Basic Essential Packages from the Eco-Friendly USA Buying Club



There are hundreds of products available to you outside of the packages I’ve organized below. It’s my hope that getting these basics together will be a start to getting these products into your house & getting you to try some new things too! Deadline to have orders email to me at is Monday morning the 19th at 6am. Link to entire listing of  25 vendors & all available product:

Beginner sample pack- $20 (will ship in $5 flat rate envelope if this is all you get)

EcoNuts (soap nuts) 10 load sample pack: $4.50
Molly’s Suds powdered laundry detergent samples- 3 packs (enough for 3-6 loads): $2.75
MamaSuds liquid laundry sample 8 oz (2-8 loads) $4
Earthpaste samples: 3 total, 1 of each: Cinnamon, Peppermint, Lemon (Spearmint/wintergreen not available in sample size): $.75
Jess deodorant sample (choose scent: orange, lavender, peppermint, rose geranium, patchouli, unscented): $2
Josiah’s Oils shampoo & conditioner sample pack: $5.40 (2.2 oz each)
Josiah’s Oils automatic or hand dish soap (select which) $1.50

Additional samples available, add on to base price above:

Josiah’s Oils makes numerous products available in trial sizes, in addition to what I listed above. Here’s the link, you can add any of these on for the additional amount noted here:
Simply Rustic Body Care Sample Bundle:  $12- choose a scrub, body butter & lip balm:!/~/category/id=2885861&offset=0&sort=nameAsc
Simply Rustic Face Care Sample Bundle: $13- choose a face food, toner, cleansing oil & facial serum

Sunburn Soother–$16/ 4 oz jar
Bug Repellent Stick–$11/ 2.65 oz stick
Bug Repellent Spray–$10/8 oz bottle (my top pick for bug spray)
Bug Bite Salve–$10/ 2 oz. glass jar

Josiah’s Oils:

Buying Club exclusive: 1 oz sample of her sun stick- $3.50
Sun lotion– $16.99/ 4 oz. glass jar
Sun stick- $16.99/ 4.5 oz stick– 10% OFF MAY SPECIAL: $15.30
Insect away concentrated drops (to mix your own)–$19.99/ 15ml
Insect Away 2.2 oz bottle $8.99
Insect Away 4.5 oz bottle $15.99

Poofy Organics:
Bug Spray- $10/ 2.8 oz bottle
Sun stick–$11
Sun lotion tube–$14/3.4 oz

Sun lotion- $10/ 4oz. tube: $1 off MAY SPECIAL: $9 (beeswax version only)
Bug Spray- $8/ 4 oz bottle: $1 off MAY SPECIAL: $7




Redmond Clay 1st aid cream- $10.34  **NO medicine cabinet should be without this! 10% off MAY SPECIAL: $9.31

Natulo- Ouch Ease hot/cold pack, made from organic cotton with organic rice inside- $20:

Fiddlebump’s Medicine Cabinet: base price $34
Healing Salve- $10/2 oz glass jar
Boo Boo Balm- Fiddlebump’s $4/.35 oz plastic roll-up tube
Tiny Hiney Cream- $10/ 2 oz glass jar
Children’s Respiratory Balm- $9/2 oz glass jar

Additional ideas:
Unpetroleum Jelly- $6/2 oz glass jar
Joint Balm- $10/2 oz glass jar
Skin Food- $10/2 oz glass jar (choose: eczema/psoriasis or problem formula)
Muscle Balm- $12/2 oz. glass jar

Poofy Medicine Cabinet- base price $34
Boo Boo Balm: $10/.63 oz stick in plastic roll-up tube
Tiny Tush Cream: $12/2 oz jar
Vapor Rub: $12/2 oz jar

Additional ideas:
Rub-ology hot & cold healing herbal liniment- $20/4 oz jar
Healing Skin Oil- $22/4 oz spray bottle
Flexitol Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Homepathic wash(7oz) and/or cream(2 oz): $14.99 each

