Friday, May 1, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash & Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash!

I had a great time giving away the Purex Crystals last week, and I already get to do a review and giveaway again!  This time I got to try out Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash and Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash -- and with 6 kids here I think we were the right testers for sure!

We tried the Foaming Hand Wash first and I grabbed my cutie 5-year-old to try it out after lunch. We already make our own DIY foaming hand wash, but we are out right now so it was great timing!

The first thing that caught my attention is that is has no artificial dyes -- I love that!  So many products (for children especially!) have totally unnecessary dyes that are really bad for their health!  It's also just lightly scented like watermelon (not overpowering or obnoxious), and while I prefer fragrance-free, it does makes it more exciting for the kids to use, and sometimes they need a little incentive to remember to wash!

Next we tried the Body and Hair Wash.....I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to get any decent pictures of us trying this out, lol!!  Between my new-to-me camera (how do I figure this out??), bad bathroom lighting, and cranky/wacky kiddos....this is the best shot I could get!


I love that this is fragrance free and has no artificial dyes!  It works great, but with no extra junk!  It also has no parabens and is tear free!  I feel much more comfortable using this on my littles than other body and hair washes!

Here's a sample of the rest of the crazy bath time though!  These boys are hilarious!

Since we're talking baths, I must tell you about my favorite bath toy organizer!  We've tried lots of things over the years, but this Munchkin Scoop, Drain, and Store bath toy organizer is my favorite by far! I even paid full price for it -- worth it! There's no mesh to get grody, it allows the toys to dry between baths, it's really sturdy, plenty roomy for all their toys without being bulky in the shower for the rest of us, stays put on the wall (despite the kids grabbing it), and after having it a couple years the kids still think it's a game to scoop up the toys when bathtime is over - and it's easy for them to do!
And just for fun, here's their "easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl" pose, ha!  ;)

Now for the fun part! Time for you to enter to win a FREE product coupon for Dial Baby body and hair wash or Dial Kids foaming hand wash that you can take to your local store and pick up a FREE bottle to try!

*The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Dial products in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions here are my own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sam's Club Membership - one year for $45 (get $43 back in gift card and food certificates)!

Amazing Deal! Sam’s Club Membership for $45
:  Not a member of Sam’s Club? Groupon has a new deal where you can purchase a membership for just $45 (memberships are usually $142, saving you $97). You’ll also receive a $20 gift card and fresh food certificates worth $23!

I recently got the free membership at Costco that I posted about (and love it so far!), but since this membership is basically free I think I may take advantage of this offer too!

With the purchase of the Sam’s Plus Membership package, you’ll receive:
  • A one year Sam’s Plus membership ($100 value)
  • Complimentary membership card for a spouse or other household member
  • $20 gift card valid for any in-club, online or fuel purchases
  • Three Fresh-food certificates, redeemable at the time of membership activation through Monday, July 27, 2015 (a $22.94 value), including:
    • One rotisserie chicken (2.75lb—$4.98 value)
    • One container of Italian Rose Fresh Salsa (48 oz—$9.98 value)
    • Gourmet cupcakes (8-count—$7.98 value)

*This deal can only be used for new members or anyone whose membership has expired at least six months ago.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Purex Crystals ScentSplash

I love working with Purex as a Purex Insider....  They let me try out their new products, but best of all I get to give some away to you guys!

This time I got to try out Purex Crystals ScentSplash, an in-wash fragrance booster.  I've used the Purex Crystals for a few years now and we really like them, but I was looking forward to trying it in a liquid form! They are specially designed for use in both traditional and high-efficiency (HE) washers. Just add them directly into the washer with laundry before you start the wash.

It's super easy to use....just measure it using the lid on the bottle, and if you want a light scent just throw a little liquid freshness right into your washer, if you want a stronger scent use more! As I ran the first load I could smell the fresh laundry running right away as I made lunch upstairs!

This new fragrance product is currently available in 3 scents:

  • Fresh Spring Waters – Wade into cool, enchanting waters and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.
  • Fresh Lavender Blossom – Wander through colorful, sun-lit fields of lavender and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.
  • Fresh Mountain Breeze – Capture the exhilarating moment of a crisp, fresh breeze and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.

Here's what I thought of the cute little bottle, and pretty packaging - I love making something boring like laundry fun and attractive! I was given "Fresh Spring Waters" to try out, which wasn't my favorite scent personally, but from lots of experience with other Purex products I know that I'd love one of the other ones available!  I was only able to run a couple of loads with it because our washer broke (great timing, right??), so I don't know how long lasting it is yet, but it claims to last for months which is nice to have a fresh scent to counter some of the kid stink we have around here with a full house! =)

{pictured here with my homemade laundry detergent}

Now for the fun part! Time for you to enter to win a FREE product coupon for Purex Crystals ScentSplash that you can take to your local store and pick up a FREE bottle to try!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals ScentSplash in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions here are my own.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

FREE Redbox DVD Rental Code through April 2015!

Redbox is offering up a FREE one day DVD rental with the code PLKMP982 valid through the end of April – this code is valid at and on the Redbox Mobile app.

(thanks Hip2Save!)

Redbox 101:
  • You will need to swipe your credit/debit card, but will not be charged unless you return it late (after 9pm the next night).  In that case, you'd pay for each day it's late. 
  • Check here for Redbox locations.  
  • You can use each code once per credit/debit card.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Journey to Health and Weight Loss (so far) with Trim Healthy Mama

Every year at this time my typical "routine" is to think about how badly my last New Years resolution went, get really discouraged about the extra pounds that managed to creep on again (despite great efforts to workout and eat "healthy"), and set new goals to "really do it right" this time....and a year later, repeat with an extra dose of despair. I felt like I was stuck in a spiral of weight gain and poor health. 

