Thursday, January 31, 2013

Product Review - AND ~ A Giveaway!

Have you ever used a product and been so impressed with it that you wanted to tell everyone you know about it?  You feel like a walking commercial when you do that!  But when a product really works, and leaves you feeling happy and satisfied, you want to share that with your friends and loved ones! 
This is how I have felt since I started using Shaklee's Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate.  I have been telling my mom, my friends, my online friends... just about everyone I know about how good it works!  They probably think I'm a little crazy... I mean, who gets excited about a household cleaner?
Well, first of all I ordered it because I am interested in using products that are less toxic and less dangerous around kids and pets.  Have you read the warning labels and ingredient labels on some of your store-bought cleaners?  I have, and they give me chills.  As a mother of three children and also the owner of a cat who is very much a part of our family... when I heard there was something out there that was safer and more natural, I was excited to make the switch!
The thing is, I just wasn't expecting it to actually CLEAN as well as it does!
First impression;
I read the directions.  "Mix 1/4 of a teaspoon with 16 oz of water in a spray bottle."  I looked at the spray bottle, measured out 1/4 of a teaspoon, and thought... "surely this isn't going to be enough!"  A fourth of a teaspoon seems so small!  I shrugged... if I needed to add more, I would add more.  I started cleaning.... and then I started to really get excited!  Dirt was coming off of surfaces in my home that I thought it would never come off of!  Things were coming clean with just a couple gentle wipes, that normally would have taken some extra scrubbing.  There is virtually no smell... in no time my kitchen was sparkling but there was no chemical smell in the air!  Get this; as I was cleaning my kids came in.  I said, "Watch this!" and sprayed some on the refrigerator and we watched it start to come clean right before our eyes.  My kids got excited and wanted to take turns using the spray bottle to clean off walls and counter tops!  I am not making this up, this stuff made my kids WANT to clean!  And as a bonus I wasn't worried about my son -who has asthma - while he was using the product... no coughing or wheezing occurred which sometimes happens when he is around the fumes of the harsh chemical products.
Since then I have been using the Basic H2 all over my house... to clean walls, counter tops, windows, floors... it really is possible to use on everything!  I have been looking at my house in a whole new way, instead of looking at some things as "terminally dirty", I now look at them and think; "I bet the Basic H2 can take care of that!"  And I haven't even used an 8th of my bottle yet!  Since it's so highly concentrated, a little bit goes a long way!  I have been able to throw away various bottles of toxic cleaners under my sink and now just have one product for cleaning around the house.  Good-bye Pine-Sol, Windex, and Mr. Clean!  Hello Shaklee!
Here's the exciting news!  I am so happy with this product, I want to share it with you!  I want others to have a chance to experience what I have!  You can't buy Shaklee products in the store... you have to buy them from a distributor.  Shaklee has some other great cleaning products... from laundry detergent to dishwasher detergent.  I would be happy to tell you more!  Shaklee also has nutritional supplements for adults and children, weigh loss products, and beauty products... all natural, all designed to be safe for you, safe for your home, safe for your family!  When you sign up for a Shaklee Membership, (less than $20) you get a discount on all their products, and you get an inside look at everything they have to offer.
I am going to give away one free bottle of Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate!  A $12.15 value... one bottle of concentrate makes 48 gallons of household cleaner!  Everyone who signs up the be a member or distributor in the month of February will have their name entered in a drawing!  At the end of February, I will draw one lucky winner to receive the free bottle of Basic H2!  And you will already be a winner when you sign up for membership because you will be giving yourself access to all of Shaklee's other great products!
If you are interested, or would just like more information, please e-mail me at with "Shaklee" in the subject line.  I will be happy to answer any of your questions, and tell you more about Shaklee products and opportunities!

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Last week I started reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher.  It's the first book in a series called The Dresden Files.
"Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed."

So far I am REALLY enjoying this book!  It is action packed... just when you think Harry Dresden might catch a break, he finds himself in bad situations again.  Like being threatened by a mob boss, hit on the head with a baseball bat, or attacked by a demon.  He's just trying to earn a paycheck to pay his rent by helping the police solve a double homicide, but of course this puts him in all kinds of danger.  The best part of the book is Harry's narrative.  Despite being a powerful wizard, he is pretty down-to-earth, and reacts to his changing situations in a realistic and human way... his character is very believable and you can't help but relate to him and root for him. 

How is it that I didn't even know this book series existed until now?  There are 13 books in the series, so I know I will have plenty to read!  Thanks to my friend Amanda who suggested this book for me!

What are YOU reading?  I want to know!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

D.I.Y. Laundry Essentials!

