July 7, 2017

Aroma Foundry Essential Oils

Aroma Foundry asked me to review their essential oils and boy am I glad I did.  I always loved essential oils but used them rarely.  Now, I can't wait to use them everyday.  And, I'm finding more and more ways to use them and using less chemicals to clean or scent my home.

Aroma Foundry is an excellent source essential oils.  They have 100% pure and natural essential oils, hand bottled in California, that are made from the best sources in the world. "Their Mission is to offer consistent oils with tested and verified purity you can trust, sourced from locations where the ingredients grow best. They created packaging that'll make you feel like you're opening a gift each time you receive a bottle." And boy have they! I love that the boxes were so special and informational. They told me the batch number in which the bottle was made, the country of origin of the ingredients, etc. They even come with a little Aroma Foundry sticker. How cool is that?!?
The cute little stickers that come in each box.
I had no idea the worlds best Bergamot was from The Netherlands!
Now lets get to the scents. I was astonished at how strong they were.  Bottled in the cute little cobalt bottles to block any light that may damage the oils and preserve the scent.  I tried Bergmont, Ylang Ylang, Spearmint and Lavender.  They were all AHHMAZING!  I don't think the other oils I have bought in the past smelled anything like what they were actually suppose to.  My favorite *I think* was the Bergamot. It is very fresh and wonderful.  I also loved the Ylang Ylang.  Who am I kidding...I loved them all.

I've been using dryer balls in my dryer to help dry my laundry faster and with less wrinkles, etc.  After receiving the essential oils from Aroma Foundry, I began adding a few drops of Lavender to my dryer balls.  It scents my clothes, sheets, towels whatever, much better than dryer sheets or fabric softnener.  Plus, I can feel good about using them because it doesn't contain liquid glass aka (silicants).
I sometimes add the drops at the end of the drying cycle to retain a stronger scent.

I used the Spearmint to make my own household cleaner. Just take plain white vinegar, mix it 1:3 with water and add about 5-10 drops of any Aroma Foundry essential oil...viola! Cleaner that smells great, works well and is safe to use around your family and pets.  I also want to try making my own fabric or room freshening spray.

Next, add a few drops to your toilet paper or paper towel roll to help keep your kitchen and bathroom smelling fresh.
Also, you can add them to a small container, like a small glass jar or metal tin with some baking soda or just on an old cloth.  Place it under the seat of your car and you have a great air freshener that will last longer than those little trees. Having my SUV smell of Ylang Ylang is a blessing each time I get in. Its much better than that- old car smell.

Finally, just add some to an essential oil diffuser if you have one.  I had to purchase one after I fell in love with these oils. It makes my entire home smell amazing. I've been using the lavender which helps me relax after a long day or, the Ylang Ylang when I just want a nice pleasant scent.
My cute little room diffuser. It has a fan so it blows the smell around really well.

I know I must sound like an advertisement but, I honestly love these essential oils.  They can do so much for our health and well being! Clear up skin problems, help with headaches, colds, etc. Not to mention using them instead of cancer causing chemicals is much safer for everyone.  I love Aroma Foundry for taking such pride in their oils and producing products we can trust.  I will be using their essential oils for years to come.  I can't wait to try some of their other oils such as the Lemon, Tangerine and Cedarwood.

The super great folks at Aroma Foundry are going to give one of you lucky readers a $25 gift code to try out their oils! To enter the giveaway, visit their website and tell me which of their wonderful essential oil you would most like to try.  The winner will be chosen via Random.org on July 28th.  Good luck!

July 5, 2017

Winner of the Infinity Jars Giveaway!

I'm so sorry I did not get this posted yesterday.  Its been crazy around my house with the Fourth and we have a new addition which I will tell you more about later.  Also, we have a new litter of puppies that the mother is not feeding.  So I'm doing that for her...

Anyway, the winner of the Infinity Jars giveaway is:

#3 Ashley Blankenship!!

Sorry for the crappy picture.  I had to use the free version of Random.org for the drawing and it would only rank the number of comments. 

Congratulations Ashley!  Email me with your contact information and I will have the great folks at Infinity Jars send over your gift coupon code.

Thanks to everyone else for commenting.  I will be posting another review/giveaway tomorrow. So please come back and try again.

June 21, 2017

Infinity Jars-Review and Giveaway

I was given the opportunity to do a product review for an amazing company called Infinity Jars.  I had never heard of them but after perusing their website I was very eager to try out their jars.

Infinity Jars are ultraviolet storage jars which claim to "slow down the decaying process of organic matter while maintaining the freshness of whatever you put inside".  Their pigmented jars block harmful light rays and come with screw on glass lids which block odors and make them airtight.

As you can see, very little light passes through even when held right under to a fluorescent light.

