June 30, 2011

Rusty, Corrugated Tin Makes Me Happy!

I'm so excited!  Remember when I posted about hubby and I gathering barn wood from my Great-Grandmothers barn that was partially fallen?  If not you can catch up here.

Basically the barn was falling and we wanted to gather some of the rare wormy chestnut wood to use for projects or possibly in our home we plan to build one day.

When we were there gathering the wood I saw all the rusty, corrugated tin roof lying everywhere.  But, we were told we couldn't get the tin.  It had been promised to someone else.

I have thought and thought about the tin ever since.  I found some very neat ideas online about how I wanted to use it in our home one day.  Like this:


(source)


(source)
SO, after a few weeks of driving by and seeing the tin just lying there and complaining about it to my parents, my mom talked my grandparents into letting us take it.  They said the folks they had promised it to had enough time to come get the tin and it meant more to us anyway.  Off we went!  Within an hour my parents met us at the barn to gather up the tin.  My mom took photos while we dug through the wood and carried stacks of it to my dads truck.

Beautiful! (Maybe only to me)


Trying to seek out tin while not getting a snake bite.


Hubby carrying the long pieces.


My dad and I loading up his truck.


Ha, ha, he's silly.



After about an hour of work, we had a LOT of tin as well as a few more pieces of wood loaded.  I'm SO glad that we have it.  Hopefully one day we can put it to good use.  I love the fact that we are saving part of my heritage and reusing it in our home.  My mom also has so many memories of playing in the barn as a child just, like as I did.  It's a very special place for all of us and we hate to lose the barn at all, at least now we will have some things to remember it by.







June 29, 2011

Winner of the Clean + Green, Pet Safe Cleaner Giveaway!

The winner of SeaYu's Clean & Green Pet Cleaner is (drum roll please.....)


# 9!  Ash!

Ash, please email me with your address information, including which type of Clean + Green Cleaner you would like to try.  

Thank's to everyone else who entered.  If you did not win, dont' feel bad.  There is still time to enter the two other awesome giveaways I have going on.    

Click here to enter the SodaStream giveaway or the WOW Baking Company giveaway.  Good luck!

June 27, 2011

Wow Baking Company = WOW

I received a very generous 12oz. "bakery tub" of Lemon Burst Cookies from WOW Baking Company, a wheat and gluten free bakery that uses all natural ingredients.  And, they never use hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, artificial flavors, and of course NO WHEAT or GLUTEN.

Their cookies are made in small batches to to insure that their cookies are always fresh, moist and delicious.  With ingredients like REAL butter, REAL vanilla, and organic cane juice who could ask for better ingredients for cookies?  Mmmmm...my mouth is watering just thinking about them (it is almost lunchtime).  ; )

Sorry, my flash made it hard to read the label.

My brother's wonderful girlfriend, Ashley (she is awesome and adorable you should go check out her blog) and my mother-in-law, Kathy both have wheat/gluten allergies.  It is hard to find deserts (or anything for that matter) that they can enjoy without worrying whether or not it contains gluten. It amazes me SO many products that include gluten you wouldn't expect.  Ashley has become a very resourceful cook making lots of great gluten free dishes.  But, I wanted to try and find something for her that she didn't have to slave over herself.  WOW Baking Company was perfect!

I took them over and Ashley and I tried them together.  (It was hard to not rip 'em open as soon as I received them.  I love anything lemon flavored.)

They were delicious!

My uncle Randall wanted his hand in the picture.

The Lemon Burst cookies were moist and yummy.  I would never guessed they were gluten free.  I don't have a problem with pretty much any cookie but, I love that these are organic and made from such healthy ingredients.  I really liked the perfect lemon taste.  I definitely want to try the brownies and, I am going to be ordering one of their cake mixes for my mother-in-law for her birthday.  I know she would love these cookies as well. 


Here is Ashley's take on the WOW Lemon Burst Cookies: "For gluten-free cookies, these were very good. They were really soft, unlike a lot of other brands that I have tried, and they had a good strong lemon flavor. I also loved that they were made with just a few organic ingredients.  

