My River Trip – Cleansing for the Soul (And Stinky Shoes)

*I received a sample of the product discussed in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.


Not the cleanest river ever...

Not the cleanest river ever…

When I went on my river trip, I had such a blast!  I’m totally afraid of water too, so in addition to getting away for a few days, I had the opportunity to really face some fears, and to cleanse my soul.  It was incredible.


My shoes got very wet on multiple occasions, which didn’t bother me, cause hey, it’s a river.  However, I noticed them getting more and more smelly.  Upon arriving home, I found I had a package.  It was this all natural shoe odor eliminator.  Talk about good timing! Ha ha.


This odor eliminator is safe for the whole family.  They use proven science to eradicate the stench and keep resize_d968c9c321c7f418fda3a479a5d0308fb7df2fbb4c90909cb64374d19b50e6c62217ae42256256shoes smelling fresh.  They offer a “Stink Free Guarantee.” 100% Satisfied or your money back.  In addition, 10% of all sales go to build a well in Africa. Sweet, right?


I knew I had to try it out immediately.  On all shoe types.  My daughter’s shoes tend to get kinda smelly, so we tested it out on those.  The smell was eliminated.  NOT covered, but gone!  We tried another pair.  Same results.  But we hadn’t given it the real test yet.  I hadn’t tried it on my smelly river shoes.  They were so bad that I couldn’t bring them in the house.  They just sat outside, stinking away, and I forgot about them for a few days.  I tried this odor eliminator and it helped, but they were still smelly.  So, I tried again.  I figured I’d keep spraying them each day until the smell dissipated.  It was a great idea except for the fact that I left the shoes outside while waiting.  That wouldn’t be a problem if we hadn’t had all the rain.  It rained every day for a week or so.  That doesn’t happen often in our area.  Oh yeah, so those poor shoes got wet and dry and wet and dry over and over.  lol.

After about 5 applications (twice per day for 2-3 days), the smell was….GONE!!!  I brought my shoes back in and even wore them for the first time in 2 weeks!  This stuff really works.  You can buy 2 bottles for $12.95, so about $6.50 each…not bad.  You can also buy higher quantities for an additional discount.


Have you ever gone on a trip that you felt just cleansed you on the inside?  This trip was that for me.  We had a lot of challenges and struggles, and I think it was just what our group needed.  Having challenges to overcome, and then overcoming them, was a powerful thing.  Facing my fear of water was freeing.  In addition to them providing all the meals for us and rafting us, the volunteer guides provided presentations and activities designed to help us to empower ourselves as mothers of kids with autism.  Stress relief, self empowerment, and more was discussed.  It was a trip I’ll never forget!

sanjuan52 sanjuan98



Wordless Wednesday – Capitol Reef 10 comments

We went on a mini-vacation last week to Capitol Reef National Park.  Hardly crowded at all, and totally beautiful!



This is the cabin we stayed in.


view from the front of our cabin.

Actual Native American ruins at the Anasazi State Park museum


Replica of ruins at the Anasazi State Park museum


Scenic road in Capitol Reef National Park


Picture my daughter took just outside a slot canyon along Scenic Highway 12.


Just outside the slot canyon


Inside the slot canyon. This was my kids’ favorite part of the whole trip!


Scenic overlook along highway 12


It rained most of the time, so the time in the pool was short.

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I hope you all have a great week!  Feel free to link up your awesome photos below. :)



WAVEstream Wireless Speaker – Review

*I received the product free for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are 100% my own.


11403413_10153737014175353_7891874408194885858_nAbout the speaker:

WAVEstream Wireless Bluetooth speaker system

Designed for your work and play lifestyle. Audio fidelity is clear and sharp with nice deep bass tones. Keep WAVEstream in the conference room at the office for phone call meetings with the team or use it in your home and take it with you from room to room with ease. 