I like to preserve everything. Fruits and veggies, herbs, seeds, nuts, you name it.  I wanted to put these jars to the test.  So, I decided to test them with something I knew couldn't last too long in a jar.  Especially since I didn't want to spend a year waiting to see if my chia seeds went stale.

I decided to see just how long these jars would keep red raspberries fresh.  I put one batch of raspberries in a standard glass mason jar with a standard metal lid and ring.  I put the other bunch in a screw top Infinity Jar (500 ml)

Fresh berries ready to go in the jars.

Both jars packed with berries and ready for the fridge.

I went back and checked the berries in each jar after 1 week.  I was fairly surprised with the results. I thought they were probably beginning to go bad. The berries in the mason jar were getting mushy, overly juicy and starting to sour.  The berries in the Infinity Jar, well, they looked just as good as the day I put them in the jar. Firm, sweet and perfect.

The berries in the mason jar were going downhill fast.

I put the berries back in their respective jars, placed them back in the fridge and waited...another week. 

The following week I did the same test.  Poured them out onto a paper towel to see just what changes had occurred with the berries. I immediately noticed juice in the bottom of the mason jar. Of course I couldn't see the bottom of the Infinity Jar so I turned it upside down to see if any juice ran out- It didn't. The berries in the mason jar were all mushy, rotting, molding and definitely smelling.  Time to throw them out. They were not going back in the fridge. The berries in the Infinity Jar....still perfect.  UNBELIEVABLE!  Never have I had red raspberries for two weeks! Those things are usually beginning to mold at the store!

No question which jar is doing a better job preserving the fruit.
The berries from the Infinity Jar are virtually the same as they were two weeks prior.

I am amazed at the results.  I tested blackberries with this same method he blackberries lasted over 6 weeks! They probably would have kept going if I hadn't made a cobbler. Same with the raspberries. Who knows how long I could have kept them fresh.  I'm guessing another two weeks at least.

I am so happy with my Infinity Jars I will be purchasing more.  I currently have my chia seeds in one and pecans in another. Two items are so pricey these days I want to keep them as fresh as possible.  If I bring home more berries I'm sure I know where I'll be keeping them.

The great folks at Infinity Jars are so generous they are going to also give one lucky reader the chance to try out their jars! You can win a $30 gift coupon code to get your choice of products from Infinity Jars.  They not only have the great jars like I chose, but apothecary jars, jars for oils, makeup and more! I can hardly decide which to get next. Not to mention they just look great sitting out on your countertop.

To enter the giveaway, you must sign up to follow my blog. AND, leave a comment.  The winner will be drawn  Tuesday, July 4th.  Good luck!

June 13, 2017

Goodbye Old Friend.

Last week I lost a dear friend that I've had for many years.  It is with a sad heart I say goodbye to..
my washing machine...
That's right, were "those people with the washer in their yard."
(But only for a few days, seriously)

Its been a great washing machine and I've been holding out on buying a new- bigger, quieter, more effiecient, HE machine for some time now.  But when your washing machine starts sounding like you have an ATV running in your basement, its time to let go.  And I don't mean on-Let Go because no one wants this one.

So, after some craigslisting and visits to some different sites, we made it easy on ourselves and just purchased on at our local Lowes store on sale.  I save a whopping $220 on my new Maytag! So of course I don't plan on needing a repair man, ever.

The control station

It has some pretty cool features such as the Affresh-self cleaning mode.  It also has a bulky setting for bedding and sheets.  You guys may all be saying to yourselves, so what? But hey, my old machine was made in the 80's so I feel fortunate it had a wash in hot or cold option.

Look mom!  No agitator! This thing is almost big enough for me to fit in!

Maytag, you had me at 4.3 cubic feet.  I think it has twice as much space as my old machine.  Not to mention its super quiet and my clothes have been really clean.  Who could ask for more?  I had a huge frontloader for many years before I went back to the old, small top loader.  I was not impressed with the frontloader who could wash 16 pairs of jeans.  You could fit them all in there but they did not seem to get very clean.

It has a nifty little pull out drawer for the detergent and softener.

The new washer with my kinda-new dryer.

Just last year I lost my dryer and we bought this Speed Queen gas dryer which to this day is my favorite appliance.  It dries a load of clothes in 20-30 minutes where as my old electric model took over 45. And its so energy efficient.  Before we had it connected to our gas system my husband put it on a grill bottle and I dried 35 loads of clothes.  The grill bottle wasn't even full.  It is amazing.

I am SO happy with my new washer and my Speed Queen dryer that I had to do an entire post about them.  I didn't even get it for free or, get any sort of kick backs from either company. 

I did however get to test a new product in my dryer that I will be doing a review on next week and you might get to try it out for free too!  So stay tuned and enter my the giveaway coming up soon.  I promise the post will be much more entertaining that this one. 

June 6, 2017

Refinishing Hard Wood Floors-the easy way.