You guys.....this is the first year in I-don't-know-how-long that I've not only been ok with my progress, but I'm actually ecstatic!!  I've found something that works...and not some weird pill or killing myself working out, but just a real way of living and eating delicious and nourishing real food -- it's been working beautifully for my whole family!  In 6 months I've lost 35 pounds, and I'm continuing to lose more and keep moving toward better health!  I'd like to lose another 20-30 pounds and I'm beginning 2015 with hope and joy knowing that it can actually happen!

I know this is a little off-topic from what I typically blog about, but with so much talk lately about New Years resolutions and many of us setting goals for better health and weight loss, I really wanted to share this because I know it's what so many of you are looking for too! 
(photo credit)

Here's my story friends.....I've always struggled with weight.  I gain sooo easily, but it's such a struggle to get it back off.  After having 6 babies my body was even less cooperative about letting go of the weight. Over the past couple years our family has been working on eating more whole foods and eliminating a lot of processed foods. Sort of a "real food"/Paleo approach. I felt better by cutting out the junk (artificial colors/chemicals/most wheat...etc.), it's helped some of the kids skin issues (eczema/psoriasis), and we've all been healthier in general....but I wasn't seeing weight loss like I expected. While eating this way I ended up reaching my all-time highest weight and it was really frustrating, to be honest.

(photo credit)

I knew something had to change, but I didn't know what.  I was eating the least "junk" we ever had, organic when we could afford it, and it still wasn't "working" weight was going up, I lacked energy and felt tired most of the time, and just felt unwell.  From blogger friends and posts on Pinterest I started hearing about "THM" and "Trim Healthy Mama", and it intrigued me -- the recipes looked delicious and people were having great results.  I decided to check it out and I've now been following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way of eating for 6 months and have also been seeing great results myself! I've been able to enjoy really yummy food and nourish my body at the same time -- while the scale and size of my clothes has gone down! (they have a public Facebook page, but their closed FB group is also an incredible encouragement)

There's a bit of a learning curve, like in anything new, but it's not difficult! I'm using a lot of the same foods we're already used to, but just in a different way, and eliminating sugar from my diet. (I can still have sweets and chocolate though with natural sweeteners, which is what makes this way of eating doable - this coming from a former major sugar addict, lol!). Sugar is so addictive, but also toxic! If we can get that out of our diets it's crazy how our health and weight can improve!

I was really happy with my steady weight loss (1-3 pounds/week) for the first 4-5 months!  I didn't start with any kind of workout (and you don't have to), but I wanted to firm up and get stronger. When I started the 30-Day Shred in August my weight loss slowed way down while I built muscle and lost inches, and I felt fantastic taking care of myself on the outside and inside.  I then got pregnant, slowed down a bit on working out (Jillian really cracks a whip!), but then eventually miscarried.  I "fell off the THM wagon" for a bit after that, but as I've gotten back on plan I'm feeling much better and my weight is dropping again.  It's such a fantastic doable plan....just a great way of life! Things will come up, but it's so easy to get right back on track.  This is the first holiday season I can remember that I haven't gained any weight and feel great!

Ok, this post is longer than I intended, but I just wanted to share this hope and excitement I have for Trim Healthy Mama. I'm not associated in any way, just a big fan, lol!  I do have affiliate links above to make things easy to find (and to support our family), but get the book from wherever you want!!  Check it out of the library, borrow from a friend (if you can pry it out of their hands, lol), get it from their website....just check it out! If I can help in any way or answer any questions, please ask!  I'm just so happy to have hope in this area again and have control over my health. =) 

(If there's enough interest for it, I'm thinking about writing a post on how to save money while following Trim Healthy Mama, so let me know!)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Homemade Creamy Eggnog Recipe

I'm not sure what started it, but the kids were really excited to make homemade eggnog this year.  They kept talking about it during the weeks leading up to Christmas, and I loved the idea since A) eggnog is de-licious, and B) I have fond memories of helping my dad make it on Christmas morning.

I haven't made any since I was young though, and had no idea what recipe to use.  I asked on Facebook and looked a few up on Allrecipes.  In the end I used them for inspiration and made my own recipe based on what I had on hand.  It was super easy and was a big hit - and a super savings!  The kids and adults loved how it turned out, so I knew I had to share with you guys!

I've been following Trim Healthy Mama since April and have improved my health (and weight) greatly! I've been making some really yummy and healthy holiday drinks (like Coconut Malted Nog, Java Chip Frappe, Winter Wonderland Sip) so I didn't feel deprived in the least....but I also made sure to allow for a few splurges...this eggnog being one of them! =) 
(Eventually I'd like to try to "THM-ify" it! The kids have been begging for me to make more, so it may not be long!)

Homemade Creamy Eggnog Recipe

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart half and half
1 quart coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream

1. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
2. Gradually stir in half and half, coconut milk, and nutmeg.
3. In separate chilled bowl, whip cream to a peak. Fold into egg mixture.  Refrigerate overnight if possible. Shake before serving. 

  • I made sure to get some great quality free-range eggs from the farmers market since they would be consumed raw.
  • We only had time to refrigerate for a couple hours, and it was great - though it was definitely better chilled than right after mixing. I would imagine overnight would be even better to let the flavors develop more and allow the frothiness to settle.
  • I do think you could sub coconut milk for the half and half and the heavy cream to make it dairy-free. It would be much thinner, but I'm guessing still really yummy!
  • Some of the original recipes I looked at included bourbon and/or rum in the ingredients. Since kids would be drinking it, that obviously wasn't an option, but I added a bit of rum to my own glass and it was delicious!  ;)

photo credit