Aug 31, 2013

The Absolute Best Detox Bath Recipe

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It is the end of August and I have a terrible cold. WTF? I thought colds were for WINTER. Ugh. This is what happens when teachers go back to school. It started as a sore throat and has progressed into a sinus/runny nose nightmare.

I tried everything- Theraflu, Nyquil, Advil Cold and Sinus (I had to sign my life away because it had Sudafed in it), steam, saline spray- nothing helped. I remembered that I had used a detox bath to get back on my feet after my awful flu last January and figured I would give it a try.

I have been out of the bath for ten minutes and can actually BREATHE out of my nose! Don't get me wrong, this isn't a miracle cure, but I do feel that it brings a lot of relief. I couldn't move when I had the flu and after the detox bath I could at least get food and go to the bathroom.

Detox baths make you sweat and the theory is that you sweat out toxins and other bad stuff to help you feel better. Some belief systems actually refer to the skin as the "third kidney" because it helps to filter out toxins. I've written before about how much I love Epsom salts so it probably comes as no surprise that I love them for detoxing, too!

For this bath you need 40 minutes. The idea is that 20 minutes lets you sweat out the yucky stuff and the other 20 is to absorb some of the minerals.

  1. Fill bath tub with very hot water- I actually add a pot of boiling water to mine
  2. Add 2 cups Epsom Salts
  3. Add 1-2 cups of Baking Soda
  4. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of ginger
  5. Swish well- you can add essential oils to make it smell nice but I usually don't since I feel terrible
  6. Sit for 40 minutes
  7. Make sure to drink plenty of water during and after bath
 The ginger will make the water feel even hotter than it is and will make you sweat profusely. This is a good thing because it is what makes you feel better but it is important to keep drinking water so you don't get dehydrated.

Note- This bath is for adults. I do not recommend it for children due to the risk of dehydration.
Aug 28, 2013

New Pillsbury Gluten Free Cookie Dough!

I heard awhile back that Pillsbury was coming out with a refrigerated cookie dough but didn't really get any details. I was at Publix this weekend and decided to check the cookie dough section on a whim- and lo and behold- there it was! The stock boy heard my squeal of delight and told me that they had just got it in this week. I immediately scooped up a tub of chocolate chip and brought it home.

I really like that it comes in a tub- sort of like margarine- that I can reseal after taking what I want. This kept me from eating the whole thing in one sitting. I made just enough cookies for my husband and I each night.

The cookies were super easy to make. I just spooned out what I wanted onto a cookie sheet and backed them for 11 minutes at 350.

Taste-wise the cookies were pretty good. They had a little of the grainy texture that is typical of gluten free baked goods but it wasn't too bad. The gooey warm cookies definitely made up for it! I don't make gluten free cookies often because of all the different flours necessary for good results so I really appreciated how easy these were.

I don't have other allergies but did want to post the ingredients for those who do:

Because there is egg, soy, and milk these may not work for everyone. Otherwise, I am very pleased with the cookies and will DEFINITELY be buying them again!
Aug 25, 2013

School Buses Go Green with Alternative Fuels

About 480,000 school buses run on diesel fuel in the US- that's 95% of all school buses. The other 5% is composed of alternative fuels: bio-fuel, compressed natural gas, and propane. Propane appears to be the fuel of choice for school districts looking to go green this year.
  • Omaha and Millard school districts in Nebraska will introduce 434 propane buses this school year- the largest fleet in the nation.
  •  Shelton, CT. is getting 60 new propane school buses this year.
  • Kentucky has purchased its first propane bus as part of a pilot program.
  •  The Fort Zumwalt School District in Missouri added 22 propane buses this year to the 8 they added last year. The district now has 18% of their buses using alternative fuels.
  •  Mesa Unified School District No. 4 in Mesa, AZ is adding 61 propane buses this year which will bring their total to 89 buses equaling 16% of their fleet.
The initial cost of a new, full-size propane school bus is about $100,000.  This only about $3,000-$4000 more than a similarly sized diesel bus. The buses get about 10% fewer miles per gallon with propane than with diesel, but over the 18-year, 277,000-mile life of a bus, propane costs $98,527 less than diesel.

