makeup, hair dye, skin care items and more. Slowly but surely I've tried new products that are more natural and less harmful. Here's a look at some of the best personal care products that we have in our home this year.

The Savannah Bee Company

The Savannah Bee Company doesn't just produce honey for consumption but they also make great personal care products that are safe and natural. They have shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotions and much more. The best part is they don't contain any super harsh chemicals or ingredients and they smell positively awesome. I have a jar of the Royal Jelly Body Butter that we keep in our medicine cabinet and use it for dry hands, chapped lips and much more. It has a very warm smell and it's a very rich lotion that works great.


There are a lot of skincare regimens on the market that aim to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, acne, discoloration and more. Unfortunately skincare items are usually very unsafe and contain a lot of harsh chemicals. I came across ZENMED and their Acne Therapy For Combination Skin line. My skin for the most part is usually pretty healthy but there's always those times when my skin can get a bit oily or break out and sometimes it's dry during the winter months. I also noticed this winter that I wasn't thrilled with the texture of my skin. It seemed a bit dry and rough. I absolutely love this ZENMED line. There is a cleansing gel you use to wash your face. There is a day time lotion that you can wear under your makeup or without makeup. My absolute favorite product in the line is the AHA/BHA Complex which is basically a toner that you spray on a cotton ball and swipe over your skin. In general I found this is a totally multipurpose product. It clears up the skin but also improves the general quality of your skin as well.


Some of DHC's products are pretty basic and natural which is why I like them. Their deep cleansing oil is very simple yet effective. They recently released some new makeup products that are really high quality and last all day. My favorite is their BB Mineral Powder. If there's one thing I hate about powders it's when you go to apply it and it seems like there's nothing there. I don't want my makeup to be noticeable but I want it to be effective and this product is. This mineral powder is a nice fine pressed powder that covers well but leaves you looking natural. You can top that with one of DHC's face color palette's. Two shades are included and you can use them as a blush. I also use the lighter color on my eyes for a natural look.

Au Naturale

This is a great company that makes non-toxic beauty products that are extremely high quality but lack fragrances, lead, parabens and more. Over 130 products are available as part of their line including powders, blushes, bronzers, eye colors, lip color and more. Organic oils are used in the production of their products that come from local farms and the company is run by two young women who provide their customers with outstanding products that leave you looking beautiful without you having to compromise your health.

Deep Steep

A great full line of pure and natural body products, Deep Steep comes in all kinds of natural but fantastic scents such as lavender & chamomile, honeydew & spearmint, rosemary & mint, brown sugar & vanilla and more. Their product line is huge and includes body mists, hand creams, hand soaps, bubble bath, body scrubs and much more. I like a good smelling hand soap for the bathrooms but I like to keep it natural so Deep Steep is great for this need.

The Best Products In Our Home 2014

I've been at this blogging thing for many years now and there are constantly new products and gadgets being sent to the house. While some of the items don't make it long before I realize they are just taking up space and not being used, we occasionally get some fantastic items that I don't know how we lived without. Some of the best products we have in our home in 2014 include:

Dyson DC59 Animal Vacuum

We have three cats and a guinea pig. In addition to them making messes and leaving behind clumps of fur there is always someone coming and going, making a mess in the kitchen, etc. etc. The Dyson DC59 has been amazing since coming into our home. Let me first explain that this vacuum is designed for flooring and area rugs. You don't really want to use it on large carpeted rooms. While we do have carpet in our home our entire finished basement is flooring and we have bathrooms, hallways and the kitchen that are not carpeted either. Stones, fur, dirt, crumbs and so on somehow always seem to find their way on my floors. My existing vacuum didn't pick items off the floor very well; it just worked with carpet. I've done the wet mop, the dry mop, the Swiffer, you name it. Nothing has cleaned my floors easier than this Dyson does. It has amazing suction, different attachments and is small and lightweight so it's easy to use. It charges pretty quickly and if you use it continuously you get about 26 minutes of use out of it. When fully charged I can vacuum all the floors of my house before it dies on me. There is a large container that can be emptied easily.

