Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Amber Spray Bottles + Recipe for the BEST Mosquito Repellant EVER!

When I lived in Panama I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. Even after being back stateside for 6 months, the scars on my arms are still very visible, making me feel very self conscious.

And since I finally found an AWESOME natural way to prevent mosquitoes from biting me all over, I wanted to share.

I want to tell you what I have tried that didn't really work:

1. Citronella spray and wipes (they smell gross, I hate this smell!)
2. doTERRA's Terrashield -- this may work in places that get only 3 mosquitoes, but it was a very costly item and did NOT work at all in Panama. Very disappointing.
3. DEET insect repellant. This worked better than the above two items I used, but at what health cost? DEET is very dangerous to our health and so it should only be used as a last resort.

 Then I found some information about catnip, and how it repels mosquitoes 10x better than DEET!

From this article in Science Daily, it says:
  Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.
So, I got these amber bottles from firefly crafts on Amazon. They are awesome, including UV protection for light sensitive ingredients like essential oils. And I made my homemade bug spray and used these bottles.


1 Spray Bottle (get them here)
100 drops Insect Shield Synergy Blend
25 drops Catnip Essential Oil
8 oz Witch Hazel
8 oz Water

Mix all ingredients in the spray bottle and put the lid on.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Paper Flower Pom Review

I got these flower poms to review and thought they would be great for my sister's baby shower. They are large, flower poms that you can use to hang, set on a table, or use as a center piece.

The problem is that they are hard to poof up. It takes a LONG time to do it. Plan on about 15 minutes per pom. They said it would be about 5 minutes each but it is way longer! There are 7 of them in this set. 4 of them are 14" in diameter, and 3 of them are larger, at 17" in diameter.

They do come with a string to hang them if you want, or you can put them on the wall and on the table.

Gluten Free No-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Here is a recipe that I use to make no bake, gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I originally took it from food.com but have changed it a bit to reflect more healthy ingredients.

I got to review some FineNaturals brand raw cacao. It is extremely rich and made from the high quality cacao beans, the Criollo. It is characterized by a unique flavor profile, with notes of vanilla and hints of caramel and a complete lack of the bitterness commonly associated with inferior brands.

Gluten Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


  • 2 cups sugar (I use a combination of coconut sugar and stevia, about 1 cup coconut sugar and depending on your brand of Stevia, a teaspoon)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao (I used this brand, here)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 12 cup butter
  • 12 cup milk (I use half and half)
  • 12 cup peanut butter (I use a bit more)
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I use my homemade gluten free vanilla - recipe can be found here)


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients.
  2. Bring to boil and cook for 90 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter until it dissolves.
  5. Add oats.
  6. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well.
  7. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Cool for 30 minutes or until set. (I put in the freezer so I can eat them sooner).

This raw cacao powder is non-GMO and can be found on Amazon here.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Exercise Ball -- Pretty High Quality

My husband and I are totally out of shape. We really slacked off in our fitness this past couple years when we were living in Panama. Now, we are trying to work out and slowly but surely get back in shape. We are supporting each other in our endeavors.

We have joined a gym but there are other things that we can do at home to help us reach our goals.

One of his requests was to get an exercise ball. So I was able to get this exercise ball. It is BIG. It is perfect to sit on as a chair (it forces you to have good posture sitting at a desk).

To get it blown up took a LOT of work!! It seemed like hours, taking turns pumping the thing because we are so out of shape. Nonetheless, it will be a good product to use for many different things.

This exercise ball is very durable, and can be used for yoga, pilates, strengthening and stretching. You can do situps and core workouts, along with pushups for upper body strength, having your feet up on the ball while your arms are on the ground in pushup position.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Totally Cool Solar Charger!!

I received this 7 watt solar charger in the mail from Target and started using it the next day. I was a bit intimidated by this because it is new technology for me and I have a hard time adapting to new things. (you can also get it from Amazon here).

But this was a cinch! I bet even my grandma could use it successfully.

Basically, as long as you know how to plug in the USB cable to charge your phone, you can use this. Super simple.

It comes folded up, and folds easily so that it is the size of a large wallet with a checkbook cover, you know about the size I am talking about. Maybe the size of a 7" tablet when all folded up.

It comes with some clips so that you can clip it to your backpack while hiking or biking or walking around. Or hang it outside your window or deck, or like I did, put it in my home office, on my cat stand (my cat wasn't too happy about that) and let it soak up the sun's rays.

The indicator light immediately went to green, letting me know that I could charge. And so I plugged in my cell phone and later on, my MP3 player, and it charged! No electricity needed, and I was able to charge my phone and my MP3 player. Totally cool.

I am glad I got this and plan on using it wherever I go, even camping!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SLENDLight Motion Sensor Light Bar

This SLENDLight motion sensor bar was nice to be able to review. But, I felt that it was not as easy to get the motion sensor to work consistently. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it worked on a delayed schedule.

 This product has a lot of features, the biggest one is how bright the LED lights are. I love being able to see, I am not a big fan of dim lighting. That doesn't create "ambiance" for me. Nonetheless, with only 6 AAA batteries (not included) you can get a TON of light with this.