I think it's great that school districts are finding a way to go green and ultimately save money on fuel costs. With approximately half a million buses on the road in the US, this is an area that local and state governments can go green an really make an impact.

Aug 18, 2013

Baked Garlic Broccoli Bites

Baked Garlic Broccoli Bites are by FAR my favorite way to eat broccoli and they are super easy! We make a whole head of broccoli and never have leftovers- they are that good! My husband doesn't even like broccoli but he loves these.

  • 1 head of organic broccoli
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°
  2. Break dry broccoli into little bites- smaller pieces = more crispy goodness!
  3. Put olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and broccoli in a large ziploc bag and shake well
  4. Place mixture on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil
  5.  Bake on top rack for 30 minutes
  6. Enjoy!
Aug 14, 2013

Pretty Mommies Giveaway and Education Event!

Pretty Mommies is the #1 physician recommended maternity skin care line on the market.
Pretty Mommies Mom and Baby
Although it's aimed at those who are pregnant or nursing - it's natural, safe, skin care that's great for ANYONE - men included!.
It's a simple three step system - Cleanser, Skin Brightener, and Sunscreen - it'll cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, brighten, soothe, provide high levels of antioxidants and anti-aging properties, as well as, physical broad spectrum sun protection. If you're curious about how these products work, be sure to check out the review on According to Jenny.
Pretty Mommies Products
There are lots of new things happening at Pretty Mommies. If you're a Zulily fan then you might have noticed them pop up there this past week! Not only are they now reaching their target audience online, you might also see Pretty Mommies in your OBGYN's or Midwifes office. And if you're in China - you can now get Pretty Mommies there, too!
Pretty Mommies Girl
Pretty Mommies feels so deeply about educating women on the importance of safe maternity skin care that they've created a campaign on to raise awareness of this important issue. You'll also soon find them offering up educational resources on and they support an open forum for Q&A for anyone who has questions about skin care during pregnancy, nursing - or just in general.
To celebrate all these new and exciting events (and their newly redesigned website) Pretty Mommies has partnered with the Blogging Mamas Network to answer your questions about safe skin care and giveaway LOTS of Pretty Mommies products!
Pretty Mommies Giveaway August2013
Giveaway is open to US/CAN, 18+, and ends on 8/25/13

**Ready to purchase Pretty Mommies for yourself?? Use code pretty20 at checkout for 20% off through 8/31/13!**

The Blogging Mamas Network and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Participating bloggers did not receive compensation for this post, although they may be eligible for a reward upon completion.
Aug 12, 2013

Using Lunapads for Post-Op Bleeding

Last week I had laparoscopic surgery for Endometriosis. It went well but I was really uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. Before going to the hospital I had thought about bringing cloth pads for the bleeding but was afraid the nurses might throw them out or they would get lost. After surgery there was a lot of bleeding and I was in the monster sized disposables. The problem was I had no underwear on so it stuck to my leg and hurt me. I also broke out in a rash from it and was so itchy. I couldn't wait to get home and switch to cloth!

I went with a Lunapads Maxi Pad for the first night back and could probably have used something heavier if I had it. It was such a relief to have the soft cloth against my sensitive areas that were sore from surgery. It's like the difference between sleeping in a hospital bed and finally getting back into your own. Nothing stuck to me or gave me a rash- it was so much more comfortable which is important when everything else was in pain.

This experience has convinced me that I need to stock up on postpartum pads for when I finally get pregnant. There is no way I want disposables against me again during that sensitive time! I will be bringing them to the hospital with me.

Although there aren't a lot of times in our life when we need pads for medical purposes other than menstruation I thought this was an important thing to mention. I am 4 days post-op and Lunapads made this time much more comfortable for me. If you have to be in pain you should at least be able to be comfortable!
Aug 6, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review

I've written before about how much I LOVE dryer balls and Woolzies
 are no exception! These dryer balls made out of 100% New Zealand wool are so big and fluffy! Daisy kept trying to steal one to play with!

Wool Dryer balls have a lot to offer. They naturally soften clothes, reduce static, and reduce drying time by 25%. They are chemical free and hypoallergenic. They are also QUIET which is really nice.