For the past year or so our hardwood floors have been looking pretty bad. First I noticed they were really dull, then they seemed to take forever to dry after I'd mop them.  They desperately needed some TLC not to mention polyurethane.

Since they are there for me everyday, I decided to take matters into my own hands and give them a little love.  In the form of Minwax Polyurethane.

This stuff is amazing and really does dry in 4 hours.

I would have had a LOT of before pictures however, early last week my phone died and I was not able to resuscitate. Apparently it had a living will through US Cellular.  I was forced to move on earlier than I was prepared from my Samsung S6 to a new Samsung S8+.

So, I do not have any pictures of my hideous hallway before I began or, while I was sanding.
Step 1: Sand your floors.  It doesn't have to be a huge sander you rent from the hardware store.  I used my little DeWalt hand sander and some small squares of sandpaper.  You really just want to rough up the floors and remove any spots of paint or stains you don't want around anymore.  I went over my hallway pretty quickly.  The entire sanding process took me about 15 minutes.  Of course the constant barking of Gemma (the black and white piebald dachshund) made me rush the process.

Step 2: Sweep/Vacuum up your dust and debris from the sanding.

Step 3: Go over your floors with a lightly damp mop or rag to make sure you have all removed all the dirt and dust particles.  Let the floor dry completely.

Step 4: Apply a thin coat of polyurethane.
Make sure you use an applicator designed for polyurethane. 
Brushes and rollers tend to apply it too thick. I should have used a longer handle, but its all I could find and my hallway is very small.

I could immediately tell a big difference. That's what I love:
Instant gratification. : )

Step 5: Let them dry and enjoy your newly refinished floors.

Gemma seems pretty pleased with the results. 
She thinks she helped.
Shiny and beautiful!  And this was after they were dry!

If your floors are in really bad shape, you may want to re-sand after your first coat dries and apply a second coat. Just lightly sand your first coat and apply another very thin coat.  It will make them more durable in the long run.  I would have done this but did not have time to let another coat dry before we had to walk on them again.

Now on to the living room! Too bad I couldn't do all the floors in one day but because live here, its one area at a time. Oh well, slow and steady win the race, right??

Good luck and happy sanding!

May 17, 2017

Time Flies!

I can't believe how long I've neglected my poor blog.  I guess that's what happens when your life undergoes a few major changes.

Over the past two years there have been some things that have pulled me away from blogging and other things I love but haven't had much time for.  I've been missing all the projects and product reviews and just plain ole' rambling about my life. So, I've decided to try and pick up where I left off.

I thought I'd give you a short and sweet rundown on my past two years and then I'll give you a preview of some upcoming projects and reviews/giveaways I'm working on.

The biggest change that's happened in the past two years has been my career.  I went from working in a fundraising office with programs and computers to working with my husband in construction with power tools.  He's always been a plumber but, I jumped in and now we're partners in more way than one.  Working together has been the best! We get along great and have a lot of fun.  We love meeting people and helping people.  I've learned so much from him in a short amount of time.  He is a great teacher and mentor.  I'm lucky to be married to such a wonderfully patient man. Because we make such a great team, our business has thrived.  I will most likely be telling you about some of the projects we are working on or about some of the awesome new tools I'm learning to use.

Me, trying to crimp some pex pipe for a water heater supply.

Daniel acting silly while cutting out some old cast iron pipe.

My next update isn't so exciting. It's tragic. I lost one of my best friends.  I'm referring to Diesel, my German Shepherd.  I posted about Diesel's battle with the brown recluse spider among other things.  He was the best dog I ever had.  Smarter than a lot of people I know.  I miss him dearly. Rest in peace fuzzy puppy.

I had blue hair (and purple, green, etc).  Yeah, I know, so does everyone now.  But, mine was blue long before it was popular.  I like to tease my husband and my hairdresser who thought I was crazy at the time, that I started this hair color craze that's taken over the nation.

I had a miscarriage, make that two.  I found out I was pregnant after 18 years of marriage.  So we were ecstatic. Then, 6 weeks in, I had a miscarriage.  Since we had already given up on ever having kids, we thought we might as well try again! I got pregnant on our very first attempt.  Hooray!! But, then, 8 weeks in, another miscarriage.  So, for now, baby making plans are on hold. We're happy to know that we can get pregnant but, not ready to go through another miscarriage just yet. 

So, we added to our family a new dachshund, pictured above and below, her name is Gemma.  She is a terror and an angel in one.  I absolutely love her.  She has been a great addition to our family and helped a lot when we lost Diesel.  She is by my side every step I make and she always wants to help or should I say-be in charge- no matter what were doing.

Gemma in her new pink coat she got for Christmas.
Its been a fabulous but trying couple of years. I'm happy to be back to blogging and doing some fun DIY projects.  A few of the things I've got coming up are :how to make your own DIY wooden baby gate, a product review and giveaway of Infinity Jars and , much more.  So stay tuned, I'll be back soon!