You can put it many places, including in cupboards, closets, a storage shed, etc. You can get more than a thousand hours (holy smokes!) of light on one set of batteries, and the LEDs have such a high life cycle that you won't ever have to replace them.

If only they could perfect the motion sensor part of it, that would be awesome!

Personal Water Purifier For Emergencies

This water purification system is personal sized, so it is great for camping, backpacking, hiking and for emergencies where the water may be unsafe to drink.

However, having used lifestraws and other versions of personal water filtration systems, this one seems a bit more complicated. It was hard to figure out.

The reason I believe is that it has a 3-stage water purification process, which in itself makes it more complicated than others.

The three stage filtration includes:

1. organic and insect filter -- to get any debris (including bugs!) out of the drinking water. This is mighty important as I am prone to sucking up bees and wasps when I take a drink.

2. Antibacterial activated carbon granules with silver ions. This is awesome. The other ones I have used in the past did not have this. Silver?? One of the most potent antibacterial elements in this world! Did you know that? I use silver all the time in the form of colloidal silver.

3. There is a very small, 0.01 micron membrane barrier, to finish up the filtration process.

These three steps prevent salmonella, giardia, cholera, diarrhea and other pathogenic illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water.

It is portable and lightweight. It can fit in a purse, in your glove compartment, and is light enough to stick in your backpack or camping supplies so that it won't add any additional weight -- it is just over 2 oz!

The cap makes it dust proof, and it is certified by WQA and TUV-SUD (I don't know what those are?)

The end result is that you get 400 ml, which is about 13.5 oz, per minute, and can be used for filtration of 1500 liters, which is almost 400 gallons! Holy smokes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dr. Clark's Lugol's Iodine

I first learned about Dr. Hulda Clark when I was a LOT younger and my stepmom introduced me to her book, The Cure for all Cancers. My mom died of cancer when I was a baby so the big "C" word was something I was afraid of.

I got my first "zapper" in 2005 and have been using it on and off since then.

So when I got to review Lugol's Iodine from Dr. Clark Store, I was pretty familiar with the type of company they are.

I have hypothyroidism and so those who study up on natural support for thyroid will always come across iodine as the #1 pick. Well, they are half right. You never want to take iodine without taking selenium as well. Otherwise you can cause problems.

This stuff from the Dr. Clark Store is so inexpensive and worth it. Every household should have some on hand!

And, iodine has so many uses:

  • Purifying water - this stuff can kill pathogens in the water, making it safe to drink.
  • Food poisoning - you can take 12 drops in 1/4 cup of water at first sign of symptoms.
  • Produce cleaner - (see veggie wash instructions below) 
  • Iodine supplement - for weight loss, metabolism booster, thyroid support

Here are the Veggie Wash Directions:
Place 2 quarts (2L) of water in a bowl and add 1 dropper-full of Lugol’s Iodine to make an approximately 12½ ppm iodine solution. Add 2 dropper-fulls of Lugol’s Iodine to make an approximately 25 ppm iodine solution.
Completely submerge produce for 1 minute or more. Agitate food well. Rinsing with water is optional. Do not save the water for later use. It will lose potency and color. Add more Lugol’s Iodine once the water turns clear.
(CA Health Code states that 25 ppm concentration qualifies as a sanitation solution for restaurants and is as strong as a 100 ppm chlorine solution.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Battery Storage Solved!

 I received my Battery Organizer and Tester and filled it up with my batteries that were just thrown in my drawer. The reason this is so cool is that it helps to organize them and let's me know how many I have. I do not have any 9 volt, but I have AAA, AA and C batteries. I need to stock up on button cells because I have a lot of devices that use them, from scales to alarm clocks.
This battery tester holds up to 72 batteries of various configurations. It is about a foot high so while it isn't HUGE, it isn't tiny either. It is pretty substantial. I can hang it on my wall. Once we move next month I am going to have my husband hang it right inside the pantry door. There is an area where we are going to have our "junk drawer" inside the pantry and I am excited about it.

The coolest part of it? This tester. Check out this tester. I played around with this for a while, testing every single battery in my house! HAH!

When you test, the battery power is indicated by the following lighting combinations:

Good: All three lights red, yellow, green are lit
Weak: Only the red and yellow are lit.
Only red light on: The current in the battery is very low and can barely function.
No Light: The battery power is completely exhausted and the battery is completely dead

The tester offers 3 ports to test various types of batteries:
  • Port A: 3v Button Cells 
  • Port B: AA, AAA, C and D Batteries 
  • Port C: 9V Rectangular Battery

Monday, July 13, 2015

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

This teardrop aromatherapy locket diffuser by Cornucopia Brands is gorgeous and perfect for essential oils anywhere you go, right around your neck.

It comes with 4 puff balls in 4 different colors, to put essential oils on, and then enclose them on the locket. You then weave the chain back through; this keeps the locket in place so it doesn't open up accidentally.