Josiah’s Oils Medicine Cabinet- base price $34
3 pack purse size boo boo sticks (in lip balm tubes) $11.75
Vapor rub-  $7.99/2.5 oz
Congestion Relief concentrated essential oil blend w/ carrier oil- $14.99/15ml bottle

Additional Ideas:
Germ Fighting Thieves Blend- 15 ml bottle, $17.10 (10% off normally $18.99)
Boo Boo Spray- $14.99/ 2.2 oz spray bottle
Vapor Rub XL- $14.99/4-5oz jar
Earth Jelly- $8.99/3.5 oz jar.

*MamaSuds offers a vapor rub in a 4 oz. glass jar for $10
*Simply Rustic offers a Boo Boo Balm $8/ 2 oz. tin



All-purpose Cleaner Concentrate: $13/ 6 oz.
Furniture Polish: $7/8 oz

Poofy Organics:
All-purpose Cleaner: $8/ 17 oz. spray bottle
Dish liquid (for hand washing): $12/ 16 oz bottle (what Jess uses & loves for dishes)
Automatic Dishwasher Pods: $12/24 pods

Josiah’s Oils
Concentrated Cleaning Essential Oils (to make your own cleaner): $12.60 (normally $13.99)
Automatic Dishwasher Liquid & All-purpose cleaner w/ Thieves Blend (Jess loves in foaming hand pump): $8/9 oz bottle (also available in samples, and 2 larger family sizes!)
Hand Dishwashing Soap in foaming hand pump: $7/ 8.5 oz bottle (I’m currently testing this, it didn’t make bubbles in my sink out of the bottle, so I’ve been adding it to my rag from the foaming pump- also available as a sample or in large family sizes)

Castile Soap: $6/16 oz. bottle, can add Essential Oils for $.50 extra each
Toilet bombs: $5.75/10 wedges

The WashCloth Shop
Reusable Swiffer Pads, Shark Pads & Washcloth sets, $6-$7.50/item or set. Comment on this album to claim:

Certified Organic: Veggie Wash, Glass Cleaner or Multi-Surface Cleaning Spray- each $6.99/ 10 oz. spray bottle



May Buying Club Update

For those not on Facebook, I want to make sure you’re up-to-date on the details! I start accepting orders a week from today. In the last couple of days I’ve posted some photos of available product: Washclothes, Judy’s American Girl doll clothes, and the crocheted hats. In an effort to make it fair to claim these products, across timezones, they will be available to claim starting at 11am CST on May 1st (that way those in CA don’t have to get up super early to compete). The links to those albums are at the bottom of the One-Stop Shop info page:


Just Skin Food Review


Review of Just Skin Food, based in Cape May, NJ. I haven’t added a product line to my “approved/best-of-the-best” category for quite some time, so am thrilled have Just Skin Food as the newest addition! There are numerous things I love about this line—both the products themselves & the true eco-friendly aspect of the business practices.

Just Skin Food offers a fabulous selection of herbal salves, body butters, bar soaps, essential oils, skincare oils, lotion bars, body scrubs & flower essences. She also categorizes everything with a seasonal product tab, and one for men’s, women’s, children’s products. You will not find a SINGLE plastic product in her packaging, which makes me so very happy! Everything comes in glass or a stainless steel tin. Details like this show me Just Skin Food definitely deserves a spot on my best-of-the-best list: “Even our inside seals are made from certified unbleached chlorine free paper. We do not like to use any kind of sealer that requires heat transfer of glue or plastic.” Also, she grows many of the herbs that she uses in her products herself, which I admire greatly!

