Children have bad days too!

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I’ve seen this before & boy does it speak true to my almost 3 year old. Children are known for giving honest answers (most of the time) and this morning he was having a rough time for no reason other than he’s almost 3 & I asked why… “I don’t know Mama” was his response. I scooped him up & gave him a huge hug & said It’s OK to not know sometimes!!! Amazing to see the changes my Baby Boy is going through, and that he’s starting to become aware of his feelings! We’re getting somewhere!! YES, we need to teach them to be respectful, empathetic, caring individuals but we also need to acknowledge that they too have bad days & bad moods just like the rest of the human population!

Jolene’s Poofy Organics Make-up Review

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POOFY ORGANICS ~I AM GODDESS~ MAKEUP REVIEW

I had the pleasure of receiving some makeup to review from Poofy Organics. I am always on the hunt for safe and amazing makeup as it is a question that I constantly get. I am always asked which makeup I recommend and use and where they can find it. I recently did a Mascara review that has Poofy Organics as one of our top 4 choices of safe mascara that is recommended for use. I was sent a mascara, blush, eye shadow, and lipstick to try. I must say that when I first received my products in the mail, I loved the packaging, I felt that I had a high quality product in my hands without even opening it up and using it. Also, right away, I could see that all of the colors were beautiful and were exactly what I was expecting from the description…LOVE that! When you buying online, you want to KNOW what you are getting and I was NOT disappointed!

Blush BLUSH I really enjoyed using this blush. I used their lightest one and it is light pink in color. I was pleasantly surprised that it was so silky soft not only by looks but by feel as well. I don’t usually used pressed makeup as it tends to be heavy and dry on my face…NOT the case here! Just one light application was all that was needed to get a glow on my cheeks and I felt like I wasn’t wearing any at all! Best part was that it stayed put AND felt wonderful!

Divinity LIPSTICK First I will say that I am not a lipstick person. I find them to be chalky and with one application they over power my face…not making for a great look. Well THIS lipstick actually felt great on my lips! One light sweep of it gave a subtle look…PERFECT for me!! It does layer well if you want a bit deeper of a color. I must add that this lipstick also smells delicious!!! Very impressed with this find. It is the only lipstick I now own and probably will ever own!

Sultry Silver Eye Shadow Again, another pressed powder that is silky smooth on my skin! This is a light silver eye shadow that only needs 1-2 soft applications to get the soft color looking great on your eyes. I did 3-4 as I liked it a bit more obvious and it felt like I was wearing NOTHING on my eyelids and it did NOT flake off into my contacts or anywhere else on my face. It applied perfectly! There was also NO need for re-application as it stayed put and true to color the whole time I wore it!

Mascara Black This was my most exciting product to try as I love mascara but gave up wearing it as I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t full of chemicals, that didn’t produce mass amounts of flakes half of which came from me rubbing my eyes so much from irritation! In short, I LOVE this mascara and is my favorite to date. Here’s why! Upon taking the wand out of the bottle, it was NOT clumpy, gloopy, overly wet, and runny. I applied one layer on one eye, moved to the next and repeated for a second layer. Perfect day look! Because it is not a super wet product, I didn’t get any on my eye shadow or under my eyes (which was a happy surprise for me) and even upon trying to make a more dramatic look, applying a 3rd and 4th layer still did not clump my blonde lashes or dry them out (aka flaking) at all. I had this mascara on for several hours and it didn’t irritate my sensitive contact wearing eyes one bit. I am highly sensitive to preservatives and different chemicals particularly in personal care items and I had zero reaction!! The only downside to this mascara was that it did take a bit of effort to get off at night with my coconut oil (which some would say is a plus because it doesn’t go running all over your face with just a bit of moisture), and that I didn’t discover this little gem sooner!! Note: the mascara is not waterproof, that would take some nasty chemicals!

List of ingredients with their EWG rating in parenthesis:  Water (Aqua) (EWG0), Chamomile Hydrosol (Matricaria Recutita)* (EWG0), Cera Alba (Beeswax)* (EWG0), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (EWG0), Mica (CI 77019) (EWG2), Coffea Arabica (Coffee Powder)* (EWG0), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder* (EWG2), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (EWG0)*, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch* (EWG0), Lecithin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Acetic Acid, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract*. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), (CI 77491), (CI 77492). (*Certified Organic)

 

As a Side Note: The owner of this company is completely forthcoming with her ingredients and why she uses what she does. She happily answered all of my questions (which I always have a ton) and she is passionate about making safe products for her family and her customers. I am truly impressed with Poofy Organics as I feel they offer amazing customers service and superior products.