It is very inexpensive -- only $14.99! And the chain is good quality as well. It comes with the teardrop locket pendant, the chain I mentioned, 4 diffuser balls for the inside of the locket pendant, and it also comes with some pipettes to help you put the essential oil on the balls, but I don't think those are necessary. :) 

The puff balls (diffuser balls) can be soaked with whatever scent you want (lemongrass, anyone??) all you have to do is pour some drops of your favorite essential oils onto it. It is very absorbent and the scent lasts a long while.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense is one of my favorite essential oils. It is fantastic used in a diffuser, or in homemade lotion. Since I make all my own personal care products, I rely on essential oils like this to give them the extra oomph of medicinal healing properties.

This is a large 4oz bottle of Frankincense essential oil. It says it is 100% pure and natural, and premium therapeutic grade. I don't know what "therapeutic grade" is, but I believe it is only a marketing term, as there are no agencies that measure the efficacy or purity of therapeutic grade essential oils that I am aware of.

But nonetheless, Frankincense has been around for thousands of years, and its benefits have been known for just as long. Some of the main benefits are:
  • healing for skin -- scars, acne, and more
  • anti-aging properties (this is why I put it in my night cream for my face that I make!)
  • help heal colds and flus (diffuse in the room)
  • helps get rid of inflammation and pain
  • and so much more!

Acrylic Makeup Holder

I was excited to get this product to review. When we moved back to the states from Panama, the moving company utterly destroyed a lot of our things, including my favorite makeup caboodle!! So I had no place to store my makeup except loose in a drawer.

This is a decent acrylic makeup holder, and the picture above is nice, however when I ordered in from Amazon, it looked like you would get the drawers, plus the portion on top where you can put your lipsticks, and other makeup pieces. But that is not the case! I only received the bottom part. The drawers only. I don't know why, and messaged the company twice asking about it. I have not heard back from them yet.

Nonetheless, I did have a top piece (similar but larger) than the one that this shows, that I picked up at WalMart to have access to some of my makeup on the counter, and it fits on top, so all is not lost.

It is a very high quality piece, and I am already making use of it!

CLA - conjugated linoleic acid supplement

CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that is naturally found in grassfed meats. I am HUGE proponent of grassfed meats, especially when you buy local and support your local farmer. I usually split a cow every year and have delicious grassfed meats all year long.
Many people who don't eat the healthy, grassfed meats -- including vegans or vegetarians, may not be getting enough CLA, so a supplement is recommended. CLA has some weight loss benefits and Pure Natural Fit CLA Complex is great for those who want to promote lean muscle growth.

Like I mentioned, CLA is found in grassfed meats, but unless you eat an extraordinary amount of grassfed meats, you probably aren't getting enough CLA through your diet alone. Even I don't. Each gram of fat from grassfed beef provides only 4.3mg of CLA, and in order to get the RDA you would need to partake of 4,500 fat calories to get what you need! ACK!

It is an essential fatty acid and cannot be produced in the human body, you NEED to get it via your diet or supplementation.

The weight loss or fat loss benefits include:

• It can improve the lean mass to body fat ratio, decreasing fat deposition,and enhancing muscle growth
• It may increase your body's base metabolic rate and suppress appetite
• Can help lower insulin resistance and make it easier to control weight

There are no extra fillers, additives, or stimulants in this brand.


Forskolin is well known as a weight loss supplement. I first heard about it when I went to see an ND and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. This product by VidaTribe has 250mg of 20% standardized extract.
The claim is that it does the following:
  • Increases Metabolism
  • Helps Burn Fat
  • Suppress Appetite
 While studies have shown that it is helpful in aiding weight loss, I have used it for other things for my health, namely hypertension (high blood pressure). Between using forskolin and eating Ceylon cinnamon every day, I do not need to be on blood pressure meds! High blood pressure and heart disease run in my family so I need to watch out. (With the cinnamon, use something like THIS CINNAMON for the health benefits, as most cinnamon you get at the stores here in the US are fake Cassia cinnamon).
Forskolin is an extract from the plant Coleus forskohli.  Coleus has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of conditions, including hypertension, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, congestive heart failure, and angina.  The effects of Forskolin have been intensively researched in in vitro, animal, and human clinical studies.

Forskolin is a centuries old Ayurvedic traditional medicine for expressing beneficial anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. ~Recent research has shown that it can reduce the percentage of body fat and weight in individuals pursuing weight loss regimens.

Dosage: Take 2 capsules daily with 8 ounces of water.

Personal Water Filtration System for Emergencies, Camping, and Hiking

This survival water filtration system is AWESOME! You can get it here on Amazon.

This is a Personal Water Filter that is designed to be used while hiking, camping, backpacking or in emergency situations.

When you are an avid outdoorsman, and like to spend time camping or hiking long distances, it is a struggle to lug enough water to properly hydrate yourself, especially in the hot summers. So that is where this little device comes in. It is super easy to use, and very efficient.

The filter in this straw is good for up to 396 gallons of purified water, and can filter 450mL per minute. It uses an activated carbon filtration system.

I love being prepared. Just the knowledge that I am ready to face any emergency, makes me feel more at peace.