Gabriella, the owner & creator of these high quality products, has a background in homeopathy. Here is some info from her “about” section of her website: “Homeopathy is more than my life’s work, it is my passion! I first fell in love with homeopathy while studying abroad in Florence, Italy when I was just a teenager. Since then, I have furthered my education in the field, worked as a Classical Homeopath and Bach Flower Essence Practitioner, and continued studies in Natural Medicine and Holistic Healing and Herbology. Considering my holistic approach to health and skin care, bringing Just Skin Food to life was a natural evolution. It began with a simple line of Herbal Healing Skin Salves for clients, family and friends. But little did we know, there was much more to come. While my clients were on their holistic path to healing, their use of standard beauty products was counter-intuitive. Knowing that, they wanted products that would enhance their outer beauty while keeping in harmony with their inner journey of healing. With this in mind, we developed more holistic products to help them on this journey. Thanks to them, we continually evolve.” She is currently undergoing the process to become certified organic, and as you’ll see when clicking on any ingredient tab, she uses only the best organic & wild-crafted ingredients!

Steps Gabriella takes to ensure she’s being as eco-friendly as possible. From the customer service tab on her website:
–In order to keep a lesser carbon footprint for such small items, Just Skin Food has decided to have a minimum online total order of $35.00. With a minimum online order of $35.00 shipping is always free.
–Orders are shipped either Tuesday or Friday (so she’s not traveling to the PO daily with only a couple packages).
— We try to use organic air-popped popcorn inside our packages except when we are re-using materials that we receive in packages that are sent to us. If we do not have old material to re-use for packaging we will use USPS priority boxes. Please recycle the cardboard box as well as the bubble wrap, which can be recycled just like plastic bags. You can feed the popcorn to the birds or put it in with your compost. (I’m very, very impressed with this one, what a fabulous idea! My package came with reused materials, no popcorn.)

Gabriella sent me numerous items from her product line. Without a doubt my favorite is the Espresso Honey Scrub. I make my own coconut oil based oat & sugar scrub, but have been passing that up for this Espresso scrub every bath I take. If you’re a coffee lover, I think you’ll agree that this scrub is heavenly. Since it’s so finely ground it makes a wonderful scrub, and the oils & honey used in the blend she sent me leave my skin very nourished & moisturized when I’m done with my bath. It also contains rhassoul clay which is a clay I wasn’t previously familiar with, but am always happy to learn something new! Here’s a look at that ingredient list, along with the fascinating info about the clay. Ingredients: Harry and Bean’s fair trade organic espresso coffee, organic cold pressed virgin olive oil infused with organic vanilla bean, organic dried rosemary herb, cape may honey farm’s local raw honey, pure orange peel butter, and rhassoul clay*.*Rhassoul Clay used in ancient Rome and Egypt as a daily cleanser comes from the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco from deposits formed from volcanic ashes. Rhassoul Clay has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It has a high content of Silica which supports deep layers of collagen and gives the skin its elasticity. Two other natural component of Rhassoul Clay is Magnesium and Calcium, which are essential for skin regeneration. And it mildly lathers.”

I also am enjoying the whipped butters very much. She sent me a Whipped Fluffy Mint Cream, an Orange Cream, and a Lemon Fresh Cream (she also makes a Vanilla Bean Cream). They are so light & fluffy, each smells absolutely amazing, and they just melt right into your skin. Each is geared towards different skin conditions such as cracked & flaky, teen and oily, mature, or all skin types. I have used the Winter Brew lotion stick on the cheeks of both my kiddos, and felt it did a nice job helping heal & moisturize their mainly wind burned, dry winter skin. I am very appreciative of the product I have on hand for the summer sun, bug & itch season. We’ve had a very late spring here in Wisconsin, so it’ll be a month or more before I’ll have occasion to test the bug or sun stick. She also sent a poison ivy salve which I hope I don’t need, but we are a very active, outdoorsy family so I’m very happy to have this in my medicine cabinet should we need it.