Product Features: 
– New Bluetooth 3.0 Technology 
– Change tracks from your phone or directly from WAVEstream track buttons: works on Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Sound Cloud & more music apps! 
– Two 40MM drivers deliver deep, rich clear sound 
– Built-in Phone Conferencing Microphone for Taking Calls 
– Line In input gives you a wired listening option (great for non Bluetooth device connectivity) 
– Audible Low Battery alerts notification sound 


My Thoughts:

I love the speaker.  You can see my video review below:


So, I’m pretty new to bluetooth technology.  I’m quickly learning to love it, however!  This speaker produces a nice, deep, rich sound.  And it’s so dang easy to use!  I simply turn it on and then turn the music on my phone on…it connects automatically and provides me a better sound experience.  There are some negatives as well, in my opinion.  The cord to charge the speaker is REALLY short.  I also feel like the battery life isn’t as long as I’d like it to be.  Here’s a good summary:



  • Connects automatically
  • Deep, rich sound
  • Connects  to my phone from 25 or so feet away, so I can be in another room and still hear it.
  • Awesome sleek design
  • Really easy to use
  • Good deal at $24


  • Really short charging cord
  • It sometimes takes awhile to connect
  • Needs to be recharged quite often – at least daily
  • When it connects, it beeps really loudly – scares my son.

I’ll keep using it, I’ll tell you that!  I kinda want to get another one for my daughter so she’ll stop stealing mine, but then again, two loud speakers playing two different melodies in one house might be rough….maybe I’ll get her some bluetooth headphones instead. :)

Homemade Nut Milks and a Nut Milk Strainer Bag Giveaway! 7 comments

I received the product mentioned below for a heavily discounted price, for the purpose of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.


Y’all know how I can’t ingest much dairy, right?


I think I’ve figured it out.  I think it’s the lactose.  I seem to do okay having whey, and the hardest cheeses don’t cause me too much grief.  Drinking straight milk, however, is NOT an option.  Since buying myself a BlendTec, I’ve been having a hay day with making homemade coconut and almond milks.  It’s really, really simple, and the taste is great!




To make my coconut milk, I start by drilling a few holes in the coconut.  You know, where those indents are at?  Then I drain the coconut water from them.



Once they’ve been opened and rinsed off, I stick them on a cookie sheet and “bake” them for 15 minutes or so….this is simply to loosen the hard shell and make it easier to remove the meat from the shell.


Once you’ve got your pieces of peeled coconut, blend it with the coconut water and added filtered water.  I usually do about 2 cups of water with one coconut.  (Two cups of filtered water, this is in addition to the coconut water I drained from the coconut.)  You’ll want a high-powered blender for this.  Blend it for a good few minutes, and then strain.  I used a Nut Milk Strainer Bag for this, and I couldn’t believe how much better it worked than other methods I’ve used in the past.  My favorite coconut milk recipe can be found HERE.




To make almond milk is similar.  Simply soak 1 cup of raw, organic almonds in water for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.  Rinse them and blend with 4 cups of filtered water, a pinch of sea salt, and a bit of sweetener of your choice (optional).  I’ve added a few Medjool dates, and also stevia for sweetening.  Both are delicious.  Strain with the bag and enjoy your milk!  Two of my favorite recipes for almond milk are here and here.


8cc0c31ba8f2538a914535beae79f94b07a43e2bThis is the strainer bag I used.  It is from My Nut Milk Bag‘s website.  It comes in a 2 Pack (1 Large 12″x12″ & 1 Medium 12″x9″), and the bags can be used in place of cheesecloth for making your own fresh/healthy soy milk, nut milk, almond milk, juice or for sprouting. These multi-purpose nut milk bags are made of food grade, commerical, strong, high quality fine nylon mesh that does not stretch out in the same way that cotton cheesecloth does and can be reused over and over again.


Reused over and over!!  No more cheesecloth for me.  I wish I’d gotten one of these YEARS ago.  It has made the process so much easier, so much less messy, and I’ll never go back.  I’ll also probably never want to go back to commercially prepared coconut and/or almond milk, either. :)




I like these bags enough that I’d like to host a giveaway for one of you, my awesome readers.  YAY!!  Enter below, and good luck!!  Ends July 17.



Nut Milk Strainer Bags Giveaway

Konjac Facial Sponge with Activated Charcoal – Review

*I received a complimentary product for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are 100% my own.

2a1f770e62447b99912ebfc1950e299e811a0d26About the sponge:

Gently yet effectively exfoliates dead skin cells, removes toxins, oils and impurities from your skin. Furthermore, it removes fatigue appearance and customers have amazing results with acne skin. 

100% SAFE FOR EVERY DAY USE BECAUSE it is luxuriously gentle, pH balanced and doesn’t damage your skin as other harsh products do. You will even save your money, because this sponge doesn’t require a cleanser and does all the job of removing blackheads and breakouts.

100% NATURAL ECO-AND-ANIMAL FRIENDLY BIODEGRADEABLE – We have evaluated dozens of sponges on the market before putting our name below it. The konjac fiber is grown on a very high altitude in Japan, Korea and China, thus being very pure and pollutant free. It is filled with precious nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and folic acid. Your skin will thank you every day!