I think the thing I loved the most about Woolzies was how big the XL balls were! I took a picture of them next to my hand so you could see just how gigantic they are:

They are twice the size of my other large dryer balls! The size was a great advantage because they made my laundry even softer and my towels were super fluffy (is there anything better than a fluffy towel fresh out of the dryer?).

Woolzies are guaranteed to last 1,000 loads and I can see why. They are handmade and so tightly wound that they have not pilled or come unraveled like some of my other dryer balls and just keep getting softer with every load. I love that they eliminate the need for fabric softener and dryer sheets- we quit using them years ago so wool dryer balls fill a really important need for us.I'm also allergic to wool and have had no problem using these which is really nice.

You can also learn more by checking out their Facebook page and following them on Twitter.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Aug 4, 2013

Due to Popular Demand... My Wine Smoothie Recipe!

Every once in awhile I have a moment of brilliance- this recipe is one of them :) It's super easy, super delicious, and has no added sugar (I'm not going to call it a health food but that has to count for something, right?).

  • White wine- Moscato is best
  • Fruit- I like peaches and strawberries
  • Ice

1. Cut fruit and place it in blender- frozen is better because you need less ice but not mandatory

2. Add ice to suit your  preferences- with frozen fruit I only had 4-5 pieces, with fresh I add a heaping handful

3. Poor wine over fruit- use enough to cover fruit and ice
4. Blend!
5. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

See! I told you it was easy! It's so delicious and much better for you than mixes filled with high-fructose corn syrup.

If you like this recipe please feel free to pin it to Pinterest!
Aug 3, 2013

Congrats Noxicare Winners!

Congratulations to Shane and Karianne for winning the Noxicare Giveaway!
Aug 2, 2013

Magic Moves Review

When the opportunity arose to review Magic Moves I knew I NEEDED one for camp! Occupying little ones with short attention spans is a challenge so anything that helps me keep them busy is a-ok in my book!

Magic Moves is a magic wand type toy that has 90 movements it instructs children to do while listening to 26 different songs. Commands include "stomp like a dinosaur" and "hop like a frog."

While in use Magic Moves also lights up.

Magic Moves is appropriate for ages 3+. I tried it out over the past week with a group of kids ranging from 3 years to 8 years old. They all LOVED it! I was worried that the 8 year old would find it too "babyish" but she quickly got into it. By the end of the week the kids were begging to go outside and play Magic Moves!

The kids were so adorable playing. They added their own sound effects like saying "ribbit" when they were frogs or making screeching noises when they were flying like bats. I took some pictures but made sure they are all of the children's back or blurred to protect their privacy.

One of the things I liked about it is that the game is not competitive- there are no winners or losers, just fun. Anyone who works with kids knows this is worth its weight in gold because inevitably the child who doesn't win ends up crying. I did avoid letting the kids push the button to prevent fighting except for the oldest who I let "lead" the group with Magic Moves as a reward.

There are so many things I loved about Magic Moves! It got the kids moving and exercising, it was fun, it wore them out :), and it taught new vocabulary.  It also promoted creative movement, gross motor skills, and listening skills. The one thing that was difficult was that even on the loudest setting it was tough to hear outside with my rowdy group-- but I think most parents will appreciate it not being super loud! I just repeated the commands for the kids if they didn't hear it. 

One of their favorites was the "Let's Dance" command where they could freestyle :)

Overall, I would highly recommend Magic Moves to both parents and teachers. It's a great way to get kids moving and having fun. It would make a great "brain break" toy in the classroom!

You can also check out Educational Insights on the Web:
YouTube channel with lots of videos about their different products:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Aug 1, 2013

Soap Clouds!

At camp this week we did a "science experiment." I use the term experiment loosely, but it got the kids really excited! Soap cloud are a fun way to learn about molecules and how atoms move faster when they are heated.

  • Ivory Soap- for some reason it has to be Ivory
  • Microwave

  1. I broke the bars of soap in half to make it go further- you can just use your hands to easily snap it or you can do a whole bar
  2. Place soap in microwave
  3. Microwave soap 1-1:30 minutes- watch it grow!
  4. Remove soap cloud and allow it to cool
  5. Have fun!
 The clouds are fluffy and fun but a little fragile. They are great to play with outside or even to take in the bath tub. It makes a fun, frugal activity with a little bit of science mixed in.