She sent me a sample tin of each of her salves, and this is where her background in homeopathy really shines through and is a tremendous asset to these products! Honestly I haven’t had a chance to use most of them yet, but have learned that it’s very important to have your medicine cabinet ready with a very healthy assortment of product, so when the time comes, you’re ready & not scrambling in search of whatever you can get locally. I love opening my cabinet and seeing her tins of salve for the following ailments: deep healing, all-purpose, soothing, joint relief, eczema/psoriasis and more! Many are vegan, and all are made with an amazing assortment of organic oils infused (sometimes double infused!) with wild-harvested or homegrown herbs! Many, many people are making homemade products these days, but I really feel top quality products like these are unique!

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I highly recommend treating your Mom to some top quality products from Just Skin Food. Also, why not treat yourself to an Espresso Honey Scrub, or some fabulous whipped body butter as a special treat, whether you’re a mother or not! Most Mom’s I know put their own needs last, and let me tell you, there’s nothing like a hot bath & a jar of Espresso scrub to both relax, and awaken your senses at the same time! I asked very nicely & Gabriella agreed to create a 15% off coupon code for those of you interested in trying some of her amazing, high quality products! Good through April 30th: 15% discount with coupon code eco430
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Duke University’s foam testing program

Each household can send up to 5 samples in to find out which flame retardants their products are treated with, for free. This is how it was discovered that Orbit’s foam contained flame retardant, contrary to what they’d been telling consumers…. Info:

My Made in the USA Dollhouse


??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Their photo, to get a better idea of the size & whole picture. From Elves & Angels website.

I have not been more excited to do a review in a long, long time. This all started when I had a message from a page called Wildflower Innocence on my FB wall, sharing with me the fact that Elves & Angels was hosting a great giveaway that I & my page would surely be interested in. I of course entered that giveaway & shared a link on my page. I also commented that if they’d ever like me to do a review for any of their products I’d be thrilled to. So, here we are…

I was initially offered Jenny’s kitchen. It’s the most economical of the wooden kitchen’s I’ve found, and I’ve looked at lots of them. They’re offering it for as little as $169, with free shipping which is a really, really good deal! I had a hard time saying no to that offer but we already own a very similar looking kitchen. The one we have was loaned to us by a local family, made by the Husband 22 or so years ago. We are the 5th family to enjoy it in that time and it will likely be enjoyed by several more families when we’re done with it. I like to tell that story whenever someone complains to me about the price of the wooden kitchens that are handmade in the US. They send me links to made in China ones for under $100 & want to know my thoughts on them. I will never give my blessing to cheap, particle board, brightly painted, made in China offerings when you can get fabulous, solid wood, handmade in the USA offerings such as Jenny’s kitchen, for under $170!!! They truly can last for decades, and knowing that your money is going to support a fellow American family is worth a few dollars saved up front. Your purchase will hold its value & can easily be resold on Craigslist, etc when you’re done with it, if you have no one in your family to pass it on to. They offer numerous wooden kitchens for under $200, which is a great price & the most affordable I’ve seen among the quality, made in USA options on the market. Anything over $100 ships free, which is a huge saving as my box weighed 30# & of course was bulky! The cost of shipping an assembled dollhouse or kitchen would be insanely expensive, so there’s really no choice but to have the consumer put it together.

All that being said, I had my eye on a dollhouse. If anyone reading this thinks dollhouses are just for girls, you’re very wrong. My Son, who just turned 3 (in March) has always taken a great interest in the dollhouse at the local library we go to Story Time at, and I’m assuming his baby Sister will enjoy them as she grows up as well. The one they have at the library is made in China as are the popular Melissa & Doug offerings. So, finding a few made in the USA options at Elves & Angels made me very happy & I knew I wanted to add one to my family at some point. I offered to chip in some money towards it, as the one I wanted was a little more expensive than the kitchen I was offered, and I didn’t expect them to give me a dollhouse for free. I did get it at a very discounted blogger special price, but not completely free, for the record 🙂  I chose the Maine dollhouse, which sells for $229, as I liked the open floor plan which means multiple children can play with it from different sides. They also offer another option that is gorgeous & I would’ve been thrilled to own as well, and that sells for $199.