My only complaint would be that two out of the three types of flour used were rice flour, which tends to cause heart burn. I would have liked to see a better mix of gluten-free flour. Otherwise, they were great! And reasonably priced as well. I will definitely be ordering some of the chocolate chip cookies to try."

Ashley took the rest of the cookies home.   I felt bad keeping them since I can eat gluten and she doesn't often get yummy cookies.  You better love me.  ; )

The wonderful folks over at WOW Baking Company is giving away a gift basket of their delicious gluten free products to one lucky reader.  To enter, visit their website and leave me a comment telling me which of their gluten free products you would like to try!  

You can enter two separate comments if you are a follower!

The winner will be chosen via Random.org next Monday, July 4th! 

June 24, 2011

SodaStream is a Dream Come True!

I was recently given the chance to review a SodaStream.  I must say this remarkable product has literally changed my life.  We are a family of soda drinkers, well I admit it-soda addicts.  I must have my daily carbonated beverages or am a force to be reckoned with.

We received the SodaStream starter kit as well as LOTS of different flavor syrups to try out.
I admit, I was sceptical at first.  Could this little machine produce soda equivalent to the "must have" I was use to on a daily basis?  And, furthermore would it taste as good or, anywhere near the same?

The answer is YES!  You might have to play around (which is fun) because the names of their syrup flavors vary; but, when you find the one that is equivalent to 'your soda' it will be so close that i won't matter.  You will save so much time, money, and energy lugging soda from the grocery store and having fun making it at home.  The different is negligible.

I loved the SodaStream at first pump. ; ) The fact that it is an eco-friendly, sustainable product, healthier than regular soda, who could ask for anything more?  And, its sleek design takes up very little space.  It's half the size of our coffee pot.


So, lets get started with the easy directions, shall we?

Step 1:  Fill your container to the fill line with tap water:


Step 2:  Twist the top of the container onto the SodaStream.



Step 3:  Press down three times on the top of the SodaStream to carbonate your tap water.

This is my favorite part.  

Step 5:  Measure out a cap full of the syrup flavor of your choice and pour into the bottle.


They also have yummy flavors like these:


I recommend holding the bottle over the sink when pouring in the syrup.  I don't know if I i poured too fast or got happy with the carbonation button but, it spewed over a few times into the floor.


Step 6:  Screw the lid back on the top of the bottle and shake it lightly back and forth a few times to mix the soda. 

Finally..ta da!


You made your own soda!  Pour it over some ice and try it immediately.  Delish!  It has lower sugar than regular soft drinks and no added artificial flavors or preservatives.  The ingredients are all natural.  The nutritional info is amazing.  Check it out!  Half the calories and carbs of regular soft drinks without sacrificing flavor.

The great folks over at SodaStream is giving one lucky winner the Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-up Kit (approx. $100 retail value.) It includes the Fountain Jet, CO2 makes over 100 liters of soda, 2 reusable carbonating bottles, a sample pack of flavors, AND 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice. WOW!

To enter, leave me a comment stating which flavor of SodaStream's you would like to try.  You can also leave 2 additional (separate entries) if you are a follower. That's three entries if you are a follower!!

The winner will be drawn next Friday, July 1st! Good luck!

My Dad Has Developed His Own Language.

My parent's started with Blackberries a few years ago.  They soon became texting/app addicts.  It got to the point where we would have family gatherings and my little brother and I would have to tell my parent's to stop texting/talking on the phone's so we could "spend some quality time together".  It was pretty humorous.

My mom has since upgraded to an android phone.  She has become even more text savvy.  Now teaching me how to use my phone and new apps to download.

The mistake came when she helped my dad download an app for his Blackberry that would convert speech to text.  To say we all began getting strange messages would be an understatement.  We now have to try and decider his messages.  Some of which are impossible. 