My Thoughts:


Okay, people…this is the real deal.  Everything that the description says about your skin feeling amazing afterwards is true.  Holy cow, it feels so smooth and soft!  It’s so weird, because you’re just rubbing a sponge on your face, but it feels like you’re putting on a moisturizing product.  It’s silky…it GLIDES.  I kid you not.  I’m in love, I really am.  There is minimal packaging, which I appreciate.  It seems to lose its shape after a few uses, but it still works, so I’m cool with it.

One of my favorite things about this sponge is that it tricks my son every time I get it wet.  He sees it and asks, “Mom, why are you rubbing a brownie on your face?”  It cracks me up. It does kinda look like a brownie when it’s wet, I guess!  It’s only $10 at Amazon!

Pravana Nevo Intense Therapy Leave In Conditioner – Giveaway! 6 comments

*I received a complimentary product for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are 100% mine.


I love me earth friendly products!  Here is one that you may be interested in hearing about:


Pravana Nevo products are 100% Vegan.  They are 100% gluten free.  Their packaging is 100% biodegradable.  Nevo Instense Therapy Leave-In Treatment instantly detanges hair, provides deep hydration or equalizes hair prorsity.  It also protects hair when heat styling, adds shine, eliminates static.


Munchkin and I both used this spray to see what we think.  I can tell you now, it’s more costly than other hair care products that we usually use at my house.  However, I’m impressed enough with it that I will plan on buying from them again.



  • It made our hair super soft.  It wasn’t an immediate effect, but after consistent use for a few days, we noticed a difference.
  • I would spray it on and then braid my hair and keep it that way over night.  In the morning, I could tell a difference.
  • The bottle is pretty, and the design is sleek!
  • It’s totally easy to use.
  • It is a wet spray, but it had such a conditioning effect that it didn’t act like a “wet” spray.  Usually when my hair gets wet, it poofs up a bunch as it dries.  I didn’t experience that poofing when using this, which was a pleasant surprise!
  • My daughter felt like it did a good job with detangling.
  • I really like the smell.
  • No sulfates, no salt, paraben-free, no animal testing – need I say more?  Okay, I will. :)  100% vegan, no phthalates, 100% biodegradable.  Yay!!
  • 5% of the proceeds for every NEVO product sale are donated to City of Hope.


  • NONE.  We love this product!!


Are you excited yet?  Because we are hosting a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win their own bottle of this Pravana Nevo Intense Therapy hair treatment!!  Enter below.  Giveaway open to the U.S. only.  Ends 07/08/2015.  Good luck!!


Pravana Nevo Intense Therapy Leave-In Hair Treatment

The Healthy Mind Cookbook – Review

Eating for brain health?  I’ll drink eat to that!  I was very excited to read this new cookbook from Rebecca Katz.


9781607742975About the Book (from the website):

In The Healthy Mind Cookbook, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on the brain to identify the foods that can improve the brain’s ability to control cognition, emotion, and physical function—all of which dictate memory and mood. She then translates the very best of brain science into the kitchen, using delicious nutrient-dense foods as a tool for promoting a healthy mind from childhood through the golden years. 

With a culinary pharmacy listing the benefits of key ingredients, complete nutritional details for each dish, and flavor-packed recipes for every meal of the day, including Avocado and Citrus Salad, Sweet Potato Hash, Turkish Lamb Sliders, and Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles, The Healthy Mind Cookbook will help lift the fog of everyday life so you can reach your full physical and mental potential.


Oh, my.  The recipes look AMAZING.  The pictures are absolutely beautiful.  There are so many wonderful, delicious meal options, even for me with all of my dietary needs.  I love that the author(s) include an introduction, explaining some of the science behind the book, without taking up too much time and space.  It seems that a lot of health cookbooks are filled halfway with the science and reasoning, and then you’ve only got half a book left for a few recipes.  This book provides information, but not overwhelmingly so, and the focus is on creating good recipes.  I cannot wait to try some myself, especially the tonics and elixirs.  Food-wise, I think the Quinoa Turkey Meatballs and the Meyer Lemon Pudding recipes will be the first that I try.


* I received a complimentary copy of the book from Blogging for Books for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.