The only downside to the Dyson DC59 Animal Vacuum is that the price sits just under $500. Dyson is known for having high end products but after trying this out I would have to say it's worth it. I have never owned any of their other products but would definitely consider a Dyson again in the future. I literally just cleaned my upstairs and our finished basement downstairs in minutes with this product and the floors look pristine.


Kikkerland makes some fun items for your home or office. It's also a great place to shop for gifts. Whether you want a game that the whole family can play together or you have a coworker in mind that you want to purchase a unique gift for, Kikkerland has a lot of different items.

I personally have a few of their items that I have tried out. I have the no-slip cutting mats in the shapes of animals. You have one mat in the shape of a fish for cutting fish, a cow for meat, a chicken for chicken and so on. I used them and then dropped them in the dishwasher (I put everything in there- hand wash? No way!) and they came out good as new. My son loves their Pirate VS. Ninja corn skewers. Pretty fun compared to those boring yellow ones we had!

Wine Punts

We 'go green' when we can and I like when something can be recycled or repurposed. When I saw Wine Punts I instantly thought they were fantastic! Glasses for your kitchen and home that are made from recycled wine bottles. Basically the top of the bottle is cut off, leaving different sizes of glasses on the bottom. Obviously they go through the process of smoothing out the cut edge; leaving behind a drinking glass. We received two sets. One is a smaller milk glass type that works well for my son and whatever he is drinking or my husband and I when we pour ourselves something to drink with a meal. We also have a larger set of glasses from Wine Punts that is perfect for an everyday glass

of water and such.

A set of four glasses will cost you around the mid $20 range. This sounds a bit high but honestly, these glasses are so thick and high quality I don't see them breaking anytime soon. We go through drinking glasses pretty frequently and these seem that they will hold up for a very long time.


I like a good kitchen gadget or product. Probably because I spend most of my time cooking, putting away groceries, putting away dishes and so on. Dexas makes some truly awesome products that you can use in your kitchen, office, school and home every day. They make items for adults, kids and even pets.

I have a few of their citrus slicer knives which can I say are totally labeled wrong? Yes they are decorated with citrus and they're incredibly cute but I can use these knives for everything. They are great for slicing up fruit really quick and I've even used them to cut up meat. They are super sharp, come with a plastic cover for the blade and are generally a great knife to have around. Couple these knives with their cookbook stand and you're ready to go. Before you know it you'll be on the Food Channel for sure!

I received another product from Dexas that I said to myself 'Oh that's neat' but didn't think much of it. I then pulled the Collapsible Klip Scoop out of it's package and realized how awesome this little item is. It's a clip you can use on a bag of pet food but incorporated into it is a scoop that can collapse but when you need it, pop out and scoop the food into your furbabies bowls. I've been using this on our bag of cat food and adore this little item!


I've read plenty of information about showers and how the steam can be quite harmful for you and your family when you breathe it in and absorb it. This is largely due to the chemicals that are in our water. I received a shower filter from Aquasana and this put my mind to ease especially since my son has switched from baths to showers. My husband installed the filter in a matter of minutes and we haven't had any issues with it. It's simply attached to our existing shower head and we can shower easier now.

Aquasana also offers a number of other great water-related products to help keep you and your family safer and healthier. Their glass water bottles with silicone covers are great and come in a variety of sizes that work for the whole family.

Ninja Blender

Every morning my husband makes himself a smoothie to take to work with him. It's basically his breakfast and a way to incorporate some more fruits and veggies into his day. Our basic blender we got from Target years ago just didn't seem to be cutting it anymore so I went in search of a better option. I received a Ninja Blender for my husband to use and it's definitely a far cry from the generic versions you'll find in retail stores.

There are a few different Ninja Blenders available. The one we received was the Ninja Ultima Blender. This unit comes with cups that you can use to blend and then take on the go which is awesome if you're like my husband and you take your morning smoothie to the office with you. Various speeds and power levels are available on this model and it's pretty easy to clean. It's also nice because it's very large and if you have a large family that you want to make smoothies for you won't need to split it up into different batches. You'll be able to get the job done in one Ninja Blender load.