DID YOU KNOW: You can order any of the products that I mentioned in this month’s BUYING CLUB!!! Poofy Organics is part of it and she has many other wonderful products including a full line of safe and beautiful makeup to choose from!

North Star Toys People Mover Review

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Review of North Star Toys, located in Questa, New Mexico. Tim & Connie have been making toys since 1979, which happens to be the year I was born! Categories of toys: Rainbow Collection, People Mover, Toys for Wee Ones, Baby’s First Animals, Classics, Legendary Creatures, Creative Play Sets, Big Rollie Dinosaurs, Big Rollie Vehicles, Little Rollie Vehicles & Animals, Magic & Myth, Pull Toys, Camera, Extra People, Rubber Band Powered, Nativity.

They sent me the People Mover in the photo, which is made of Alder & Birch wood. I love that my son (he’ll be 3 in March) recognized the little wooden pegs as people immediately. He’s REALLY in to nursery rhymes right now, and has been having so much fun playing with the people. I’ve seen him playing with them while singing: Monkey’s Jumping on the Bed, 10 in the Bed, The Wheels on the Bus, Humpty Dumpty, and on & on. That’s the thing I’ve come to love about ‘simple’ toys, they really do inspire the imagination! We’ve worked on counting to 10, taking the people in & out, and arranging them by colors. Of course when he plays with Dada, they work on launching the bus off ramps & crashing it into other cars, etc The people are available unpainted as well, you can order extra people, and there are other vehicles such as boats that the people can be used with. The People Mover sells for $25.

The toy did come wrapped in a plastic cellophane wrapper. I know they wanted to keep all the people in the vehicle, and the clear plastic allows you to see the toy nicely. But, I’d rather see a beautiful wooden toy wrapped in a cloth bag, as most of the other wooden toys I’ve ever received have been. I asked them about this and here’s what Tim told me: “The bags we use for our toys are cellophane – regenerated cellulose, a plant based product. One of our primary goals is to use products which are locally made or made in America.”

From their website: “At North Star Toys we know children deserve safe, well-made toys. All our designs reflect this primary concern. We personally make each toy from start to finish in our workshop located in the mountains in Questa, New Mexico. Our lumber comes from the US, and our parts follow the federal and voluntary guidelines governing small parts, sharp points, and chemical make-up. Our toy finishes are safe. Our toys are simply coated with a non-toxic, food grade mineral oil which meets or exceeds requirements by the USFDA, US Pharmacopeia, US Dept. of Agriculture and is certified Kosher and Pareve. In some of our toys we have painted passengers. There is no lead in the paints or finishes used on our toys.” For the record, mineral oil is derived from petroleum. Is that terrible? Not necessarily. It’s the refining & other processes petroleum goes through to make it into gasoline that aren’t eco-friendly. It is a natural product.
I thank them very much for sharing one of their hand-crafted toys with my family, and also for making quality wooden toys here in the USA. They sent me a hand-written note thanking me for my site & letting me know they just became Grandparents for the 1st time & get to see their Grandchild almost every day which is obviously very important to them—congratulations Tim & Connie! And keep the great toys coming!!

Please visit their website & FB pages for more info!
Website: http://www.northstartoys.com/
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Star-Toys/158946754139242

Action Baby Carrier Review

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Action Baby Carrier review (photo from their website). Made in Detroit, Michigan. As a WI Mama, I feel this is a local product, which makes me very happy! The Action is the made in the USA alternative to the Ergo (made in China, many aren’t aware of that!). They are a very small company, employing three full-time employees according to their website. A couple months ago I wrote several made in the USA carrier-makers as I really, really wanted to have something to recommend other than my Ergo, which was the only carrier I had at the time, and what I wore my 1st born in exclusively. As we had a new addition to the family, I seized the opportunity to try out some different carriers. I’m so happy Action agreed to send me one of their offerings to try out.

They started their business making Mei Tai (tie on) carriers, but had great demand for a buckle system similar to the Ergo many of us are familiar with them. They now make 2 models which use the buckle system: Standard Size is recommended from 8lbs to 40lbs, $98 Toddler Size is recommended from 15-45lbs wherein the toddler is made wider so the support extends to the knee, $114. They offer free shipping continental US.