Premium Eyelash Curler by Mia Adora Review

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


resize_bc96b8f2db82445226df64cf4659918a4970bcca6d5da228534706357b85c5dc4a82933d256256I was so excited to get an eyelash curler to review!  I had a REALLY old one, like 15 years old, and I didn’t want to spend money on a new one. :)  My daughter is also to the age that she wants to start using one, and I wanted her to have her own, instead of sharing mine.  So…I gave this one to her, which made her quite happy!


A little about the product:

*THE PERFECT CURL* – Instantly get the perfect curl with Mia Adora’s unique ergonomic design captures every lash without pinching. Fits every eye shape.

*PREMIUM QUALITY* – Sturdy no-slip handle that’s padded for extra comfort, large padding to curl your lashes without leaving creases. Spring loaded for extra precision and control. There’s no other lash curler like this!

*Comes with extra padding and 1 year warranty!


0529150808aOur Thoughts:

She loves that it is easy to handle and doesn’t hurt her eyelid when she uses it. The little spring in it seems to help it curl more effectively, maybe because it provides a better grip. She’s loving the pink color too! The finger “handles” are the perfect size for her, but I don’t know if they would be big enough for an adult with larger hands (she is 12). I like that she can get the longer eyelash look without feeling like she has to wear makeup, like so many other girls her age do. It’s stylish, it works well, and it gets used every day! :)  Neither she nor I can find anything we don’t like about it, so yes, we’d recommend it.  It also is currently on sale for 40% off, so take advantage!




Flameless Tea Lights Review

I received the product mentioned for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.

RaMs Wavy Candles are flameless candles that are battery operated.




They offer in their package 11 Flameless Candles – Warm Bright White Battery Operated Candle Tea Lights with Free Decorative Rose Petals.  They have a One Year Replacement Guarantee.  They are 1.4″X 1.4″ Size, and are perfect for Skull Glass, Valentines Day Decorations, Plastic Bag Holder, Glass Votive Holders, etc.




0614151346I really love these candles.  They provide a gentle, soft ambience that I love.  I have put them all around the outside of my bathtub when taking a bath.  I have turned off the lights, turned on soft music, and turned on these candles to give my kids back rubs, just to make it feel more relaxing.  (I’m pretty sure my kids think these candles are just for them!)  They have a wavy top, and the lights flicker, making them seem more real.  My son likes to take one to bed with him so he has a light sometimes.  I look forward to using them during the holiday season as well, because I love having luminaries and candles out.  There’s nothing to not love about them!!


If you have questions, I would encourage you to head over to the questions and answers section on their page.  Ask questions!!  

Mega Mesh Premium Magnetic Screen Door Review

I received a complimentary screen door for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was given.  The opinions are mine alone.


About the Product:


Mega Mesh
resize_800b303f442c97411f09a21d7d36bd6e86a5c0b33126e76daf1fb2afb76dab97288d9ab0256256The best quality magnetic screen door by Easy Install

These Bug Screens are made to a high quality and are built to last.

What You’ll Get:

Unrivaled Quality

✓ Strong magnets sewn in, to provide seamless automatic closure
✓ High quality micro mesh keeps the smallest bugs out
✓ Easy install bug screens have been developed to stay up and withstand heavy traffic

Multiple Uses

✓ Can be used in all homes for effective pest control
✓ Great for use in RVs
✓ Fits easily where swing doors cannot fit

Benefits of Mega Mesh

✓ Magnetic hands-free entry
✓ Pet friendly access
✓ The low-cost way to economically cool your home
✓ Protection for your family from invading insects
✓ Easy installation
✓ Optional push-pin fixings included


f160287577b08d1145417223aa32bc0bc8a9d498I have wanted one of these screen doors for awhile, so I was really excited to review it.

I would suggest that if your Magnetic Screen door is going to be installed on the outside of your home, that you use the push pins included.  I figured I didn’t need to worry about that, but every time we had wind, the door blew right off.  It was very frustrating, as I thought the velcro strips would be strong enough.  The place I have mine installed has a metal trim, so it will be very difficult for me to use a push pin.  Keep that in mind.


Other than the wind issue, the door is great.  Our cats have figured out how to get in and out with it, and it’s nice to be able to keep the door open all day.  I LOVE getting a nice gentle summer breeze in my home, and I love avoiding bugs while I’m at it! :)  It feels like an upgrade to our kitchen sliding door (when it’s not blowing down).  The magnets that keep the door shut work really well and close immediately after someone walks through.  It makes it very convenient.

You can purchase the Mega Mesh Magnetic Screen Door HERE.