Dad, aka Choppy

But, I will be at work, get a message from my dad and bust out in laughter.  Here are some samples of texts I have received from him:

Dad:  That's good will be calm Thursday my have to give it to when I get back on Sunday.
Dad:  Dentist this morning her win Tennessee.
Dad:  Going to Sumerville pick up some lumber go home go to Vegas.
Dad:  Are you doing ok we're getting ready to go Yoda Yoda Yoda
Dad:  W****** all the water coming from Tiffany!
Dad:  Have a good day!  Going to her Wayne in see the be nice today.
Dad:  Going to see a dentist dr baby I am. 
Dad:  Are you there do you think?
Dad:  W
Dad:  Are you okay I said about your work place in a moment.
Dad:  Are you a super is more I use a slurpee for will drive?
Dad:  Call the you p place find out trash new so, sleepy.


He had me at slurpee for will drive.  Someone needs to delete this app off his phone.  I'm not sure that he needs to be texting via speach.  He also text'd one of his coworkers that he loved him. My family and I get together and read our funny messages from him.  He sends them to everyone!  My mom and little brother have a lot more that are just as silly or more so than mine.  It is definitely come comic relief.  I must admit, he is much better when he uses his fingers like everyone else.  But he loves his app and we love him.  : )



P.S.  Don't forget to sign up for the Green & Clean Pet Products giveaway.  The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, June 29th.  And I have more AWESOME giveaways I will be posting about soon.  Stay tuned.  You won't want to miss them. : )


June 22, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen We have a Winner.....

The winner of the E.O. Products Hair Care Kit is..........

# 5--Mrs. Adventure! 

Congratulations!  Send me you're address so I can forward it to the great folks at E.O. Products.

June 21, 2011

Clean + Green by SeaYu

The wonderful folks over at SeaYu, including Quincy and her furry "6th child" Simon, sent me a package of their pet-safe Clean + Green Cleaning products.

We breed miniature dachshunds as well as have a German shepherd, needless to say, it is hard to keep the place clean.  I am always worried about using products that are harmful to our furry children.  I can't help but think if these prodcuts smell so strong that I get a headache, what are they doing to our dogs?

"CLEAN+GREEN® are natural pet stain + odor removers. Their line of eco-friendly, green cleaning products are made from organic and biodegradable ingredients and packaged so you can recycle the container - now you can clean green! For green pet cleaning, use effective, non toxic, organic home cleaning supplies and keep an environmentally friendly home - with pets."

Clean+Green offers a line of green home cleaning supplies for green carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal, green wood & tile floor cleaning, and green furniture cleaning for pet urine removal, pet stain removal and pet odor removal.


The products work on cat urine, dog urine, vomit, hairballs, bird droppings, and small animal urine. They eliminate odors and clean up any nasty mess your little pets can make.

We were able to try out their Furniture Refresher for Dogs, Wood and Tile Cleaner for Dogs and Concrete and Grout Cleaner for Dogs.

I immediately wanted to try out the Furniture Refresher.  This is Diesel's (german shepherd) couch.  We call it his because it typically stays coated in hair and is a little smelly.  I advise people who come over to sit on the other couch.  It also has a small stain.


I sprayed the couch with the fresher and waited a few minutes to let it do its thing.  Then I went over it with a microfiber cloth to remove any debris and try to remove the stain. 

Not only did it make it smell like new, it also removed the stain.  Hubby was impressed with the smell.  It also helped remove the dog hair.  As I was wiping with the cloth, the hair seemed to wipe right off!


Next came the Wood and Tile Cleaner. Our dachshunds are pretty reliable when it comes to using their indoor potty patch.  But, sometimes they are lazy about climbing all the way up on it.  SO, that leaves me with dog pee around the patch.  I usually use potty pads under the grass to help collect the extra and make it more sanitary and easier to clean. I cleaned the patch and then the area around it.

Not only did it easily remove all the dog pee, it left our floor a lot shinier. The scent is hardly noticeable, I'm sure it is much easier on our doggies noses. I couldn't be more pleased with the product.

Our final test was the concrete cleaner.  When dachshunds don't want to go out in the weather and do their business, guess where it happens?  That's right!  On our front porch which is untreated concrete.  We end up with this!

Unless hubby gets out the pressure washer, there's not a lot we can do about the stains they leave behind.  UNTIL NOW!  I sprayed the stains with the concrete and grout cleaner and let it soak in a few minutes. 