I told myself I was going to set up the dollhouse, but when the time came & I had a super excited 3 year old there anxious to see it set up, I asked Dada to please do it. He’s a very experienced carpenter, and after laying everything out & reading the directions it took him 45 minutes to set it up, not including putting the final pegs in to cover up the screws. It probably would’ve taken me 4 times that long, but I’m certain I would’ve been able to do it if I had to. It comes with a DVD to guide you through the assembly as well! You can tell that a great deal of thought, and trial & error went into making it as easy as possible for the consumer to put this together. Had it snapped together in 3 pieces & 2 minutes, I would have to question its quality. I am very, very impressed with the care that went into making such a quality product so easy to put together. It is very solid & extremely, extremely high quality. The one & only thing it’s missing is a set of stairs, my 3 year old looked at me one day & said “Mom, how do they get upstairs” 🙂  So, for now they jump real high! But my Hubby is going to customize us a set of stairs for it.

I saw they also offered adorable furniture for it, but then realized it was made by Plan Toys in Thailand. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a made in the USA set of furniture for it, but knew if anyone had it Pure Play Kids would. I hopped over to their page, and within minutes had my set of furniture ordered for it (turns out it’s actually made by TAG Toys, another vendor on my Safe Toys List). It’s cheaper via TAG directly, but I do have a coupon code for 15% off your Pure Play purchase: ECOUSA15 for 15% off your entire order, good through all of 2014.

Then, on to the family that would reside in this new house. Elves & Angels offers dolls made by both Plan Toys, a European Waldorf option, and some made by Wildflower Innocence (who contacted my originally). As that was the made in the USA offering, I sent a message to Suzanne & asked if she’d be interested in donating a family for my new house. Turns out she’s the daughter of David, the owner & master craftsman behind Elves & Angels (she’s 1/12 children!), and she agreed to send me the Natural Family to do a review on & share with you (sells for $103.95 on Etsy).


I could not be happier with the family she sent me. I absolutely adore it! They are made with a base of wire with yarn & felt clothing over the wire. This means they are bendable, which is just awesome for playing with them. They are so incredibly well made; you can tell a lot of love went into them. I cannot stress how much I love them! Since receiving the family, I’ve already placed & received an additional order which will be in my children’s Easter baskets of a couple of the Birthday dolls, a gorgeous fairy, and a custom made boy doll. Please take a look at what she offers & I think you’ll agree that she is very talented. For the price she’s asking, the fact that these are made in the US & not Europe or China, the quality way in which they’re made, you will be very hard pressed to find anything comparable, believe me, I’ve looked!!, her Etsy shop: and she’s on FB as well!




I have a pretty lousy camera, a photo does not do these justice, but this gives you an idea of size & let me tell you, they’re just ADORABLE!!!!

In conclusion, I’m beyond excited to have connected with both David from Elves & Angels, and Suzanne from Wildflower Innocence. Having grown up in a small, family-owned & operated business myself (my dad owns a flower shop & 3 greenhouses), I know that it instilled many values in me such as supporting others on similar ventures, the value of hard work & sacrifice, and family values. Please browse Elves & Angels FB page to see many fabulous photo albums from around their shop & you’ll see their family at work, bringing us the very best of what America has to offer! I will also say I know many of you can’t afford to buy this out of the blue, but it’s never too early to start thinking about a Birthday or Christmas. If you start saving a little towards the dollhouse, buy the furniture & the dolls when you have a little extra, it could be doable for many of you. And the quality with which these products are made ensure you’ll be enjoying your purchases for many, many years, if not generations to come! You get what you pay for, and quality over quantity are 2 of the mottos I live by!


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Yes, I’m on Facebook too

Actually, I started on Facebook, and added this website a year later. Many people find this website through my FB page, but for those of you finding my website 1st via a Google search or however you end up here, please come check out the great community of natural-minded people over at:

Orbit Car seat contains flame retardants?!?!?!?

