Smart Tech Gloves

88014d9cdc8ee9cf234d329bd27cefcb512aec07I work at a school, and I spend about an hour each day outside while kids are coming out to lunch recess.  It’s been so pleasant and wonderful to get fresh air and sunshine lately!  In the winter though, it’s a different story.  Oh, I’m miserable!  Besides being cold, I am often asked “when is recess over?”, and I have to pull off my gloves to get my phone and turn the screen on so that I can see the time.  By the time I’ve put the phone back in my pocket and gotten the gloves back on, it’s usually almost time for another student to ask the same question. :)  My hands hate me this time of year.  I got these new texting gloves though, and oh, they make my life so much easier!



Description:  TEXTING GLOVES ~ Decide to type smart in the cold! No more numb fingers in the name of wintertime texting.
SMART TOUCH GLOVES ~ You’ll LOVE the luxurious, soft feel of this premium material and brushed interior.
SMARTPHONE GLOVES ~ Buy a couple pairs now! Everyone in the family gets cold outside, but who can let their phone go? You’ve got ’em covered.
WINTER TOUCHSCREEN GLOVES ~ Our latest “Touch-nology” is all wrapped up in your fingertips for smart, fun, warm smarphone love oudoors.
100% Winter-Smart “Wear-antee”! Don’t LOVE our iPhone Gloves for any reason at all? Just let us know for a FULL Refund. Your Satisfaction is our #1 Priority!


I’m loving these gloves.  My kids and are are having a good time trying to figure out how in the heck they work!  I guess it doesn’t matter how, all that matters is that they DO work!  I can use my touch-screen phone with my gloves on, as well as the iPad and my computer.  It’s so nice and so convenient!  They feel like any other pair of gloves, and the thumb, pointer finger and middle finger have a different colored tip on them.  Those are the fingers that have whatever cool technology allows for me to text and stuff with them on.


If you spend a lot of time using touch screens, I’d recommend these.  At a current cost of $8 .97, they’re not overly costly, and they really do work.


*I received a complimentary pair of gloves for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

I really, really want to maximize my garden space this year.  And I really, really want to convince my husband to get on board.


Whether you have a large space or hardly any room at all, there are gardening options available to you!  From container gardening to strategic companion planting to vertical planting – there are ways to maximize whatever space you do have.  You can create a “Postage Stamp” garden!  Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.


The Postage Stamp Vegetable GardenHow?  Well, you gotta read this book. :)  The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is a gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) that uses ecologically friendly, intensive biodynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.

I’ve been gardening for over 10 years, and holy cow, I know NOTHING next to Karen Newcomb, the author.  She writes in detail, including general ideas for improving your green thumb, as well as specific step-by-step instructions (which is what I need).  She includes soil “recipes” that, again, are very specific, but that allow plenty of room for adaptation.  There is a wealth of information in this book, and I will refer to it for many years to come.  I’m giving it 5 stars with a full recommendation….if you want to grow a garden, read this book!



*I received a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.  


Menu Monday and Weekly Goals April 20th 1 comment

I’m so glad it’s a new week.  I’ve spent the last few days sick.  That’s never fun!


I am currently in recovery mode, and so I’ll be following an anti-inflammatory diet for the week.  This meal plan will reflect that, and what I’ll be feeding my kids as well:


Gluten Free Crunchy-Chicken-Bites3-648x1024Monday – Spaghetti (regular noodles for the kids, quinoa noodles for me, homemade sauce)

Tuesday – Oven baked Chicken Drumsticks, green salad

Wednesday – Crockpot pork ribs (plain for me, I’ll add BBQ sauce for the family), carrots, fruit

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Fried chicken Crunchy Chicken Bites for the kids, Coconut Crusted for me), baked sweet potato fries, fruit salad

Saturday – Enchiladas for the family (I’ll be eating quinoa salad)

Sunday – Chicken and Rice Soup, Breadsticks (I’ll stick to the quinoa)


Breakfasts/Lunches/Snacks for me:

  • Banana Milk (almond milk blended with frozen bananas)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Fresh fruit/vegetables
  • Baked apples topped with banana-coconut
  • Air popped popcorn


Goals for this week?  Honestly, I just am hoping to stick to the recovery diet  That’s my goal. :)


Make Your Own Compost – And 45 Things You Can Add to Your Pile!   Recently updated !

compost-419259_640Mother Nature will always find ways to help those who help her, and so it is with composting and organic gardening.  This really is the basic principal behind organic gardening, actually.