Then, I simply went back with a rag and wiped it off.  AHMAZING!


You can even see the little glittery white pieces of stone in the concrete. 
I want to spray my entire porch with this!


You can't get the true picture unless you were here to witness it, but I haven't seen our concrete this clean since last summer.  It removed everything!  And, I didn't even have to scrub.  The stain just kind of disappeared!  

I would recommend ANY of these products to pet owners.  They have special formulas for all different types of cleaning tasks and pets.

The great folks over at Clean + Green are offering up a FREE canister of your choice of their cleaners for you to try out!  Please check out their facebook or twitter sites for more information about SeaYu and Clean + Green. 

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment saying which of their products you want to try out!

The winner will be chosen next Tuesday, June 28th!  Good luck! 








June 20, 2011

Gardening is fun! Isn't it?

We have grown a garden for the past four years.  Each year our garden gets bigger and becomes more and more work.  Although I LOVE the fresh veggies, I don't love all the work that comes with it. 

Hubby and I have spent the last two months prepping the soil, planting, weeding, etc.  The last two weeks all we have had is rain and hail storms.  Currently, this is our garden.  Its completely flooded.  All our plants are sitting in water and getting eaten alive by bugs.

Our three rows of corn.  One is Indian Corn which we have never grown before.


Our tomato plants after sprinkling them with organic bug repellent.


Our cucumber plants, looking hopeful.


The lettuce plants are in the best location, aka not living in a pond.  I also planted marigolds around them, supposedly they keep the critters away.


Our garden from the other side, still sitting in water. 

I didn't ever think I would pray for a week or so without rain, but I am totally hoping for that.  We have green beans, pepper, potatoes, eggplants, watermelon, okra, onions, etc that are drowning!  And, to beat it all the forecast is for RAIN everyday this week.  Errrrrrr!   I'm wondering if it is more cost effective to purchase our veggies from the local farmers market rather than put in all this work and have terrible results. : (  Pray for a drought for us.  At least for 2-3 days.

Also, sad news...our little bird we tried to rescue has passed on.  He lived through the night and most of the the next day.  I made him a perch with a small limb and he sat on it happily for a few hours.  Then I saw him lying in the bottom of the cage.  Shortly after he stopped breathing.  It was sad.  Hubby had to bury him.  : (


P.S.  Today is our 13th anniversary!!   (Yes, we got married YOUNG!)

June 17, 2011

Wren are you going to feel better?

I'm in the house talking to my little brother and meeting his new puppy Flynn when all of a sudden my cell phone rings.  It was my husband.  He said:  "Get out here! I'm in the backyard and we have a bird problem."  I was like...bird problem? What the heck are you talking about?  Hubby: "Just get out here!"

So, we head outside to see what all the commotion is about and I see this:


Daniel had a bird on his foot.  Apparently our dachshunds had somehow found a little bird and they were running circles around it barking at it and pulling at its feathers.  Daniel saw them running around barking and went to see what was causing all the commotion.  The little bird immediately jumped up on his foot.  That's when I got the "come outside now" phone call.



He then walked all the way to our house (about 30 yards) with the little bird sitting on his foot.  We weren't sure what to do, and of course we don't have a birdcage.  We couldn't let the dogs kill it; so we did what any reasonable people would do.  We put it in a dog crate.



I gave him/her some water in a bowl and a little towel to sleep in as well as a bowl with bread and cracker crumbs (hey, we were all out of worms).  When I checked on him last night he was sitting in his water bowl like it was a bird bath.  I'm guessing his butt hurt from having the feathers pulled out.


I've never been much of  a bird person but we couldn't let the little guy get mauled by an angry pack of wild doxies.  Especially since he just sort of looked at Daniel as his knight in shining armor.  So he is currently resting on our back porch in the dog crate.  If anyone has any ideas of how we can care for him or what kind of bird he is, etc.  Please feel free to let me know.  Believe me, I want him better ASAP so we can turn him loose.  I am too busy to be taking care of a bird.  But he is kind of cute.  