Original post: Reposting from Organic Baby University page- this is important if you own an Orbit car seat: “ALERT! I have just been informed by a follower that she had her Orbit Baby car seat tested and the foam tested positive for Firemaster 550 a toxic flame retardant chemical mix. She has the test results from Duke.” Subsequent update:“ORBIT UPDATE: Their foams are no longer Oeko-Tek certified and apparently have not been for a while. They quietly changed this and changed the website so no one knew. Here is the email. I am finding out when this happened so you can know if your seat is not. Here is the email”
Because you are familiar with our current and past-generation products, I also wanted to clarify our Oeko-Tex certification. All the fabrics that contact your child on Orbit Baby G2 and G3 products meet the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. All other non-fabric materials (like foam and notions) with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification are very hard to find. For these materials, Orbit Baby does a combination of extensive third-party testing ourselves, to make sure that they are free of many harmful chemicals in question, including BFR’s and chemicals on Oeko-Tex’s list. The foam on the Toddler Car Seat G2 falls into this category: because few manufacturers in or outside of our industry use Oeko-Tex certified foam, it is difficult to find a sustainable source to meet Orbit Baby’s demand for this material, and we have moved to certifying the foam at third-party testing facilities instead. Consequently, we have had to change our webpage and remove references to using foam certified to the Oeko-Tex standard.”
SO tough to get a straight answer  from them, but here it is finally, from a question on their FB wall: “As we prepared to develop and manufacture our new G3 stroller, our supplier of Oeko-Tex certified foam went out of business in 2013. We looked at different alternatives. With suppliers of Oeko-Tex certified foam so difficult to find, we made the decision to no longer rely on Oeko-Tex certification on our foam and phased in G2 manufacturing to a “bromine free” standard on all of our products and test our foam at independent, accredited labs. As part of the phased manufacturing approach, our G2 stroller seats were still using Oeko-Tex certified materials of both foam and fabric, but our car seats moved to using Oeko-Tex certified materials of fabric only in 2012.” POST:
Duke program: Duke university is offering to test the foams in your products for free to tell you WHAT FLAME RETARDANTS are in your products! We can FINALLY FIND OUT WHAT IS IN OUR PRODUCTS! PLEASE PLEASE send samples of car seats, couches, baby rockers, strollers, changing pads, mattresses, couches anything! You can submit 5!
UPDATE 4/30/14: VERY IMPORTANT, DISHEARTENING UPDATE from Jennifer of Organic Baby University: “Well I have just awful news!!!! I have gotten the results from three samples of my foams that I submitted to Duke for testing. I tested in orbit baby car seat from when it was supposed to be a Oeko-tek certified, a new Diono storm version car seat that is claimed to have no chemical flame retardants and a white lotus home foam piece and all tested positive for TDCPP.

What’s in your tea?!



After being a huge fan of Celestial Seasonings Zinger blends for making iced tea for a couple years now, and feeling it was better than juice, I finally made the switch to buying bulk, loose leaf, organic tea & couldn’t be happier! I currently have raspberry leaf & spearmint, with hibiscus & a citrusy blend coming next week, all caffeine free, and all organic. It was my only New Year’s resolution this year, and I’m so thrilled to have made the switch already. The teas I’ve bought so far are ~$10/#, and 1# is A LOT of tea. So it’s economical & environmentally friendly as there’s very little packaging, just the bag it comes in! Do you know what’s in your tea?! Credit to Food Babe for the chart.


I made the front page of my local paper :)


Building a business on safe and U.S. made

A Gays Mills resident and mother of two has taken her passion for American made and eco-friendly products to a new level.

Jessica Brandt describes herself as a “label-reading mama on a mission to find the safest products on the market.” She started a website to share her mission with others, researching and promoting her discovery of eco-friendly and American made products.