You may be new to organic gardening, or you may be an old pro.  I’ve been gardening for quite some time, but I really haven’t done a great job with making my own compost.  I’ve always just bought it.  (Shame, shame.)  While I have never added chemicals or sprays to my garden, I’d like to do a better job this year and in the years to come of improving my soil the “right” way – with the stuff that nature has already provided me.


Making your own compost is a simple concept, but it’s not one of those things that you can make and be done with.  It will take time and effort on your part (this is partially why I haven’t been more dedicated myself).  It is definitely worth the wait once completed, however!


How to make compost:


The first technique when attempting to start your own compost pile is to gather together your discarded vegetable peels, dried leaves, and cut grass.  You can place these in a compost bag.  You will need to check the pile regularly and periodically add liquid to keep it moist.

The second technique is to decide on a suitable place on the ground in your garden for the compost pile, and then to gather the materials and put them there.  You will literally just leave them there for nature to take it’s course and break them all down.  This technique obviously takes a lot more time, possibly even years.  But eventually nature will turn the pile into compostable material that can be used to fertilize your garden.

With either approach, you must check thoroughly and often.  With the second technique, your pile is left in the open.  You’ve got to make sure that no elements which are harmful to your garden and its plants are allowed onto the pile.  If you have a pet dog, make sure he/she is not doing its business on or near your pile, you know?

How To Compost - The Basics, and 45 Things You Can Add To Your Compost Pile!

Of course, there are a LOT of items that you can use in your compost pile.  You’re not limited to leaves and grass!  Here is a more extensive list of items you can add to your pile:

  1. Pine needles
  2. Chicken manure
  3. Rabbit manure
  4. Tea grounds (not the bags, just the grounds)
  5. Egg shells (crushed)
  6. Coffee grounds (not any bags, just the grounds)
  7. Wood ash
  8. Cooked rice
  9. Stale bread, tortillas, or pitas
  10. Nut shells (except for walnut shells, DON’T add those)
  11. Shredded newspaper
  12. Cow, horse, or goat manure
  13. Alfalfa
  14. Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  15. Grapefruit rinds
  16. Old spices and herbs
  17. Houseplant trimmings
  18. Toothpicks
  19. Garden soil
  20. Blood meal
  21. Hair from your hairbrush
  22. Spanish moss
  23. Nail clippings
  24. Limestone
  25. Fish meal
  26. Dryer lint
  27. Shredded paper (like junk mail – don’t shred and add any plastic)
  28. Kleenex tissues
  29. Tree bark
  30. Pencil shavings
  31. Natural potpourri
  32. Used matches
  33. Grass clippings
  34. Dead leaves
  35. Sawdust (from wood that has not been treated, painted or stained)
  36. Smashed Jack O’ Lanterns
  37. Fur from your cat or dog brush
  38. Old flower arrangements
  39. Stale potato chips
  40. Straw
  41. Brown paper bags (shredded or cut up)
  42. Veggie peelings (like potato peels, apple peels and cores, watermelon rinds, etc) – There is some debate about whether you should add onion peels and/or citrus peels, so if you feel unsure, don’t add them.
  43. Old or outdated seeds (you don’t want them sprouting though, ha ha!)
  44. Old beer
  45. Urine (yes, it’s true.  The nitrogen in urine is fantastic for compost)


How_Compost_HappensYou’ll want to rotate, or aerate, your pile regularly to keep it “airy”.  You can add worms (red worms specifically) to your pile to help speed up the composting process.  You also want to keep a good balance of “brown” vs. “green” material.  Green material is high in nitrogen.  I think of it as the “wet”, or fresh stuff (kitchen scraps, fresh grass clippings, etc).  Brown material is high in fiber.  I think of it as the “dry” stuff (sawdust, dead leaves, etc).  You also need to make sure that the pile does not dry out.  You can read about that in much more detail HERE.


There you have it – the basics of composting!


Do you compost?

Would you ever urinate in your compost pile?





Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream – Review and Giveaway! 5 comments   Recently updated !

resize_d79a7165c6b62801d8f8b692223287c6e3780bb0a05921f562f8742287f4337f437fa727256256I love natural options for health and beauty.  I was excited to try this deodorant cream from Bella Organics out.  Here’s some info about it:


Organic, chemical-free cream deodorant.!  Organic arrowroot powder absorbs wetness naturally. Organic Shea butter soothes and moisturizes dry skin. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial properties as well as soothes and conditions the skin. Organic peppermint and organic tea tree essential oils provide anti-bacterial and germ-killing anti-septic properties. It leaves you feeling confidently cool, fresh and clean.

Directions for use: Scoop a pea-sized amount from the jar with clean fingers. Rub onto each underarm until deodorant is applied.
Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, (Vegan), Organic Sunflower Oil,  Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil.
Size: 2 oz


I really love the smell of this deodorant.  I’ve made homemade deodorants before that I scoop with my fingers to apply, but I’ve never had a commercial product that is used this way.  It’s really creamy and soft, and I love the texture.  A little goes a long way.  When I first saw how small the jar is, I thought I’d get 2-3 uses out of it, but I was wrong; it has lasted for a few weeks so far.


Like I said, I really like the smell, and I like the cooling sensation that the peppermint gives.  I felt like it didn’t keep me dry; in fact, it almost seemed to stimulate under arm wetness for me.  I don’t know why.  My daughter tried some and had the same experience.  I don’t like feeling wet in my underarms, so that was not fun.  However, this deodorant completely masked any under arm odor, which is extremely important.  I love that I recognize all of the ingredients in it.  This is something I can enjoy and feel good about using.


If you’re curious about this deodorant cream, you can purchase it on Amazon.


Of course, you can ALSO enter to win your own!  Yay! 😀  One of my awesome readers will win a 2-oz jar of this lovely scented Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream.  Enter below.  Good luck!

Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream Giveaway


I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.

Organic Seaweed Powder – Review and Giveaway! 4 comments   Recently updated !

resize_6282d3b5c24916951902f402f70370cb79c65b076a60d1a5f2042abbc6a641f9374a8b7e256256Want an all natural, organic face mask?  Check this Organic Seaweed Powder from Azara Organics out.  My daughter and I have both tried this one, and we both can really feel a difference in our skin!  Here’s a little about it from the company:

REDISCOVER WHAT SILKY SMOOTH AND SOFT SKIN FEELS LIKE. Our Organic Seaweed Powder is Perfect for a Revitalizing, Age-Defying Facial Mask or Cellulite Reducing Body Wrap.

DON’T COMPROMISE YOUR HEALTH OR SKIN WITH PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN CHEMICALS. Our Organic Seaweed Powder is Wild Harvested Straight From the Coldest Parts of the North Atlantic and then Micronized into a Fine Powder for Maximum Absorption and Assimilation.

SENSITIVE SKIN, RASHES, DRYNESS OR ACNE, THIS WILL HELP YOU. Our Seaweed Powder is Packed with Vitamins, Minerals, Trace elements, and Amino Acids that are Essential in Maintaining Healthy and Youthful Skin.

0411150915When they say it’s made from seaweed in the Atlantic, they mean it.  That is the ONLY ingredient in this powder!  Now, let me be honest.  This does mean that the smell is a little, well, “fishy”.  You can add an essential oil to help with that if you’d like.  To make the mask, you simply mix it with a little water.  There are other options that you can mix it with too, like honey and Greek yogurt.

When I tried it, I simply added a little water and essential oil.  I could still smell the fishy smell, but once I wiped the mask off, the scent mostly went away with it.  I loved how soft my skin felt afterwards!  My daughter really hated the smell.  She too, really felt like her skin had softened after the first use, but she had a really hard time with the scent, so I don’t know if she’ll use it again.  We BOTH are incredibly impressed that it’s one, single, organic ingredient.  This is something we can feel good about putting on our skin!!


Want to try this effective, organic powder for yourself?  You can buy it on Amazon.  Of course, you can also enter to WIN a jar of your own, right here!  Awesome, right?  Enter below for your chance.


Organic Seaweed Powder for Youthful Skin


*I received the product free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Organic Gardening – Companion Planting 3 comments

It’s that time of year in my area…gardens are popping up!  I love it.  Growing your own food is addicting.  It feels SO good to go outside and do some “grocery shopping”.  I’m not anywhere close to being an expert, and which I were, but I enjoy it and am constantly trying to learn more.  I’m all about gardening organically. I’ve not used chemicals on my gardens for years, and I feel good about it.