Recently a friend shared with me this great blog post with some wonderful DIY, Home-made laundry essentials!  I have already been making my own laundry soap for about 2 years now, but I thought this post had some great tips and I wanted to pass it on!
Top 3 DIY Lavender Laundry Essentials!

So check it out!  Today I had a "Laundry Day"... I washed some laundry, made the Lavender Scented Dryer balls as mentioned in the other blog, also made the Lavender Scented Fabric Softener!  I was already using Vinegar as a fabric softener but I loved the idea of making it scented!  Then I washed some more laundry because I had to try out my new products!  I must say I Love the Fabric Softener and Dryer Balls!  Thanks so much, Camp Wander!!

I went ahead and made another batch of laundry soap, since I was almost out.  I make a liquid soap version vs. the powdered version mentioned at the other blog, but the ingredients are pretty much the same!
  Here is what I do;

1/2 Cup Borax Powder
1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 bar of Pink Zote Soap
* 4 scoops of Oxi-Clean (using the scoop provided in the container... looks like it is also about 1/2 cup)
A cheese grater
a 5 gallon bucket to mix everything in
a medium sized pot for the stove

Grate the 1/2 bar of Zote soap with a cheese grater.  You don't have to use the Pink kind, the plain white bar works fine too.  You can also substitute Fels-Naptha soap.  These can both be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients... the Borax, Washing Soda, and optionally the powdered Oxy-Clean (Oxygenated Bleach).  Set this aside.

On the stove, bring the medium saucepan filled with water to just below boiling.  Turn the temp down to medium, medium low to keep it warm.  Slowly add in the grated Zote soap while stirring, you want it to melt evenly and avoid clumps and I find it works best if you just sprinkle a little at a time into the hot water while stirring.

In the 5 gallon bucket, fill it half way with warm water and add the dry mixture of Borax, Washing Soda, and Oxy-Clean.  Mix until all the dry ingredients are dissolved.  Slowly pour in the melted pink Zote & water mixture from the pan you had on the stove.  Mix well.  Add more water until the bucket is full, mixing well. 

Cover the bucket with Plastic Wrap, set it aside somewhere safe and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  It will thicken and become more gel-like.  Mix again, and then you can add it to empty bottles to be used for laundry!  I used empty bottles from store-bought detergent I had bought before, because they have the lid for measuring and store easily.  Hard to believe that I have been using those same bottles for nearly 2 years, just refilling them with my own home-made soap!

For washing I use 1 cap full of detergent for small loads and 2 cap fulls of detergent for large loads.  I sometimes add more Oxy-Clean if the clothes are particularly stained, or for my work shirts which need to be very white!  Adding 1/2 cup of plain white vinegar to the water at the rinse cycle really helps soften the clothes and leaves them deodorized.  Check out that blog post above to learn how to make the scented version of this fabric softener!

After making my Dryer Balls, my Laundry Soap, and the Fabric Softener, I decided I needed to clean my laundry room, because these great products need a nice cozy place to live, right?  I swept, mopped, and wiped down all the surfaces in my laundry room (top of washer & dryer, and top of the water heater)  Now I have lots of lavender-scented clean laundry to fold and put away, but that doesn't sound too terrible!  I am gonna sit down in front of the TV and start folding!  Sounds like a great way to wind down from my busy day!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My 3-Day Detox!

Hello friends!  I know it's been awhile since I have blogged here, and I hope to remedy that!  I hope you are all doing well and that 2013 has been amazing for you so far!  It's been pretty fantastic for me so far!

I wanted to tell you about something I did this last week!  I did a 3 day detox to help remove toxins from my bodies.  I was thinking a lot about how the sugars, processed foods, etc have lots of added stuff we don't need, and how our bodies sometimes need help getting rid of those toxins!  The best way to get those toxins out of your body is to avoid the source of those toxins! 

For THREE Days I had; No Meat, No Dairy*, No Sugars, No Processed Foods, No Coffee!  I did this to give my body a chance to cleanse itself, sort of a Re-Boot of my system!  I recently started taking a new vitamin supplement; VitaLea from Shaklee.   I was also using Shaklee's Energizing Soy Protein Powder added into smoothies every day before work. Within 6 days of taking these I was already noticing a huge difference in the way I felt!  More sustained energy, better mood, less fatigue, less body aches, and the bronchitis I had been fighting off since Christmas finally went away!  This was great, but I figured if I felt this good now, how much better would I feel if I detoxed my body of all this other junk and really gave my body the ability to fully absorb some of these great nutrients I was giving it!  So I decided to do a 3 Day Detox and give my body the Re-Boot it really needed!