At 4 months (when they contacted me) Baby Girl was already 15#, and her older brother was around ~32# ( at 2 ½ years), so I requested a toddler size. They also let me choose my pattern which was something I appreciated very much. I chose the adorable Happy Camper pattern. It is very, very similar to the Ergo. It is SUPER easy to put on, even easier than the Ergo. With the Ergo I liked to have the back buckle all the way down towards the middle of my back, and always struggled to secure it myself. The Action has a hood, but no zipper pouch (definitely something I can live without). One improvement it has over the Ergo, in my opinion, is the straps crisscross behind your back when wearing your child in the front. I feel this helps distribute the weight of your child more evenly. However, I have the same issue with this carrier that I do with my Ergo. I like to wear my Baby Girl quite tight. In order to get this style of carrier tight enough I have to tighten the part that goes around my arm so tight that the straps then don’t lay flat on my shoulders, usually riding up into my neck. But in general, I find it quite comfortable. I am “broke in” to babywearing multiple hours/day though, and just like anything it’s something your body needs to get used to. I know as she grows I’ll wear her looser & this won’t be as much of an issue, but at this time I wear her ~8 hrs/day, so little things like this matter greatly in how I feel at the end of a day of babywearing. I haven’t worn her older brother in this yet; I haven’t worn him in quite a while actually. We are planning a family trip in January which will involve multiple airports, and we will definitely be packing a carrier for each child. I’ll be doing a post in the coming weeks where I compare several makes & models of carriers that I’ve tried, and I’m trying to not do that in this post, but will just say that I prefer a Mei Tai carrier for a variety of reasons for my Baby Girl, at this time.

More about the Toddler Carrier: “The toddler carrier is 3 inches taller in the body than our regular carrier, as well as offering an inch longer hood and 2 inches smaller in the shoulder webbing (because they are used mostly for back carries and gives you a tighter fit). The base of the “seat” is 19 inches across.  All of the webbing on the toddler carrier is the same as our standard carrier. We are asked often about the sizing of our carrier.  It is either, “will it fit me?  I am really petite” or “will it fit my husband, he is really tall”?  The answer is, in most cases, YES, our standard and toddler sizes will fit you and your husband! We sell a huge amount of carriers in Asia. Women there tend to be very petite.  But, we also sell a ton of carriers to the USA and Europe where men tend to be tall and thicker in the shoulders.  When we set out to design the Action Baby Carrier, it had to fit both small and tall!  Because the designers were, one, petite and the other tall bodied. We would never design a carrier that we could not use ourselves or that we would not recommend to a friend.  So, we designed it to fit most people from the start.  This is one of the reasons for the double side adjuster for the hip belt. We can make it longer, without all the extra webbing.” In conclusion, I am so thrilled to have an alternative to the Ergo to recommend, and thrilled that it’s even cheaper than the Ergo! I like the carrier a lot, but feel I will like it even more as my Baby Girl grows a bit. I think it’s fabulous that it can carry a child up to 45#, meaning it can be used for many, many years! I will definitely be recommending this carrier over, and over!

 

Please visit their website & FB pages:

Website: http://www.actionbabycarriers.com/shop/

Fb page: https://www.facebook.com/ActionBabyCarriers

LuSa Organics review

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Review of LuSa Organics products, handmade in Viroqua, WI. In the review I did for Action Baby Carriers earlier in the week I mentioned I felt Detroit was local to me as a WI Mama (which it is compared to made in China). Well, Viroqua, WI is REALLY local, only 20 minutes away, it’s the closest ‘big’ town with a Wal-Mart, etc. So, it makes me really, really happy to finally be doing a review for this growing company. I love browsing the other natural living FB pages I belong to & seeing LuSa Organics products recommended. Rachel is really starting to gain attention with her fantastic line of soap, and so much more, and rightfully so! I was sent 3 products: a shampoo/shaving bar, baby bath & massage oil & Sweet Soul Sister bar soap. They are all amazing and I’m especially in love with the shampoo bar!