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June 15, 2011

E.O. Hair Care Products and Giveaway!

I was sooo excited to have the opportunity to try out E.O. Hair Care Products from E.O. Products.

E.O. Products is a family owned and operated company who is a Certified Organic Manufacturer of personal care products using the highest grade natural and certified organic ingredients. They create products that are natural, gentle, effective and free from animal testing.  Focusing on essential oils with no additives.

E.O. says: "It is our mission and our privilege to develop our own innovative and efficacious formulas, source our natural ingredients, manufacture, and find the most environmentally friendly packaging to fill and ship each and every EO® product"  Not only do they care about the planet, their customers, their family, but they also give back to lots of other organizations.  I am so impressed with their company and products.

I waited, not so patiently for my bottle of shampoo and conditioner to arrive in the mail.  Finally, after (a few days) what seemed like forever, I receive a package from E.O.

After tearing into it I found this!!


A Hair Care Kit!  I was just expecting shampoo!


And, it was nicely packaged in with their "EarthAware" Recycled Fillers.


Score!  I immediately started browsing through all the wonderful items they sent me.

The kit included:
  • 3 packages (shampoo/conditioner) of Rose Geranium-My ultimate favorite)
  • 1 package French Lavender (shampoo/conditioner)
  • 1 bottle of Wild Lime and Ginger Shampoo and one conditioner
  • 1 bottle of Rosemary and Cedar wood Deep Conditioning Treatment
  • 1 bottle of Wild Rose and Coconut Serum
  • 1 bottle of French Lavender Detangling Spray
  • 1 jar of Coconut and Vanilla Tame Curl Control Gel
  • 1 jar of Lavender and Coconut Nourishing Hair Cream
Needless to say I couldn't wait to get started using their products.  So, here are a few before and after photos of my rats nest like hair.  I have pretty thick, naturally curly (frizzy) hair.  I typically either use gel and let it air dry or mainly flat iron it everyday.  Plus I desperately need a cut, so my ends are terrible.  But..here goes:


This is me, after a long day at work and some chores.

I decided to go with the Rose Geranium shampoo/conditioner and try out the Wild Rose and Coconut Serum.  While I was showering the whole roomed filled with the wonderful scent of the shampoo/conditioner.  Sometimes I have issues with Shampoo's that don't lather.  There was no problem with this.  It was amazing!  The conditioner was just the same.  AMAZING scent and left my hair feeling so soft and silky.  The whole time I was showering I felt as if I had been whisked away to some luxurious spa...it was heavenly.  

After washing with the Rose Geranium Shampoo/Conditioner I put a few drops of the Rose & Coconut Serum.  It was more like an oil, but really helped my dry ends.



I couldn't wait to try out the rest of their products.

I've tried using the curling gel to help tame frizz, and using the straightening iron less. I still have some frizz but I'm blaming a lot of it on the weather here.  We've had lots of rain which makes my hair frizz up like a Pomeranian.

This is just using a small amount of the curling gel.  It would probably look better if I had used more but I'm being stingy with it because I want it to last FOREVER.

As a matter of fact, I have already ordered a full size shampoo/conditioner in the Rose Geranium as well as the body wash and lotion.  If it smells as amazing as the shampoo I'm going to have my own little spa bliss at home.  : )


Before


After (and this is with no flat ironing or anything!)

I can honestly say that I am a huge believer in EO Products now.  I can't wait until my shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash arrive.  I am sold on their essential oils and wonderful scents.  And, one lucky reader will get to be in the same hair heaven that I have been in. E.O. Products is so generous they are offering to send a reader the same hair kit to try out.  Please don't judge based solely on my photos.  My hair has improved more and more over the past week as I continue to use their products.

SO..if you want to win this wonderful kit, all you need to do is, "like" E.O. Products on Facebook.  You can leave one comment saying that you "liked" them, AND you can leave another comment for a second entry if you are a follower or RSS Subscriber of this blog!  That's two big entries per person.  

I will draw the winner via Random.org next Wednesday, June 22nd.  Good luck!  




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