Brandt states on her website that her first priority is finding safe products and second that they are made in the USA.

The inspiration for Brandt’s venture came while she was shopping for her son’s first birthday.

Finding that a popular toy company was being manufactured in China didn’t sit right with Brandt. She felt that more USA-made product options had to be out there.  The website lets Brandt share her research and resources with others.

Brandt sees her passion for American-made products as a natural outgrowth of her passion for local economy.

“I’m a huge advocate of shopping as locally as possible for a couple of reasons,” noted Brandt said in an recent interview with American Made Insider. “Reducing the carbon footprint of products, supporting my neighbors, and keeping strong tax and social security base in our country.”

Brandt’s website breaks down the different products in easy to follow categories, thoroughly covered to allow consumers to find just about everything they could need from dental floss to ceiling fans.

Safe products for children are a hot ticket item for Brandt.

The website offers safe toys and sippy cups options. Also featured on the website is a baby registry, helping parents who have an interest in eco friendly and American made products extend that to their baby showers as well.

“A mission was started to try and find the safest baby items, preferably made in the USA, for mama’s to put on their baby registries,” Jessica noted on her website “It can take countless hours and frustration as an expecting mama to go through the infinite material on the internet and try to decipher what is safest for their little ones.”

Some of the items listed include reusable wipes made from bamboo or organic flannel, cribs and crib mattresses, strollers and car seats, binkies and even baby nail clippers just to name a few of the gems Jessica has found in her research.

“My goal is to make you more aware of what you are putting on your body, but especially that of your precious child,” said Brandt. “Most people on my page are here because they are looking for eco-friendly AND family-friendly products. Every parent I have ever met, only wants what’s best for the families.”

With a background in Spanish language education, Brandt put her teaching career on hold to be a stay- at-home mother.

Along with the website, Brandt makes her own deodorant and scrubs available for purchase at the Kickapoo Exchange Co-op in Gays Mills.

The homemade deodorant sells for $8 for a four-ounce glass jar.

“There are no frills, no fluff,” Brandt boasted. “Just a plain Mason jar, a label with ingredients, and the frequently asked questions.”

Brandt’s oatmeal-and- sugar body scrub is available in several different scents. The scrub can be purchased on her website or at the Kickapoo Exchange. It costs $6 for a four-ounce jar.

Offering consumers a one-stop shop for favored products, Brandt has also started a ‘buying club’ through her website.

“I came up with the idea after people were commenting about having trouble purchasing items because of being unable to afford shipping costs,” Brandt said.

Several different package deals are available for people including a beginner sample pack for $20 with $5 shipping. The sample pack includes samples of various soaps, toothpaste and Brandt’s own homemade deodorant.

“I’m trying to diversify, but keep it basic at the same time,” noted Jessica. “The feedback I’m getting is great, people are so excited.”

Also included are medicine cabinet basic essentials and cleaning essentials packages with a large variety of products available.

The products on order lists vary by season. There will be a core list of items available with some additions each quarter to reflect the seasons.

“Last box, I did more Easter stuff,” explained Jess “with eco grass and jelly beans, And I will add sunscreen an other items in the future for the seasonal aspect.”

There are no fees to join the buying club. Brandt doesn’t offer a discount on purchases. Many vendors do not want the club to create competition with their own sales, but she negotiates sales with willing vendors whenever possible.

Brandt also expressed a desire to involve more local producers, who may have a product that would interest those in the buying club.

“I would love to add any local stuff,” Brandt said. “I’m always looking for new things. ”

Currently, the two local vendors are LuSa organics and Brandt herself.

Some of the items available through her buying club are also available at the Kickapoo Exchange in Gays Mills.

Area residents who would like to be involved in the buying club should contact Brandt via email, both to order and to work out arrangements for picking up orders.

The orders are placed quarterly. The next order will be accepted May 1-18, and can be emailed to There is complete list of product on her website

There is no minimum order policy for the buying club or obligation to ever purchase again. Shipping is also available to anywhere in the world with shipping insurance as well.