Raised_bedOrganic vеgеtаblе gаrdеnіng mеаnѕ thаt уоu will nоt bе ѕрrауіng toxic сhеmісаlѕ оn уоur frеѕh food, and уоu wоn’t bе ѕрrеаdіng сhеmісаl fеrtіlіzеrѕ on the grоund. If уоu dоn’t do thаt, how do you keep уоur gаrdеn frоm bесоmіng a bug fеаѕt or prevent ѕраrѕе, lоw ԛuаlіtу сrорѕ?  This is what I want to get better at understanding.


Companion рlаntіng offers a ѕоlutіоn.


Cоmраnіоn planting саn bе dеѕсrіbеd as growing twо or mоrе dіffеrеnt kіndѕ оf plants сlоѕе together ѕо thаt ѕоmе benefit is derived, lіkе repelling pests, attracting beneficial іnѕесtѕ, adding needed nutrients tо thе ѕоіl, or providing ѕhеltеr.


Sоmе plants gіvе off ѕсеntѕ or сhеmісаlѕ thаt rереl іnѕесtѕ, іnѕесtѕ like wоrmѕ аnd bееtlеѕ that саn dеѕtrоу your garden. Othеr рlаntѕ hеlр рrеvеnt dіѕеаѕе оr attract іnѕесtѕ, whісh аrе bеnеfісіаl tо рlаntѕ. And ѕоmе plants аrе exceptional аt brеаkіng down the soil аnd hеlріng оthеr рlаntѕ аbѕоrb vіtаl nutrients. Eѕѕеntіаllу, companion planting іѕ used tо hеlр уоur соrе рlаntѕ thrіvе without сhеmісаlѕ.


An еxаmрlе wоuld be рlаntіng corn аnd bеаnѕ together. Corn rеmоvеѕ nіtrоgеn from thеn soil whіlе grоwіng. Beans fіx nіtrоgеn back into the ѕоіl whіlе grоwіng аnd help thе соrn. A wаrnіng  tо people whо wоuld рlаnt beans іn wіth thеіr соrn. Bеаn vаrіеtіеѕ іnсludе роlе bеаnѕ (climbing bеаnѕ) аnd bush bеаnѕ (non-climbing beans). Dо NOT рlаnt pole beans in wіth your соrn. The сlіmbіng bеаnѕ wіll сrеаtе a twіѕtеd аnd lеаfу junglе аrоund your corn plants, mаkіng іt dіffісult to hаrvеѕt thе соrn.



images (4)Companion Plаntіng Suggеѕtіоnѕ

Mаrіgоldѕ hаvе a vеrу ѕtrоng frаgrаnсе. Many іnѕесtѕ fіnd mаrіgоldѕ ԛuіtе dіѕtаѕtеful іnсludіng nematodes (rоundwоrmѕ), whiteflies, bееtlеѕ, аnd арhіdѕ. Tо uѕе marigolds аѕ a соmраnіоn plant, рlаnt thеm аt the реrіmеtеr оf уоur ѕԛuаrе fооt gаrdеn box. Tаkе care tо not рlаnt thеm tоо closely to уоur vegetables because they do аttrасt ѕріdеr mites and ѕlugѕ.  This is probably the only plant I’ve been good at using consistently in my garden.  I’d like to try some of these other ideas too:

Nasturtiums оr wormwood аrе good whеn рlаntеd сlоѕе tо thе саbbаgе fаmіlу as thеу аttrасt thе white cabbage moth аwау frоm thе рlаntѕ. Nаѕturtіumѕ аrе аlѕо very hеlрful when planting broccoli.

If уоu’rе grоwіng tomatoes, use gеrаnіumѕ to repel саbbаgе worms, Jараnеѕе beetles, аnd leafhoppers. Geraniums are also beneficial if уоu’rе рlаntіng corn, grapes, рерреrѕ оr саbbаgе.

If you іntеnd to grоw tomatoes, planting gаrlіс wіth them is a gооd іdеа. Plаntіng them wіth carrots іѕ a BAD іdеа bесаuѕе thе tomatoes wіll stunt thе grоwth оf thе саrrоtѕ.

Avоіd рlаntіng dіll and kоhlrаbі nеаr tоmаtоеѕ, because thеу slow tоmаtо grоwth.