For Day 1, I started with Shank Prakshalana.  This is an ancient Yoga method for clearing out the bowels, intestines, and colon.  It's basically a salt-water cleanse in which you drink salted water and then do a series of yoga moves to open the intestines and get the water flowing through your system.  It's not very glamorous, and I won't go into too much detail here... but the point is you remove a lot of the "stuff" that gets stuck in all the twists and turns of the intestines and lines the inside of the colon.  There are many health benefits to doing Shank Prakshalana, and I highly suggest you research it and learn as much about it as you can before you give it a try!  Learn more HERE, and Here, and HeRe. :)

After the Shank Prakshalana I ate a bowl of cooked rice with butter.  It's necessary to eat something solid, yet easy on the system, and suggested to have something buttery to help lubricate the intestinal walls.  But you want to stick with something very plain... nothing spicy or overly flavored, and nothing too hard to digest. 

For awhile after eating my rice I just sipped some water with lime slices and mint leaves added in.  I made sure to drink plenty of water the rest of the day and through my whole 3 day detox. 

Later on that day, I made a smoothie.  I made it with Blueberries, Almond Milk, Plain Organic Yogurt, and My Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein Powder.  *(the plain organic yogurt is the only dairy, other than some butter in my rice, that I had for this whole 3-day detox.) With this I took my daily multivitamins, and then some more water.  I continued to sip on water all day. 

At dinner time I had another bowl of rice with butter, but I also added in some fresh baby spinach.  More water before bed!

Day 2, for breakfast I made myself a nice cup of hot green tea with some organic honey, and a bowl of plain oatmeal.  Usually I have coffee with lots of flavored creamer, and if I have oatmeal I usually add milk and sugar or use the pre-flavored sweetened kind.

A little before lunch time I made a juice with my juicer - I used 2 grapefruits, a large cucumber, and about 3 big handfuls of baby spinach.  It was delicious!

For Lunch I had another smoothie, the same as on Day 1.

For Dinner I had more rice with butter, and with cooked baby spinach and carrots added in.

All day long I drank LOTS of water!

For Day 3, I had my Green Tea, no honey added.  I didn't have any oatmeal or anything else to eat.  Surprisingly, I just wasn't feeling hungry yet. 
About an hour after I got up, I made another juice in my juicer; Grapefruit, Spinach, cucumber, and beet. YUM!

For lunch I made my smoothie again, but this time I added spinach to the blender!  2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, lots of blueberries, plain organic yogurt, and Almond Milk, the soy protein powder.  I had never added spinach to my smoothie before... it was only something I had used in my juicer!  A friend had suggested it and I have to say... it was fabulous!  My smoothie didn't taste like spinach, I could only really taste the blueberries!  The texture wasn't awful either... in fact I think the spinach made it MORE creamy!

Later on I made a simple Apple-Carrot-Ginger juice in my juicer for a bit of a "snack"... didn't need much because I wasn't starving! 

For dinner I had tomato soup.  This was the only store-bought pre-packaged food I had eaten, but it was a Healthy Choice brand chunky tomato soup, so I didn't feel like I was "cheating".  Plus, I was all out of rice and spinach!  Of course all day I drank lots of water, and had more water with dinner and before bed.

And that was it!  After that I on the 4th day I allowed myself to eat & drink whatever I wanted.  Honestly I wasn't craving too much... I wanted more fruits and vegetables!  My body wanted more of the good stuff I had been feeding it for 3 days!  I did have a coffee this morning, but with soy milk instead of cream.  I was happy to realize I was having this coffee because I WANTED it, not because I needed it to wake up.  I felt awake in the morning without having coffee first!  And, I realized... I made it through 3 days of no coffee without getting a headache or a migraine!  Could this mean I have kicked my caffeine addiction??
I'm also drinking more water.  Spending 3 days paying Really Close Attention to what I put in my body made me realize I haven't been drinking enough water and it also got me used to drinking water again.  Now if I don't have a water bottle right next to me, I feel lost! 
It wasn't all easy!  Day 1 was rough because Shank Prakshalana is not easy on the system and requires some rest afterwards... I got the rest but felt rather cranky and discouraged by the end of the day.  But I stuck with it and in the morning I felt a lot better!  Day 2 was pretty easy.  Day 3 was pretty easy too, although I started seeing things I wanted to eat in my pantry and really had to fight off the urge a few times.  Because I knew it wasn't something my body needed, just something I craved due to old eating habits!

So this has been a really long blog post, but I had to share that I am feeling GREAT!  I think I gave my body a great advantage by letting it go for 3 days without a lot of junk!  I spent a lot of time thinking about the food choices I make and am ready to continue to make better healthy choices.  And I know I will continue to feel better with the Shaklee supplements I am now taking.

If you want to know more about Shaklee, please fill out the form HERE or watch the links on that page under the form.  I am excited and more than happy to share with you these great products!