We love ice cream at our house but unfortunately it's not healthy for us to each it every day. Yonanas Dessert Maker allows you to make a frozen dessert out of bananas that you have frozen and you can add any other ingredients to it that you wish. It tastes pretty much exactly like ice cream but much healthier for you and your family.

I like the Yonanas Dessert Maker because it's really affordable; priced just under $50. It's also a nice compact unit so even if you're not using it constantly you won't mind storing it for the times you do want to use it.

Grip Sense

To protect that iPad from the little, grabby hands that use it you can slip a Grip Sense cover on your unit. This item is designed to make an iPad or other I-device easier to hold and it eliminates a lot of the potential of dropping it. It comes in a variety of colors and different sizes. It's aesthetically pleasing unlike a lot of the other protectors and cases on the market.

Walls Need Love

I love wall decals and have a few in our home. I like them because they give a personal and stylish touch to your home but they don't take up counter or mantle space and you don't have to dust or clean around them. Walls Need Love makes some very high quality, attractive decals that you can apply to any wall in your home.

I have the Deuteronomy 31:6 quote in our main hallway of our house (Be Strong and Courageous and Do Not Be Afraid). It's placed right by our doorway to leave each day, reminding us of how to live our day out. You can pick from decals centered around faith, spirituality, animals, kids and more. The decal was relatively easy to put up. I didn't choose a huge size and the only issue I came across was peeling off the backing without the decal coming up. But once I had that done it went up within just a couple of minutes. Really, a wall decal is a great way to personalize your home.


Want some more handy kitchen and home gadgets? ThermoWorks makes some really unique items that you can definitely find a use for. I like their rotating cooking thermometer. This means you can stick the thermometer in your food at any angle or direction and when you press a button it will rotate so you will be able to see the temperature reading from your point of view.

ThermoWorks also offers products like stopwatch timers, chef alarms and more.


When I have to go to the gym bringing my music along with my via my phone is a must. I cannot and I mean CANNOT exercise without music. My husband is the same way so its tough when someone is constantly looking for an extra pair of ear buds because they can't find their own. I like to keep a couple of extra pairs in the house for whoever needs them and I like YurBuds for a few different reasons. Number one I like them because you can remove the piece that goes in the ear. This means you can clean it properly. I hate nothing more than taking my ear buds into the gym, dropping them on the dirty floor and then trying to clean them as best as I can without getting water inside of them. I also don't want to chance not cleaning them at all because well…gross! YurBuds are nice because their women's earphones fit really well and they're a great product to have around.

Logic Product Group

My quest presses on for fantastic yet healthy cleaning products. I might have a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to having a clean home but I absolutely refuse to use chemical-packed sprays, wipes and more. The truth is you can keep a really clean home without harming yours and your family's health. Logic Product Group makes some great products and I like them because they don't have overwhelming scents. I like an all natural cleaner but I also don't want my entire house to smell like lemons or oranges for the rest of the week.

My absolutely favorite product from Logic Product Group was their glass cleaner. I have never been able to find an all natural glass cleaner that worked and didn't smell. My windows, mirrors and more are all spotless and lovely thanks to this product. I also enjoyed their toilet bowl cleaner because it works just like a commercial product but didn't smell. There's a bunch of other products they offer like all purpose cleaners, bathrooms cleaners, etc.


Another good cleaning brand to keep around your home when you want to use something more natural is Puracy. Again, I like this brand because their products work but they use other scents like lime and green tea to make their products pleasant (Really that citrus smell in every organic cleaning product annoys me!). Their dish soap worked really well for baked on messes and I was really happy with how well Puracy's products worked overall.

New Speed Limit

I love all things personalized for our home and to give as gifts as well. My son loves when he gets something that has his name on it no matter how small it may be. New Speed Limit lets you customize a whole host of products with a child's name. You can even plan their whole bedroom décor around a certain theme and incorporate personalized products into that. Their products are very well made and durable. A lot of other brands personalize something but the paint or personalization ends up coming right off within a couple of weeks. New Speed Limit products are made to last and your child will enjoy them for many years to come. Their personalized lunchboxes are great for school or for home, you can get personalized placemats, backpack and luggage tags, bookmarks, pencil boxes and more.