Horseradish іѕ good with роtаtоеѕ.

Parsley is gооd wіth tоmаtоеѕ.

Sаntоlіnа іѕ a good іnѕесt repellent, especially for ѕріnасh and lеttuсе.

Thyme іѕ a gооd рrоtесtіvе bоrdеr fоr the vеgеtаblе garden аnd repels fruіt moths.

Want to kеер ants аwау? Cаtnір, Mіnt, Onion, Pерреrmіnt, Sреаrmіnt, Tаnѕу, and Wоrmwооd are good for that.

Need a slug repellent?  Try Artеmіѕіа, Gаrlіс, Rоѕеmаrу, or Sаgе!

Whеn уоu dоn’t wаnt flурареr іn уоur garden, use Bаѕіl, Pеnnуrоуаl, Ruе, or Tаnѕу (also repels Aрhіdѕ and grееnflу).



download (1)Dоn’t Forget The Bees

You nееd bееѕ аnd other роllіnаtіng insects for your garden.  Bееѕ аrе аttrасtеd by mоѕt flowers bесаuѕе they соllесt nесtаr to make hоnеу and роllеn tо fееd to thе larvae. Gоіng from flоwеr tо flоwеr tо соllесt аѕ muсh as thеу саn bеfоrе going back tо thе hіvе, they take pollen frоm оnе рlаnt to thе next аnd hеlр with рlаnt fеrtіlіzаtіоn as they go.

Flоwеrіng plants аrе important іn a vеgеtаblе раtсh to help attract bees.   Sоmе of the bеѕt include: allysium, red clover, Quееn Anne’s lace, соѕmоѕ, coriander, раrѕlеу flоwеrѕ, dіll, ѕmаll dаіѕіеѕ аnd lucerne.


So, there you go.  A few tips about companion gardening to help make organic gardening a bit easier.  I’m excited to try many of these this year!

Menu Plan Monday and Weekly Goals April 13

I’m going to make this quick and fairly abrupt, simply because I’ve got a full plate right now (although that’s life, isn’t it?  We ALL have a lot going on in our busy lives).


I eat gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, iodized salt free, nitrate free, and oil free (except for olive and coconut oils) due to medical necessity.  These meal plans reflect that diet.  My family doesn’t eat free of any of these foods, so some meals may not follow that diet.  In those cases, I simply eat leftovers or something else that I’m allowed:


Crunchy-Chicken-Bites3-648x1024Monday – Potato Fry

Tuesday – Paleo Party Meatballs, Salad

Wednesday – Crockpot Chicken, potatoes and carrots

Thursday – Leftover Night

FridayGluten Free Crunchy Chicken Bites

Saturday – Spaghetti (I’ll use Quinoa Pasta and we’ll all use home canned spaghetti sauce)

Sunday – Hubby’s in charge of dinner – yay!


Weekly Goals:

– Update budget for the month

– Finish up Tea Tree Oil giveaway

– 4 HIIT workouts, 6 WBV workouts

– Take car load of stuff to the thrift store.


I hope you all have a grand week!


*Linked at OrgJunkie, where you can find hundreds of other menu plans!

Down With Debt: March Monthly Finance Report 2 comments

Last month was closer to a typical month for us, income-wise.  Most of our expenses were what we expected, but near the beginning of the month my husband’s uncle died unexpectedly, and so my husband ended up traveling out of state to attend the funeral.  That ended up being put on the credit card, as I’d already budgeted and allocated all of our money for the month.  Our debt number went up as a result.   Here are the exact numbers:


My income – $975

Hubby’s income – $2,161

Online income – $126

Total income for March – $3,262



Birthday gifts (2 birthdays)- $40

Groceries – $500

Emergency Fund – $205

Gas money – $130

Tithing – $664

Charitable – $40

Car insurance – $72

Internet – $104 (We got a new internet account, and so we had the initial set up fees in addition to the monthly bill)

Phone – $83

Mortgage – $1,017

Utilities (electric, gas, water, etc) – $182

Life insurance – $32

Debt – $193

Total Expenses – $3,262




I’m already bracing myself for ugly numbers in April.  On the very first day of the month, I was rear ended by an SUV, and my car is totaled.  It’s going to cost more to repair than the car is worth, which means I’ll be looking for a new car.  That will probably be the main financial factor in play for next month’s report.