Forest shampoo/shaving bar- 4 oz. bar for $5.25. Info from the website: “Yes, one bar can do it all. It might looks like any bar of LuSa soap, but Forest is so very much more. You’ll notice the difference as soon as you lather. Rich, thick, creamy, and buttery – this lather is perfect for washing up, shampooing hair, and shaving. The secret is a significant amount of castor oil in the mix which conditions the hair and skin and gives the bubbles a rich, buttery texture. We’ve also added two types of clay for a shaving cream lather – and to absorb excess oil from hair and scalp. Enjoy this soap from head to toe!”. Ingredients: saponified oils of *palm, *coconut, *olive, *local sunflower, and *castor; shea butter (fair trade), essential oil blend (pine, fir, cedar, peru basam, and nutmeg) french green clay and white clay. *certified organic ingredient. This bar only comes “naked”, which is one thing that makes me LOVE this so much more. There is NO packaging. LuSa does offer wonderful boxes, and they even come with a few refrigerator word magnets so you can makes some creative sentences on your fridge in your spare time. But, it is also a waste of natural resources & totally unnecessary if you’re not giving it as a gift or selling it in your shop, etc. So, it came with no wrapper, no bottle, no nothing, just a lovely bar of soap. It is both eco- & budget-friendly. I’ve only used the bar maybe 6 times, but it seems like it’ll last a long time. I have short hai, and just rub the bar right into my hair & it produces a wonderful lather and my hair feels fabulous after it dries! I highly, highly recommend this product to those of you who have been struggling to find a safe, effective and affordable shampoo!

I mentioned to Rachel that my Baby Girl still had a bit of cradle cap, so she sent me her Baby Bath & Massage Oil. I hadn’t been too diligent about getting rid of the cradle, just occasionally rubbing coconut oil on it. Since receiving the oil I have been paying more attention to her head & can say that after a couple weeks of rubbing the oil in every couple of days & using a small, fine-toothed comb the cradle cap is about 99% gone. I LOVE that it has only 3 organic ingredients! Baby Bath & Massage Oil: $9.25 for a 2 fl. Oz. bottle. “Perfect multi-use body oil designed for baby’s sensitive skin. Use for after-bath moisturizing, baby massage, or in the tub. Perfect for cradle cap too. It is unscented for your little one, or you may add essential oil drops when baby gets older.” Ingredients: *Jojoba oil, *evening primrose oil, *avocado oil.*certified organic ingredient.

She sent me one of her AMAZING bar soaps: Sweet Soul Sister Soap- tangerine and peppermint. Ingredients: Saponified oils of *palm, *coconut, *olive, and *sunflower; shea butter (fair trade), essential oil blend (peppermint, tangerine, orange, spikenard, and lime), jojoba meal, turmeric. *certified organic ingredient. Size: 4 oz. $5.75 or $5.25 naked (no box).Every one of her bar soaps has a story behind it, and I LOVE the story behind this one! “I first created this soap with my college best friend, Denise. We schemed of someday living and raising our babies next door to each other. Ten years and thousands of miles later, we gave birth three days (and one back yard) apart. Celebrate your favorite women with this joyous blend”. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of peppermint in general, but this soap makes me like it. I’m a HUGE fan of citrus, and the combination of the two is just wonderful, producing a very clean, fresh scent. And, the soap is just gorgeous, kind of speckled with veins of color running through it. Categories of products availalbe: Handcrafted soap, organic sugar scrubs, lip balm, lotion bars, essential oil blends, natural bug spray, gift collections, limited edition, best sellers, refills, scratch & dent sale. You can browse by body, baby, mama, holiday categories, also by scents. My dad recently opened a wholesale account with LuSa & I got to pick out several soaps for him to carry in his flower shop, and I can tell you they are both GORGEOUS & smell heavenly. You really need to go browse her website & take a look at the soaps to get an idea of the true beauty of these handcrafted items! Also, she offers a Soap of the Month Club, which would make an awesome gift for anyone on your Holiday shopping list.

THANK YOU Rachel (and family), for making such wonderful products! To learn more about Rachel & her beautiful family, here’s a link to the ‘About’ section from their website: http://www.lusaorganics.com/viroqua-wi-formerly-queen-bee-soaps-rachel-and-pete-wolf-s/17.htm.

Do you use any LuSa products?

Website: http://www.lusaorganics.com/

Fb page: https://www.facebook.com/LusaOrganics?fref=ts

Yes, organic candy canes do exist, and they’re DELICIOUS!!!

I just had so much fun shopping at the Natural Candy Store. It’s amazing! They have a huge category of organic Holiday candy. I got some organic candy canes & a whole bunch of stocking stuffers. The prices are very reasonable, they get you with shipping though. I was going to stop at $25 in product, but shipping was $14! Then I saw $6.99 shipping over $50, so got my cart to $50.25 I got some organic lollipops my son loves, and even some jelly beans that I’m going to store away for a few months until Easter. Yes, candy is still candy, but I love that I can find organic, fair-trade, non-GMO, made in the USA options to allow my family to indulge in!

http://www.naturalcandystore.com/category/organic-candy