“Mainly I want to get safe products to the people who want them,” Brandt concluded.

Article link:

Review of oil cleanser from The Natural Cajun



Oil cleansing—have you heard of it? Have you tried it? A Mama who has been on my page for quite some time let me know that she had just launched her own business & accompanying website/FB page: The Natural Cajun, and asked if I’d ever tried oil cleansing. I had heard of it, but not tried it, so was very interested in it. I always enjoy trying new things as long as the ingredients are completely safe, which these certainly are. I was very pleased when I received her package to see that the product comes in a cobalt blue glass bottle, which screams quality product to me! I was also very happy that she sent 2 pages of info with it fully describing the ingredients & even their sources, and the info as to why oil cleansing is beneficial. Here’s some info from those sheets. Ingredients for the combo skin formula I was sent:
Avocado oil: Swanson foods Organic
Hemp Seed oil: Mountain Rose Herbs Organic
Olive oil: Bragg’s Organic Extra Virgin
Borage Seed Oil: Raw Gaia Organic
Hazelnut Oil: Mountain Rose Herbs Organic
Grapeseed Oil: Mountain Rose Herbs Organic
Sweet Almond Oil: Swanson Foods Organic

Directions: apply a teaspoon worth of oil (I use a cotton ball), place hot rag over face until no longer hot, wipe clean. My favorite part is definitely the hot rag treatment on the face! I find myself looking forward to it, it feels really, really good at the end the day! Also, it smells wonderful, with a slightly sweet but very mellow scent. I definitely see dirt on the cotton ball daily, which shows me it’s working to remove it. I have come to like this method of cleaning my face much more than using soap. It’s both super easy, and soothing- it’s really grown on me.  Of course it’s best to use it daily, but I usually do it every other day. I know many of you can relate to the evening chaos of bath & getting the kiddos ready for bed, I put my needs last of course, but am trying to get in the habit of doing this while my kids are in the bath. But even with every other day use, I feel my skin is very healthy right now. I have always had combo skin: my forehead & nose always have dry spots, while my neck & cheeks are oilier, and break out in pimples at times. Bailey told me to leave more oil on the dry parts (don’t wipe it away), and that definitely seems to be helping! My previously oily parts are doing much better than they have in a very long time! I love it! She makes one for dry, oily , acne, or combo skin.  They are $15 ($17 for acne blend) which includes shipping. The 4 oz bottle is a month’s worth of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

SO, how does it work?! Here’s some info from Bailey, including her personal testimonial: “Now to tell you why I love oil cleansing! I have always had mild skin issues. I am a nutrition counselor and despite my clean, omega 3 balanced diet, I still occasionally break out, or at least I did before I discovered this amazing method. The chemistry behind it is simple: like dissolves like. Your face is constantly producing oil (known as sebum). Even if you have dry skin, oil production continues. When you use harsh cleansers or even sensitive mild simple organic cleanser, your face is being stripped of its natural oils. The result can vary from complete skin chaos to barely noticeable. When you strip your skin of its sebum, no matter how little, it goes into overdrive to produce more resulting in breakouts, dry patches, and oiliness not good. I use different blends for different skin types, but each blend has this in common: astringent oil, nourishing oil, and moisturizing oil. After a few days of oil cleansing my face got the point. I was going to let it do its job, no need to hyper produce sebum and clog up my pores.”

Also, I greatly appreciated this info she passed along to me, showing me she’s very educated about the products she’s using: “ I also wanted to let you know that most oil cleansers, especially DIY ones, use castor oil.  I do not use castor oil because of the awful harvesting practices.  The workers are exposed to the toxic chemical “ricin” (which is completely removed when the oil is refined).  I can’t, in good conscience, use castor oil for this reason.”

I’m very grateful to Bailey for sending me a jar of this to sample, and plan to keep using it in the future.